27 Pieces of Advice for the Class of ’27

As eighth graders begin searching for high schools, I think it’s important to acknowledge the differences between high school and middle school. In order to clarify questions and offer tranquility, I have composed a list of advice for the class of 2027.

Keep a planner! It is so important to have a visual of all your assignments and due dates! You will just stress yourself out if you try to file everything in your head.

Be willing to branch out! Before high school, I didn’t know a lot of my current best friends. If we hadn’t been willing to meet new people, we probably wouldn’t have ever talked. I know it can be so scary, but trust me it’s worth it!

That being said, it’s okay to outgrow people. Some friends from earlier in life will stick with you, others won’t. This isn’t anyone’s fault, sometimes our paths just go in two different directions, and that’s perfectly healthy. But, make sure the ones that stick aren’t met with neglect.

Say yes to plans! In high school, you hang out with a lot more people a lot more often and a lot more spontaneously. It can feel really intense at first, but I promise you, the more you do it the more fun you’re going to have.

Maintain good relationships with your teachers. All of your teachers want you to do well! Just be friendly with them, wave at them in the hallways and such. If you’re struggling, don’t be scared to ask questions or go to office hours. Teachers are going to be happier if you’re taking initiative than if you just let yourself fail.

Keep a journal. Someday you’ll want to remember your brain at fourteen.

Eat! Bring lunch, even if your friends don’t. No matter how many people are talking about how they don’t eat breakfast, don’t make yourself stop. For some reason, people in high school think bragging about malnutrition is cool, but I promise you eating is cooler. You are working so hard and doing so much and your body needs fuel.

Dress for yourself. Wear the clothes you want to wear, not the clothes other people want you to wear. In ten years, nobody is going to remember the overalls you wore on some random Tuesday.

Have some sort of skincare routine.

This one may seem obvious, but just don’t be unnecessarily rude. There are a whole bunch of tiny interactions I’ve had that end up defining my view of a person, whether positively or negatively.

Maintain a good sleep schedule! It can be unfathomably easy to stay up to unreasonable hours studying. Remember that school and your day in general is going to be unbearable the next day if you keep doing this, and if you don’t adjust the cycle you’re going to be exhausted all the time.

Only spend money on stuff you actually want.

It’s better to sit by yourself than with people you don’t like.

Sometimes, a cry will fix everything. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but getting your emotions out in a physical form is such a relief.

Stay hydrated! It can be super easy to forget to drink water, with your mind so focused on other things. But if you don’t take sips now and again, you WILL get a horrible headache.

Remember that (in most cases) your parents have your best interest at heart. As you grow up, you become less dependent on them. While they should be proud of that, they’re also allowed to miss you. All their worrying is out of love and because they care about you. Although you totally have the right to expand your world as you get older, just keep them in orbit.

You aren’t ugly. Insecurity is at a heightened level, and everybody feels like they look bad, when in reality they don’t.

Smile with your teeth.

Making your notes pretty makes taking them so much more fun! I always incorporate some sort of pattern or spark of color in my notes. Not only does this make me enjoy taking them, but my teachers comment on how pretty they look, which gives you a whole bunch of academic validation. It’s a win all around.

Go outside! Fresh air is refreshing and healthy.

Study throughout the week, don’t cram it into one night.

Do extracurriculars! Not only do they look good on college applications, but you’ll meet people with similar interests to you.

Anyone who makes fun of your laugh isn’t worthy of it.

Wear a jacket in the winter. It’s Michigan. It’s cold. Nobody thinks you’re cool for not wearing a jacket.

Chew the same gum that you chewed when you studied as you test.

Don’t enter relationships your gut says no to. Whether they’re platonic or romantic, relationships should be fun and positive experiences. If you feel like it’s an added stress or something that makes you miserable, that relationship probably isn’t a good one.

Remember that even as you learn to drive and you look to college, you’re still a kid. Let yourself be a kid.