As I said in my last post, there were a lot of things I wish I would’ve done differently in high school. However, there were far more things I did right. I’m so grateful to high school Cameron for setting 20 year old Cameron up for a good life.
Hopefully you learned yesterday about some things you’ll want to avoid doing in high school. Today let’s talk about what I did right in high school, and gain even more knowledge about how you’ll want to structure your life as a high school student.
Be Physically Active
I was extremely physically active my entire high school career. I usually lifted weights 2-3 times per week, and juggled for several hours each day. Soccer was also a big part of my life for my first two years of high school. All of this resulted in me being in great shape my entire high school career.
The benefits of being physically active can’t be overstated. You’ll have increased energy, more positive emotions, and be perceived as more attractive by everyone. This is probably the most simple way to make your life better in high school.
Simply hit the weights a few times a week. Focus mostly on weights if you’re an ectomorph (naturally skinny) like me. Weekly cardio can be beneficial too, especially if you have a heavier natural body type. Naturally bulky guys can even add several sessions of cardio in each week if they want.
Generally speaking, the more you exercise the better. I get that overtraining is possible. One summer I practiced juggling 5-6 hours per day in addition to being in the weight room 3-4 days a week. That was probably too much. Most people will never reach anywhere close to overtraining though.
Just try to get 30-60 minutes of exercise per day in. You’re doing great if you can get 5-10 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week. Bonus points if you get that exercise as part of a sports team because being part of a sports time will help you make more friends.
It’ll also let you ride on the bus to away games, and get into fun shenanigans with your friends. Some of my best memories of high school were traveling to away games. The days we’d have too many people on the bus and those poor JV kids would have to sit three guys to a seat.
The awkward times someone would try to change clothes on the bus. The naps we’d take on long bus rides. The time a guy had to go to the bathroom so bad he peed in a Gatorade bottle on the bus. Hahaha, I wonder where you are these days Tony…
Utilize Down Time In School
When you’re in an easy class and the teacher is ranting about stuff you already know… Get homework from another class and start working on it. If the teacher puts in a movie without giving you a worksheet, consider doing homework or studying for other classes.
If you’re working in a classroom with computers, try to finish your projects early. Once you’ve completed all your projects for that class get to work on another class.
If there’s no homework or material you need to be reviewing, don’t use that as an excuse to watch cat videos. Instead, get on Duolingo and start learning a language. Or, learn some basic computer programming on codecademy.
Always be working on something. You’ve got to hustle in high school to give yourself a chance for an awesome future. Don’t waste time on Facebook, or Angry Birds, or whatever you guys are playing in school now.
Be focused. The only time not to be working is when you’re laughing with your friends, or getting conversational experience with someone of the opposite sex.
If you suffer from social anxiety, or are socially awkward it’s a bit different. You can always work on your school work and personal projects at home. However, if you’re not getting invited to many social events you need to work on your social skills somewhere.
Sufferers of social anxiety can spend their down time in school practicing their conversational abilities with others. That may be the best use of your extra time in school. It often was for me when I was younger.
P.S. I took this no wasted time philosophy to the extreme. It was almost impossible to find me in the cafeteria my last couple years of high school. I would only go to lunch if I had one of my two or three best friends in my lunch period. If I didn’t have friends in my lunch that I’d have AMAZING laughs with, I simply didn’t waste my time going.
There’s a time for fun. However, sometimes socializing can be somewhat boring if it’s people you don’t click with. If that’s the case, just don’t go to lunch. I spent my second half of high school skipping lunch. Some days I’d sit in the library reading a book by Sam Walton or Eckhart Tolle.
Other days you’d see me juggling in the quiet hallways in the school. I technically wasn’t supposed to be skipping lunch. Occasionally teachers would tell me to go to lunch.
When they did, I’d just pretend I had been ignorant to the rules. Then, I’d go and continue juggling in another quiet corridor a hundred meters away. Just do whatever it takes to make the most of your time.
Do Work Study
My high school allowed me to earn credits by spending 1/2 the day working a job my senior year of high school. If your high school has a similar program, DO IT. You’ll stack some cash, gain experience interacting with people of different ages and backgrounds, and you’ll also have a lot less homework.
I worked at Dairy Queen and volunteered at my old elementary school during my senior year of high school. I learned a lot more about the world my senior year working and volunteering, than I did in Astronomy class.
Definitely take advantage of this program if your school has it.
Go to the Dances + Games
I was really nervous about going to the dances in high school. I’m so happy I went to them though. Homecoming was so much fun. Everyone will also talk about the dances all the time, and they’re going to think you’re weird if you don’t go to the dances. I’m not one for caring about what others think, but there’s a lot of reasons to go to these dances.
The dances are meant to be fun, you’ll have a chance to bond with your friends, get invitations to parties, and they’re a great opportunity to grind eeeeer… dance with girls.
On the same note, also go to the football games if they’re big at your school. I wouldn’t even watch the football games when I went. I’d just talk and hang out with people during them.
They’re a great place to meet people and catch up with friends. The best part about the football games is that they’re like giant parties that everyone gets invited to.
It doesn’t matter if you’re popular. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good athlete, you’re invited because it’s your school. It’s nice to have a fun social event every couple weeks that you don’t have to make any effort to organize.
Take Foreign Language Classes
I took a year of German plus every single Spanish class my school had available. Since graduating, the only skill I learned in school that’s been of any real value is my ability to speak Spanish. If language classes don’t interest you, take shop classes. Learning to fix your car, or build something from wood is of some practical value too.
Of course, you’ll need math and science classes if you’re planning to continue onwards to university. If we’re just talking real-world though, focus heavily on language and/or shop classes.
I was a little bit too extreme with my diet in high school as I noted in yesterday’s post. However, eating healthy at least 90% of the time is a great habit to get into. You’ll have more energy, feel better about yourself, and be more attractive to others. You’ll also have increased mental focus that’ll act as a multiplier for all of your other endeavors.
Say Yes + Try New Things
Do stuff. You’re young, now is the time to say yes. Don’t get into any drugs, or things that could damage your future, but try activities you haven’t tried before. Go to that new restaurant with your friends, go to the beach, try asking that girl out. Be bold. Be brave. Now is the time to screw up before you’ve got a lot more responsibility on your shoulders.
When I was in high school I became a bad ass juggler, learned conversational Spanish, and became an experienced blogger and Youtuber. Use every moment you have to build useful skills for your future. Your future self will thank you everyday.
Most of my best ideas weren’t my ideas. They’re simply ideas I borrowed or combined from other sources. Read about evolutionary psychology, read about finance, read about developing your relationships with women. Read books from great people, and apply the ideas in your own life.
Probably the best part of my high school experience was finishing a semester before everyone else. If you graduate school 90 days early and save 8 hours a day… Do you see the time savings? If you feel you’re not learning useful stuff in school, do what I did. Graduate early if humanely possible, and use that time to do something cool.
I explored a half dozen countries in Asia, did my first internship, lost my virginity, released a juggling course, got a new job in my hometown and more in the several months my peers were still in school. If you’re going to hustle, graduate early and take advantage of that extra time.
High school can be a lot of fun. I know sometimes I got down on myself in high school. You probably will too. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll do all kinds of Dipshit stuff. But enjoy it. High school is four years of your life. Make them count.
My life is a lot more enjoyable now than it was in high school, but it’s also more stressful. With control of your life comes responsibility. Enjoy having relatively little responsibility, and while you’re in high school give yourself a head start on the rest of your life like I did if you’re so inclined.
Most of all, appreciate high school. Every day is a moment of your life. Of course your situation probably isn’t ideal, but make the most of it. Have fun, create memories that’ll last you a lifetime, learn, and prepare yourself for whatever type of experiences you’d like to have after high school.