How To Ensure That You Didn't Peak In High School
College Life |  Source: @smgu3

How To Ensure That You Didn't Peak In High School

The best is yet to come, people.

Ahh high school. Those four years were some of the most formative of your life- you had your first homecoming dance, your first real heartbreak, your first joint. It was in those hallways that you started to decide what kind of people you wanted to surround yourself with and what kind of person you wanted to be.

But there was a time and a place for all that, and if you've already received your diploma, that time is in the past. We applaud you quarterback, prom queen, and class pres. You truly reined supreme in the cafeteria. But all good things must come to end because no one wants to be that creepy grad who keeps showing up to the football games.

There's nothing wrong with having enjoyed your four years of high school, but here's how to make sure that's not where you peak.

Forget the FOMO.
Back in the glory days, parties could be few and far between. Missing a house party was sure to leave you in the dark on the juicy gossip being mulled over in homeroom and the dish on who went to third base in Kyle's parent's bathroom. But even worse than being unable to attend was receiving no invite at all...those bitches.

Nowadays if you wake up with a news feed of red solo cups, you shouldn't sweat it. Sure you want to see your own friends, but if another crew has a banger and you weren't on the list, that's just one less drunken conversation about your intended major that you have to have.

Let your demons die.
The hallways of high school were like a minefield. Not only did you have to deal with your own enemies, but those of your friends as well. Because no one crosses MY crew and gets away with it. No one.

But hey, we're all in the real world now, and even though Becca stole your prom dress when you clearly bought it first, it's about that time to stop cursing her name every time she comes up in conversation. When you can care less about all the petty bullshit that went down in high school, you know you've made it out.

Understand that high school events are for high schoolers.
Senior year you probably all made vows to come back for just one more basketball game, or crash the annual valentines party. But hopefully upon marching across that graduation auditorium packed with overeager sweaty parents, a thought struck you: I am so getting out of here.

We all remember those alumni for lingering far too many years with us in the student section or sitting in the background of parties, a little too eager to take pictures with the newly budding sophomore girls. Don't be that human.

High school was great, but there is a whole lot greater left to come. Sure, remembering those shaping years of our lives can be nostalgic, but keep it at that; distant memories you can look back on, blur out the details you didn't like, and give a little wistful sigh as you romanticize the height of your puberty.

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Watch Me Glow Up

What happens when you don't peak in high school.

Chances are, the super popular kids from your high school probably aren't doing much now. And that super shy, but seriously smart kid from your bio class freshman year is a total smokeshow and has a full ride to an Ivy League. It's the way it always goes.

And I'm also going to go ahead and take a guess that you yourself did not peak in high school. While it may have sucked at the time, you're one of the lucky ones. Here's why.

You see so many people who peaked early end up at community college in your hometown.
I'm not bashing community college here. What I am bashing is people who stick around because they're so scared to leave the small-time fame and popularity they had in high school behind.

They peaked so hard that they aren't really sure where their life will go from there. That's a pretty sad thing for an 18-year-old kid. Thank God you have plenty of peaking left to do, and can look forward to new places and new adventures without the fear that you've already experienced the best life has to offer you.

The people who were rude to you in high school want to be your best friend now.
It's a classic Cinderella story. (Wow, that was fucking cheesy.) Honestly though, high-school-wallflower-turns-successful-and-attractive-adult is a tale as old as time. Plus it always ends in "popular" kids from your high school either wanting to fuck you or be you. Too bad they didn't see how great you were then. You're on to bigger and better things.

You probably won't peak in college either.
This is just as much of a blessing as not peaking in high school is. If I have 75-plus years on this Earth I'm going to be super bummed if I hit my peak before I even turn 22. There is so much life to live after school--but you already knew that.

You're more successful than your peers.
If you didn't peak in high school it's probably because you were too busy focusing on other things. While you had your good group of friends, a thriving social life probably wasn't the top priority in your life. You were focused on grades or a passion turned side hustle and trust me, if that isn't benefiting you now, it's definitely going to.

You're more content wherever you are in your life.
You don't have any expectations for how much people will love you or how many friends you have. You're taking it day by day and enjoying everything life has to offer. It's not that your expectations are low, you've just learned from watching the people who peaked in high school that being popular and cool isn't necessarily a key to a solid life.

You have a lot to look forward to.
There is reward in not peaking too young. You get the chance to look forward to something exciting. You get the chance to live everyday knowing you're only getting better. It's all uphill from here.

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Calling All High School Seniors

Wait, you have to do work in college too?

I don't know if you've been told yet but the end is near, and by 'the end' I mean high school. It's time to face facts, there's more to the world than high school drama. Trust me, that bubble you've been living in is about to get violently popped. No worries though, I'm sure the air is a lot more suitable than that soapy consistency you've gotten used to.

First thing's first, college is nothing like high school. Not only are you taking classes there, but you're literally living at school. Welcome home! With that being said, it is a cultural shock. You will get homesick. There will be times when all you want is to do is be a kid again. As long as you embrace that fact now, you won't be as surprised when you get punched in the face with a ton of nostalgia.

Another difference is the size. Even if it's considered to be a small college, it's still a lot bigger than your average high school. With that added size comes the distance that a high school lacks. Which diminishes the ability for cliques to be as noticeable and as "clique-y." If you think that you're going to graduate as Regina George and be Regina George in college, you're horribly mistaken.

There are no teachers in college, there are only professors. What does that mean, you ask? It means that in college, the professors will get paid whether you pass or fail. This is where accountability comes in. You are fully responsible for your grades and everything else that you do. YOU have to make sure that papers are turned in. YOU have to make sure that you've studied. YOU have to make sure that you understand your class.

This is your future, therefore, it's your responsibility and it rests in your hands. Be careful. SHOW UP TO CLASS. I know it's tempting to stay in bed, because technically you have that choice, but trust me, that extra sleep is not worth it. Not when it comes to your GPA. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Like I said before, the professor gets paid regardless of your grade, so grow some balls and raise your hand. I guarantee that there's someone else who's asking themselves the very same question, so just go ahead and help a fellow student out.

Lastly, let's talk about parties. I know it can be really easy to turn up every weekend, and I know that the idea of partaking in things that you aren't legally allowed to partake in seems a lot more fascinating than sitting in a class preparing for a future that adds dollar signs to your bank account, but you have responsibilities. There's a strong possibility that if you party every weekend you're neglecting your responsibilities and will end up flunking out of college and living in your parents basement. It's okay to have fun, but remember that there's a fine balance between work and play.

So, just to reiterate, your freedom is in the palm of your hand. Neither your parents nor your teachers have shoved this choice down your throat. It's time to be an adult. Procrastination really does kill your GPA and your bank account (college tuition is hella expensive). Money is never easily accessible, so please don't spend it all on illegal substances.

Oh and one more thing, diversity is a real thing, not just something you see on television, so get ready for those who speak, look, and believe differently than you. All in all, college is an amazingly euphoric and self-assessing place, no need to worry about it! It's a big transition that we all have to go through.

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Things College Seniors Tell High School Seniors

Cherish your youth.

You will never look as young and bright as you do now.

These bags under my eyes? Only took half a semester to form, and now I look six years older than I actually am. My brow is permanently furrowed and I have wrinkles carved into my forehead from intense studying.

Cherish your youth. There will be one morning in winter when you wake up and your back and knees legitimately hurt, and you have to take a minute to stretch.

You are going to learn how stressful having money is when you don't have your parents to extract it from. Disposable income becomes undisposable income faster than you would believe.

Professors are just older college students. Honestly, you could walk into class on fire and they'd just ask if you were gonna take your seat or not.

The "Old College Try", really means you give a quarter-assed attempt at whatever it is that you're trying to do and then exaggerating about how hard it is.

Keggers aren't real.... Unless you BELIEVE.

Frat bros are either fine or super creepy. Usually super predatory and misogynistic, with a dash of homoerotic subtext.

Unless your limb is actually, literally about to fall off, no injury or disease is enough for you to risk the doctor's bill going to the hospital will get you. Just pop an Advil and call it a day.

Finals? You mean that time of year the underground Adderall market resurfaces overnight?

Tired will just become a part of your personality at some point. Get used to it.

If you couldn't already write ten pages of a paper in one night, you will learn to. And you will do it many, many times.

Libraries will inevitably become loud asshole rumpus parties on the nights before tests. Consider ear-plugs.

If there's a weird stain in a weird corner, it's because someone drunk-puked there.

People (covertly) drink in class less than you'd think, but still more than the professor would probably like.

You will graduate college with the same feeling you graduated high school. That, "Well, I guess that just happened," feeling.

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High School vs. College

It's a whole new ballgame, people.

Throughout high school, my teachers would always tell us they were "preparing us for college." And whenever my parents refused to help me with a problem--admittedly, one I was perfectly capable of fixing myself--they would say they were "making me independant for college life." But once I actually stepped foot on campus, it was pretty obvious: Nothing that I learned in my high school days could be applied to my new life.

College is, without a doubt, a whole new ballgame.

First off, in college there is no such thing as "popularity" like there was in high school. There isn't a table during lunch where all the popular kids sit. There aren't dances that you need a date for or games where all the "cool" students sit in one section. No one cares about how you dress, because everyone looks like a slob all the time. Friends aren't made by wearing the latest trends or by sitting at a certain table at lunch. In college, you make friends by being kind and considerate. Seriously. College is stressful enough on its own; and no one has the time or the desire to hang out with negative or snobby individuals. So don't be one. In college, the people with a lot of friends are the ones who are genuinely nice to others.

In high school, I would always try to skip class. By the end of each year, my absences would be maxed out and I literally couldn't miss another day. But in college, attendance usually doesn't matter. Many professors don't even take attendance. But the thing is, in college, every class actually does matter. Admit it, there would be days you went to class in high school and probably walked out of there not having learned anything. That does not happen in college--There may be a whole section on a test of information that was covered in just one day. And conveniently, that will probably be the day you decided to take a nap instead of attend class. Before I left for my second semester of college, my dad calculated how much each class was worth: If I skipped class to take a nap, that nap would cost me $70 dollars. I haven't skipped a class since.

Another college trend: Effort is attractive. Studying hard and using your resources is not looked down upon in college, whereas in high school, my peers would always pressure me into doing something fun, rather than studying for a test. But in college, every student is paying thousands of dollars just to learn, so most take it more seriously. In college, effort is noticed, appreciated, and highly respected among college students.

Something I always disliked about high school was that I felt like I had to look, act, or talk a certain way to be accepted. And when I look back on it, that way of thinking kept me from doing a lot of things that I would have really enjoyed or excelled at.

But being a college student gives you the freedom to break out, try new things, and embrace a different side of yourself. You may have been the cheerleader in high school, but you can be a sports writer in college. Or you may have been a band kid in your hometown, but in college you can embrace Greek life. There are no labels when you take your first steps on campus. You can create your own label--and your own college identity.

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Throwback to Season 1

Every transition is a new season of the ridiculous sitcom of my life.

I have this running joke with my current friend group where I refer to some of them as the, "Season 4," cast in my life. As I've graduated high school, entered college, and then got shuffled into my major, friends have come and gone.

Every transition is a new season of the ridiculous sitcom of my life.

So, Season 4, the season of my Maturity ArcTM, where I'm bravely forging ahead with my life, taking opportunities and preparing for life after graduation. Things are going good. Great, even. So, of course, there's gotta be a callback to my Origin ArcTM.

And that's when we start bringing back the Season 1 characters that we thought were out the door.

To put it less dramatically, a friend from high school came to visit me, and we had a really fun time. No awkward silences, no not really knowing what to say to each other, we just picked up from where we'd left off.

Being fairly out of touch with my graduating class, my time with them has kind of fuzzied out in my brain, but it took maybe an hour (and three beers) for it all to come back. The embarrassing stories, the inter-clique politics, the illicit romances.

God, high school was truly one of the most infuriating times of my life, but looking back on it after having graduated almost three years ago it all seems so funny. And past that, it was just so nice to have someone who's known me for so long back in my life for a night.

If you graduated and didn't look back then that was your decision. Burn those bridges, man. Don't let anyone tell you what to do. But laughing about all the dumb shit you did or saw is miles better with a beer and an old friend than it is by yourself.

The first season may be shittier than the rest, but hey, it's there for a reason.