Rae Graduates: 7 Things I Learned in High School

[05/25/2016] I’m still trying to conciliate with the fact that I graduated last night. The past 5 years went by so quickly and as much as I want to, I don’t know if I’m ready to begin a new chapter. It’s both incredibly exciting and intimidating.

Although I still have a month or so left of school, I thought it would be an appropriate time to write a summative post of my highschool experience while I’m still feeling the sentiments hehe. Of course, I’ve learned much more than 7 things but 7 is a good number so let’s just go with that. (:


Thing #1: Grade 8

You’re kind of on your own.

Okay I don’t mean to scare anyone that hasn’t entered highschool right off the bat. 😛

but.. I had no real concept of highschool, so it caught me by surprise how significant of a change it was. Unlike elementary school, where everything was fun and games, you no longer have teachers who makes sure everyone has a buddy to play with during recess, or a partner during activities. And it’s important to keep in mind that your elementary school friends are not obligated to continue as your highschool friends. In terms of academics, the support you need, motivation and time management is all hugely up to you.

Luckily, just as much as different, interests, morals and pursuits can separate people, they can bring people together. For me though, it wasn’t until the end of Grade 8 that I found my place in a group of amazing friends. (Who will remain my #squad for the next 4 years. :3)

Even now, this period of loneliness and lostness is probably one of the strongest I felt. But it was also from then on that I experienced the greatest growth in independence.

Thing #2: Grade 9

The people you surround yourself with will influence you as a person.

I guess I’m a hardworking student, but the people I surrounded myself with definitely influenced me. In this case, positively, as my group of friends were all very amazing, astute individuals. During my second year of highschool, I began to explore more of what was available- clubs, volunteer work, and a significant part of my motivation came from my friends.

Thing #3: Grade 10

Step outside of your comfort zone.

I met some interesting people this year. People I would’ve never imagined being compatible with, due to our differing hobbies and interests. Even though I mentioned that people you’re surrounded by will influence you as a person, it doesn’t mean that you have to drastically change yourself to be friends with people that are different. And up till this day I have never played League of Legends. 😛
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I think it all starts with going outside of your comfort zone and talking to new people. Just because we do dissimilar things and have different priorities doesn’t mean we can’t get along and be companions.

Thing #4: Grade 11

Studying is important, but not the most important.

We are quickly approaching the most stressful times of our highschool careers. Some may argue that Grade 12 is the most hectic, but for me, that was Grade 11. I took a full schedule of academics, including a couple of pretty loaded honours and advanced placement courses, and I didn’t find the right balance.

I talked about the plateau of studying I reached earlier in my post about uni here, but long story short, I prioritized my academics over nearly everything. This resulted in very little, if any, leisure time with my personal hobbies and with my friends and family. I obtained decent grades, in fact, the best I’ve ever achieved, but the numbers and letters on my report card didn’t give me any substantial satisfaction. Towards the end of Grade 11 was when I relaxed a little and began taking time off to do things I enjoyed. Yes, work hard to achieve your goals, but don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Thing #5: Grade 12

People will change.

I was already warned that Grade 12 would be the year of the most radical changes, but I couldn’t decipher the degree until I witnessed these changes first-handedly.

Grade 12 was overwhelming indeed, or as some may call it, “dramatic”. Personally, it was the year when I endured the most pain and heartbreak thus far. And for sure, it took immense amount of strength to stand back up. People will inevitably change, there’s nothing you can do about it.

It takes two people to maintain any interpersonal relationship. No matter how hard one person tries, it won’t sustain unless the efforts are mutual. As the time of transition approaches, the clearer you will see who will stay and who will head off in their separate ways. I think the best that anyone can do in a drifting friendship is to acknowledge the moments, however fleeting, that was once shared, and wish each other the best.

Thing #6:

Many things are beyond our own control.

I’m sure we’ve all been told to be yourself, and disregard what others think. But like most things, it’s easier said than done.

I think I’m only beginning to understand that there will always be people who criticize and condemn you, regardless of what you do. Not every inch of effort will pay off, and not every good intention will be recognized and appreciated. It was difficult to fathom, but as long as what you do makes you happy and do no harm to others, the judgment and hostility of a few is insignificant.

When I stopped trying to dictate my life and left all my worries and uncertainty in the hands of God, I received true liberation. In my belief, I am not the one in control; He is. The disagreeing people and circumstances I encounter are all within His plan to build and strengthen me as a person.

Thing #7: In Conclusion..

Cherish every moment

because you don’t know when it’ll turn into a memory in the past.

The past 5 years was a full ride of up and downs but it time really flew by swift as the wind. Of all things I’ve learned in my years of highschool, my biggest takeaway is gratitude.. for every experience and person who comes by.


I’m gonna be honest and admit that I didn’t have the smoothest journey, but that’s what life’s all about right?

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Thank you all for the precious memories, if not, valuable lessons. I hope that as we continue on our own paths, we will always remember the times we once spent together.

Happy Grad, Class of 2k16!

<3, Rae

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4 thoughts on “Rae Graduates: 7 Things I Learned in High School

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