WHAT HIGH SCHOOL TAUGHT ME || SPRINGISH MEMOIRS

Hey there, springish you! It's been a while as it always is with my posts, but hey, better late than never, right? 
So, as many of you already know, I'm graduating this year. And, in just two weeks, I'll be done with high school. I mean, not completely done, as there are Matura Exams a.k.a. Croatian S.A.T.s but you know what I mean. How does it feel? A bit overwhelming to be honest. No.
It feels A WHOLE DAMN LOT overwhelming. Like, what the actual heck, you guys? These four years have flown by so fast, I can't even. This sounds like such a cliche, but it really is like that. I mean, I honestly had such a great time. But you know what, let's start at the beginning, and I wanna say it in a few points that'll I think help everybody struggling with high school. So, what did I learn in high school?

1. ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS AND PEOPLE AROUND YOU
I was 14 when I left my hometown and went to a boarding school. My first week? Absolutely terrible. I didn't know anyone, and I didn't try that hard to meet anyone as well. And you know what made it so much easier being away from my home and my family? Friends. It sounds so simple and obvious, but you know, when you're in a situation like that, you don't really think about it, 'cause you're so overwhelmed with everything being new and intimidating and busy with thinking about how much you miss everything. I actually remember being in school and thinking what I would be doing if I was home at the time.Little did I know my friends felt absolutely the same. 
My second week, I met people who go to class with me, and just by knowing them, and having someone to talk to about stuff, or going to coffee with someone (going for a coffee five times a week is probably a must when you're in a boarding school) made a huge difference. So, my point is: talk to anyone around you. You really never know, maybe you're gonna find your new bff soulmate in a person sitting next to you, and yeah, you won't get along with everyone, but who does?

2. GET INVOLVED
What I hear many people say is how they regret not doing that many things in high school, not making the most out of the opportunities they had. Regret is, at least to me, one of the worst feelings ever. Don't let yourself come in that position, as it can be very destructing for you. That's why I say: get freaking involved. You like what that creative group is doing? Join them. You kinda like volleyball but you're afraid you are not good enough? Oh, puh-lease, join the team. You're talented in something, but are not showing it to your friends, acquaintances, professors? Well, you better start right now.
I'm not saying you should show off. What I'm saying is: achieve your potential! If you don't, and I guarantee you this, you're gonna look back one day and you're gonna be sorry. I am so grateful that I'm a very open-minded and curious person, and I feel I can say I made the best out of the most opportunities I got. 
It wasn't always like that, I mean, in the first grade, when I was 14, I was such a scared little person afraid to say or do anything. Thank God, I met some of the best people ever then, a squad two years older than me, who actually showed me that I don't need to be afraid, because what's the worst that can happen? My motto is: if you try it, you might as well succeed. If you don't try, it's the same as if you failed.

3. WORK ON YOURSELF
This was especially hard for me, as I can be (and most times I was) the one who thinks he's always right. What I needed to realise, and I'm glad I did, is that when someone is giving you advice, or saying you did something wrong, they are there for you. They are there because they care, because they want to help you, not because they are working against you. And, trust me, even though sometimes you think everyone is against you, they are probably not, you just don't see it. 
This is especially important for those in boarding schools. If you are in a boarding school, the chances are that you're sharing a room with one or more people. Communication is the key to success. If you don't talk with people, especially your roommates enough, you won't be able to understand the other side, and they won't be able to understand you. So, my advice is, always look at things from different perspective. This will help you in understanding others, and growing as a person. You can never work on yourself too much, there's always room for improvement.

4. APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
When you go to high school, you meet a lot of completely different people. I was lucky enough to meet so many of those who are kind, lovely and just the best. But, not everyone is going to be like that. Some of them are going to be the biggest materialists there can ever be, some of them will be bullies, and some will just be nasty for no reason. I remember, in first grade, having some old Nokia, wannabe blue Vans sneakers, and seeing so many kids having the newest iPhone, the latest Zara collection, Don't get me wrong, all of that is perfectly fine, but some of them were so cocky and loud about it. Like, you stop and think about all of that, and  you wonder, why?
When you look at me today, yeah, I do have an iPhone, and yeah I do have some fancy clothes, but what matters to me is that all of these came from my hard work and my own money. I was never, and hopefully I'll never be the one to judge people based on what they do and what they don't have. Appreciate the stuff you have, and more importantly, the people you have because that is the reality of you. You can wish for all of those fancy things, but let's be honest, wishing you have something is not gonna make it happen. If you want it, work for it. I did, so can anyone. And, don't wish for something just because other people have it, be you and think with your brain, because anything else won't work out.

5. DON'T PANIC
An ironic message from one of the biggest panickers there are, but no really: just don't. Why am I saying this? If I learned something in these four years, it's that you just can't change some things, you can't influence it and you have to let them happen. Panicking doesn't make anything better, it just makes you have an ugly crying face, and it makes you get wrinkles earlier than you need to. I mean, you don't want that, do you? Panicking has always been my stronger side, whether it was about the exams, competitions, deadlines or whatever really. Especially when I started out, I mean at points it got so bad I had minor panick attacks because I didn't feel like I learned everything, or because I felt I wasn't good enough for that school. This goes along the part about working on yourself. It's important for you to know your good and bad sides. For instance, today, I'm not panicking about the two presentations, oral examinations, and some exams I have this week. You know why I'm so chill about them? Because I know myself better. I know how fast I can learn some things, and how much time it takes for me to make a quality presentation. Even when I don't get everything ready in time, if I get a bad grade, what's a big deal about it? I now know that my self-esteem and mental health matter a lot more than one bad grade. Learn to chill.

All in all, high school was such a great experience for me. You know how people say you'll forget most of your high school friends, and meet new ones during college, and we always answer that's not going to happen to us? Well, that's not going to happen to me (stop laughing now I see you). These people I have, they're like my brothers and sisters. I've lived with some of them for four years, and just a few months with some, but the connection still feels so real. 
Work on being your best self, study, but more importantly, enjoy your high school life - you only get one chance for it.
(Oh and P.S. this rainbow lightning thing tutorial is coming soon, love)
XoXo, yours truly
Tom Westmaccot.

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