What advice got you through high school?no_redirect=1

The big leap from middle to high school can seem like the scariest transition of your life. You're suddenly moving on from childhood to semi-adulthood. You have to make new friends and probably separate from your old ones, get used to a new routine, and start thinking about college. Growing up is exciting, but it also puts so much pressure on you; you have to fit in all over again. Let me share with you some things not everyone tells you about life in high school, but most definitely should:

1. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend is not the most important thing in the world.

I know it seems like it. I know that every single one of your friends has one, but I promise you, you don't need one to survive. There are much more important things in your life than being in a relationship. If you happen to find someone worth your time, that's awesome! If you are part of the singles club, then don't ever force yourself to rush into anything. It's okay to be single! Use all that extra free time you have to go experience life and be productive!

2. Being single does NOT mean that you are undesirable.

Everyone is desirable in someone's eyes. Just because no one has asked you out yet doesn't mean you aren't attractive or special to anyone. The world is bigger than high school, never forget that.

3. Be bold.

Whatever that means to you. Take a risk. Fall on your face. Be humiliated. Just don't let that opportunity pass you by.

4. Respect your elders.

Flick that devil right off of your shoulder. It doesn't matter how right you think you are or how mean they are, don't be disrespectful. Just take a deep breath and say "yes, ma'am/sir." It's hard, but you will avoid the unnecessary repercussions that come with it.

5. Respect your body.

It doesn't matter if you're male, female, cat, horse, bumblebee, whale- your body is a sacred temple, respect it. Don't throw it at any living organism that's walking down street. You only get one, so protect it and take care of it.

6. Work hard at EVERYTHING.

You never know where life could take you later on and what opportunities could come your way. Work hard at everything you are involved in, whether it be math, science, writing, dance, gymnastics, tennis, football, singing, baking, house cleaning, making sculptures out of toothpicks-whatever. Never settle. You are young and you have the potential to go anywhere, do anything. Be proactive and do it.

7. Popularity is a fallacy.

Never waste your energy on this thing called "popularity." It will destroy you. Those "popular people," are just a clique of people that bear a certain reputation. If you aren't already friends with them, rid the desire to create in-genuine relationships with them for the purpose of boosting your own reputation. I'm sure you already have your own friends that love and care about you.

8. Substance is damaging.

Before you smoke that cigarette or take that shot, do some research. Know how those things affect your body and its development at your age. Not to mention all the other horrible things that can happen when you are new to these things and don't know how to properly deal with them. Is all that physical and mental damage worth looking like a bad*ss? No, it's not. So don't do it.

9. Say goodbye to peer pressure.

If anyone tries to pressure you into doing something you don't want to do, they aren't your friend. Say goodbye and find someone that respects you the way you are.

10. Get a job the second you are of age.

As long as circumstances permit. It's totally understandable if you lack transportation or are busy with extra-curricular activities, otherwise, don't wait. Don't let your parents pay for everything. The sooner you can get out of that trap, the better.

11. Do us all a favor and pack your own lunch.

While you're at it you should also do your own laundry, make some of your own meals, and do other chores without having to be paid. Once you get to college, there will be no one to do it for you. It's in your best interest that you start doing it now.

12. You don't need to straighten your hair or cake on pounds of makeup every day.

I used to do this. It got to the point where I couldn't leave the house without some form of makeup on. Little did I know that it actually wasn't very attractive and my hair ended up unhealthy from all that heat damage. Countless dollar bills and hours of sleep wasted because I couldn't learn to love myself. Self-expression is wonderful and very important, but if you are altering your appearance as a crutch, you don't need to! You are beautiful. Don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise and be comfortable in your own skin.

13. Don't take how easy it is for granted.

Life in high school is easy. Usually people are helping you along, telling you or advising you on what you should do next. Once you're out in the world, you don't get that. You have to know yourself and know what you want next which isn't as easy as it seems. Appreciate the simple days while you're in them.

14. Remember that this time will pass.

High school was probably the most stressful point of my life. I was extremely busy all the time and people were just not very nice. Life was significantly better when I got to leave and start over somewhere else. Although it may seem like it, high school doesn't last forever. If you're stuck not loving it, you'll be out sooner than you think. If you love it more than anything, then make the most of it while it lasts!