New school rules

Published on: 13 September 2017 Author: Marawa Ibrahim

HIGH SCHOOOOOOL! WOW. Are you ready? This is one big life step – and although 6 years might seem like an eternity right now – trust me it is going to FLY BY! Here are some top tips for making the most of your high school time.

Marawa Ibrahim portrait

Break your shoes in

If you get new school shoes at the start of year 7 – or at any point, try to get a head start on softening them up – I used to walk to school and new shoes were my biggest fear as blisters would leave me hobbling along the streets morning and night carrying a huuuuge bag full of books – no good! Try and get a few sessions of breaking them in under your belt before your commit to a whole day - or have some band aids at the ready.

Friends for life

It’s funny how friendships grow and change when you are in high school – if someone had told me in year 7 that by year 12 I would be best friends with someone I currently didn’t talk to at all I would have said NO WAY! IMPOSSIBLE! Sometimes you don’t realize that the person sitting next to you is into something that you like just because that conversation has not come up yet. You could go on a school camping trip and spend three nights in a tent with someone that you thought you would not like and they end up being your best buddy and also an expert at making a tent (a very useful skill for making friends at camp) Either way, these are people that you may in some way know for the rest of your life! Take lots of pictures. You will be amazed at how much you have changed year to year, even term to term. And then you will be able to look back 20 years later and say - we were SO YOUNG!

Stand your ground

If someone tries to make you feel like the music/food/person/clothes you like are not cool don’t be quick to abandon your opinion. You shouldn’t have to change your style to suit someone else or for them to want to be friends with you. If people choose to judge you like that, that’s their problem. I was into some really great bands in high school that no one else liked except for one friend. We would make playlists of all of our favourite songs and share them. I didn’t care that no one else liked them – and if they tried to make fun of my music, I just shrugged it off, their loss! After high school I found so many people that liked the same music as me and that led to lots of new friendships all over again.

Each to their own

Likewise it’s very easy to give someone a hard time when they are into something that you think is stupid, and bullying can go from 0-100 at high school as its often easier to agree over a mutual dislike of something than like of something. Judging someone over what they are into is not cool – or fair – ok, maybe they love wearing platform sneakers that you think are the UGLIEST thing you have ever seen, but that doesn’t mean you have to point and be mean about it. Maybe they don’t like your very chic slides anyway! Teenage years are full of experimentation and I CRIIINGE when I think about some of the outfit choices I made and defiantly stuck to for years. I used to wear my hair in giant afro puffs and wear a baby blue singlet and HUUGE oversized trousers and fluoro bracelets all up my arms – at the time I thought I was EVERYTHING. Eeeep.. but you know, your teenage years are a great time to experiment. Be kind. Try to find the good in people rather than pointing out the bad.

Ride the wave

Feelings change, friends change, and something that felt so important one day might suddenly feel totally irrelevant the next – but don’t be too hard on yourself – so much happens in high school. It can sometimes be a really lonely time, where you feel like no one cares about you or understands you. That feeling will usually pass and you will get back to feeling like yourself soon enough. If you find yourself feeling really unhappy for a while it’s always good to talk to someone you trust, a friend, adult or teacher and let them know you are not having an easy time. Writing in a journal or talking to someone will often help make the issues feel less overwhelming.

Small fish, big fish

One of my favourite teachers used to tell this story about how when you start high school you are a small fish in a big pond and then before you know it you are a big fish in a little pond – ready for the ocean. It’s so true, and the time between goes so fast. But that didn’t stop me being insanely nervous. Having to make new friends, starting from scratch again. But take your time, take a deep breath and go for it! High school is a MAGIC time. A great time for dreaming huge, big, seemingly impossible dreams that you really can achieve if you set your mind to it. The world is yours. HAVE FUN OUT THERE!

More from Marawa's book The Girl Guide

Marawa aged 10 and today
An extract from Marawa's book The Girl Guide
An extract from Marawa's book The Girl Guide
An extract from Marawa's book The Girl Guide
A quote from Marawa's book The Girl Guide
A quote from Marawa's book The Girl Guide
Marawa aged 10 and today

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An extract from Marawa's book The Girl Guide

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An extract from Marawa's book The Girl Guide

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An extract from Marawa's book The Girl Guide

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A quote from Marawa's book The Girl Guide

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A quote from Marawa's book The Girl Guide

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Topics: 9-12 years, 12+, School

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