3 Things I Wish I Did In High School (& How You Can Do Them!)

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Hi! My name is Julia Schemmer - I am sixteen participate in several clubs as well as volunteer actively four days a week. I consider myself a "Surplus Striver" because everyday I am learning more and more about what it takes to have excellence in every area of my life. Follow my blog for insights into my daily life, my journey into surplus, and my preparation to become an international human rights lawyer in India and the Middle East.

3 Things I Wish I Did In High School (& How You Can Do Them!)

While I’m only a junior in high school, there are a few things I wish I did differently when I first began my high school career. Don’t get me wrong, I love the success I have tasted, but if I had the chance to begin it all over again, this is what I would do.

1. Study more for my SAT (earlier!)

Now that I’m a junior, it’s essential for me to take the SAT. While I had the study book since my freshman year of high school, I got incredibly busy with academics, community service, and clubs that studying for my SAT was never a huge priority. I’ll be honest: I’m not the perfect student when it comes to studying for these tests, but now I realize the value of getting a high score on this test. It’s important, ladies! Many colleges look at these SAT scores as a comparison to how you will rank in their school. Because this is a subject that I care a lot about, here are some tips to studying for your SAT:

-          Many apps now offer study games and practice questions for the SAT. Check out the app called “SAT Up!”. It’s a great way to get additional practice for this test, and its free!

-          Form a study group with your friends. What you struggle with, they may be an expert on.  Likewise, what they struggle with, you may be able to help them!

-          Many local places offer SAT workshops on how to write the perfect SAT essay, mastering the math, and finding grammatical errors within sentences. Ask your counselor to see if this may be an option for you.

-          Finally, the SAT book helps so much! While I didn’t even look at it until I realized I’m taking the SAT this year, just dedicating fifteen minutes a day to practice your skills pays off in the long run!

2. Relax more!

It’s easy to place high expectations on yourself, and become stressed out when these expectations fall through.  During my sophomore year, I became SO stressed out because I didn’t know how to manage my time wisely. When we get stressed out, not only our mental health is compromised, but our physical health as well. This year, I’m learning that it is okay to mess up! We’re all human, and anyone who expects you to be a superhuman is placing unrealistic, unhealthy, and harmful expectations on you. To be healthy, happy, and relaxed, try these tips:

-          Hug your pet! I love my puppy, and whenever I hug him, it’s such an instant stress relief!

-          Try yoga. You don’t have to believe in the Hindu beliefs behind yoga, as I do not, but stretching and healthy exercise really does unwind your body.

-          Sleep at a healthy time! As a teenager, we need a lot of sleep because our body is developing into how we’ll look as adults. By managing your time well enough to get at least eight hours of sleep a night, you’ll find yourself feeling much better.

-          Watch your favorite movie with a bowl of popcorn. Hey, why not? I recommend comedy movies.

-          Laugh more!

-          Lastly, make a list of the things you like about yourself. This list will not change whether you accomplish a task or not. You are not a task. You are a person and a pretty awesome person while we’re at it.

3. Participate in more school activities.

        While now I am enveloped in school activities and clubs, my freshman and sophomore year, I was not. I didn’t attend any of the dances, activities, or events that ASB put on. Girls, don’t get me wrong. It is so so so so vital to excel in school and your community, but we’ll only be in high school once! Put on a fancy dress, do your hair however you want, and have fun! Even if it is just for a few hours, you’ll be creating memories that last a lifetime.  Life is short, and high school is shorter.