Advice to Graduating Eighth Graders

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Advice to Graduating Eighth Graders
Some advice for those who are going to begin one of the most important phases: High School

I won’t get into the concepts of peer pressure. I am as tired talking about peer pressure as you are of hearing about it. I am talking about something a bit different. If someone is asking you to do something that you know will decrease you as a person, or will lower your standards of who you are, you are putting them in front of you. Doing this will not be good for you and won’t be good for your friend.

For example, your friend wants to talk at all hours, whenever she is upset about something. It’s getting to the point where you are missing sleep and feeling used. If you keep it up, your friend might lose respect for you since you are available to her any time. Plus, you will begin to feel resentful (and tired). When a friend is asking something from you, ask yourself “Is this something I can do without lowering who I am?”

Don’t be a jerk.

You probably know what I mean by this one, so I won’t spend too much time on it. High school is full of chances to be mean, nasty, spiteful, and hurtful. Avoid the temptation. And you will be tempted.

People will remember.

Let me sum up what Maya Angelou, a very cool poet, said: People will forget what you said and what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

You will be surprised at how your actions in high school will have an impact on people’s lives. How do you want them to remember you twenty five years from now? If you have treated them well, they will remember that. If you treated them poorly, I promise you that they will remember it.

Don’t get good grades to benefit your future.

Sounds like a bad advice, right? Let me explain. I think there is too much focus, during the high school years, on the future. Get good grades now so that you will be able to go to a good college. Do well in college so that you will be able to get a good job. Get a good job so that you will be able to feel successful in life. At a minimum, that first job is eight years from now!

Instead, why not do well now because it feels good to do well? Do well now because you want to be successful in life NOW. Don’t worry so much about the future. Focus on the present. Focus on how it feels to show up to class with homework completed. Focus on how it feels to get good grades on tests because you studied. Focus on your present success and the future will take care of itself.

You are more mature and thoughtful than most adults will ever understand.

The biggest compliment I receive from middle and high school students is when they tell me that I really “get them.” I think they mean that I have taken the time to understand them as a person and don’t dismiss their thoughts and feelings.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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