Important Lessons From High School

IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW

I’m 23 years old, I have been married two years, and I have upper education degrees. I work for a big technology company, and live in Texas.

I know I’m young, but sometimes I look back in life and wonder about what I could have done better. I know I have done pretty well, otherwise I would be here today, but there are always times in your life where you wish you would have done something different. Here are mine.

Figured out a way to continue marching band in high school

I love music, and I actually continued to teach and perform music in high school, but I didn’t continue with marching band. I was in varsity freshman year of high school, and I had to audition on a different date for my sophomore year spot than everybody else. I had a competition during the regular auditions and I auditioned early. My band directors forgot about my audition and completely forgot to place me in any band. They gave away my varsity spot to another member, and after some discussion with them, I was told they couldn’t give me back my varsity spot because they didn’t think it was fair to take it away from the member. I was really disappointed and hurt at the time. I did my due diligence beforehand and made sure to schedule my audition since I had another commitment, but they overlooked it, and got dropped off the team. I don’t know about how you would have felt, but I didn’t like it at all, especially since they admitted my audition performance was top notch and better than the person they accidentally added. I quit the week after. Why do I wish things had gone differently? Band was so much fun. I was part of a big family, and I didn’t really find the same family in other activities. Sure there was plenty of drama, but it was still such a fabulous experience. I don’t how I could have changed my attitude. Varsity music is at a higher level than junior varsity music, and I didn’t want to be at a lower level.

Figured out a way to run cross-country my senior year of high school

So, after quitting band, I went to my love of cross country. Freshman year of high school I couldn’t participate in cross country because practices were at the same time as marching band. But now I could. My couch was ecstatic! I spent all summer training. At try outs, I ran the second best time, and made the varsity team. I qualified for regionals that same year for cross country and track. Sophomore year was also extremely fun. My couch and my team were awesome! Junior year, things started getting stressful. I had so much work from school, since I had started my first year of true International Baccaulareate classes. On top of that I had, AP classes, speech and debate assignments, and I tutored my brother at night. I, also, had dance classes and performances. I think I was also student leader for a couple of clubs. I would often get home and just pass out for 30 minutes, wake up, do homework, and tutor my brother for an hour. I only slept 4-5 hours a day. I would wake up at 5 am, and not hit the snooze until past midnight. On Fridays, I would often come home and spent the entire night doing homework. Saturday was always full of activities, and Sunday was church and homework. One of my classmates actually organized a petition to decrease the amount of homework were taking home. It backfired of course, and our teachers only gave us more homework. I was also dealing with overbearing parents; every teenager’s dream. We got a new couch. My cross country performance suffered. I got hurt and couldn’t finish the season. I recovered during the winter, and made it back for long distance track running. But again, the stress was getting to my body. Story repeated itself, and I kept getting hurt. My body wasn’t recovering. Now that I think back to it, I wasn’t taking care of my body. I probably wasn’t eating a balanced diet (not one that matched the pace of my training), and I wasn’t training properly. If I knew then what I know now, I would have ran way better. I would have had a better diet, and integrated more cross training to my workouts. I think yoga and pilates would have helped my stressed out muscles. Honestly, I should have dropped some commitments. I just have no idea what I would have dropped. I didn’t run cross country my senior year, despite the fact my couch begged me to come back. She even went and talked to my parents. I wish I had gone back. I, also, missed my cross country family

I don’t what I was thinking when I changed my mind about becoming a software engineer

Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was frustrated with JAVA. Object oriented programming was baffling and nobody knew what the hell was going on. Only myself, and my friend were working on senior design projects, and my teacher was learning JAVA along with us. Sometime senior year, when I was stressed out, disappointed, and unhappy, I made a decision that I didn’t want to become a software engineer. Despite the fact I had spent 4 years of my high school, learning how to program. I thought I was going to be so behind when I got to college, and that everyone was going to know how to code and design better than me. I don’t know. In the end, I decided not to, and switched my career path to business. I miss the rush of designing, and it took me five years to realize it. So, yes, I would go back and stick with my original plan. Because guess what? Those fears I had when I reached college where not really factual. Many of the people I talked to who were majoring in computer science/software engineering were just starting out. I think it’s so important to have a technology/engineering background. We are not pushed enough to do this. Especially females! My brother is in his junior year of high school, and we often talk about college and careers. Just last week he told me how a friend said petroleum engineering is really hard and my brother shouldn’t consider it as an option. I told him to not listen to his friend, and not do something because he’s scared. You can do anything if you have the determination.

What I have learned from my high school experiences:

Don’t quit before you start something. Don’t fail to try something because you’re scared you’ll fail. Don’t make decision when you’re stressed out and tired. Let your body recover.

 What do you know now that you wished you had known then?

Cover of "Learning Java"

Cover of Learning Java

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16 comments

  • I don’t think there’s anything I would have changed really. As I get older I’ve just come to accept that things happen the way they should and everything’s a learning experience. I might have not quit dancing at such a young age maybe?

  • Wow, some precious lessons here. I like these one best: Don’t fail to try something because you’re scared you’ll fail. A couple of times I have chickened out of starting a side business because it might flop and dent my spirits to attempt others but after sometime I have realized, you just have to dive in and do. In the end we regret more the things we didn’t do, the missed opportunities. As Mo puts it, no need beating yourself up over them, just learn the lessons and move on.

  • I had a ton of friends in high school who were in band and loved it – mostly because of the people. If I were to re-do anything, it would be to be more confidant in auditioning for musicals/plays. I loved acting and I wish I just tried harder because I know that I didn’t work on my craft as hard as I should have.

  • Oh my gosh you were one busy young lady!!! I was only in the marching band my junior and senior years (color guard) but I loved it! I regret not every pursuing volleyball, but I was shy and overweight and a terrible athlete at the time. I also regret not trying out for cheerleading. See above reason. And like Lisa said in her comments, I also regret not trying harder to make school plays. Geez I was quite the winner in HS eh? lol! NO seriously we had opposite lives I think. I was bad in school, had hardly any activities, and had parents who were NEVER around and a delinquent brother. lol!

  • Pingback: Don't Quit Poem | Budget and the Beach

  • I wish I had known not to freak out so much about life. That things would work out. And to not make stupid mistakes with boyfriends.

  • Wow, your high school taught java? I didn’t even touch a programming language till college!

    I wish I had had a bit more perspective. Everything even mildly bad seemed like the end of the world. But I guess that is part of being a teenager :p

  • The only thing I would go back and tell myself is that NOTHING in high school matters. The crap that I was worried about, things like being popular, carrying what others thought…it was all BS and meant nothing long term. If I had that attitude in high school I would have enjoyed it so much more.

  • Tie the Money Knot

    It’s great to think back and learn lessons from past experience. It’s not wasted time, either; in my case, I’m going to make sure I pass on my knowledge to my 2 kids. Maybe I can’t relive certain times, but I can help them in some way!

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