Coping with High School
September 26, 2021
Alexandra Dadivas (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
Adults often say that your years in high school are going to be the best years of your life. While in the end that might be true, it doesn’t mean that your whole time there will be full of sunshine and rainbows. Let’s be real – high school is hard. The constant juggling between maintaining your grades, keeping up with your social life and taking care of your mental health is bound to be straining for anyone experiencing it. As a person who is going through secondary school myself, I also had to learn the hard way of accepting the adventure and the struggles that come with it.
Growing up, we are always told of the importance of education. How it will take us far in life, should we succeed. But succeeding in high school is much easier said than done. Unlike elementary, secondary school is a place where you have to take care of yourself. Your teachers are not going to constantly check on you to see if you’re following along, there will be no designated studying times and you cannot simply disregard a class, for there will be consequences both then and in the long run. If, or rather, when, you find yourself in a subject where you are struggling to keep up with the relentless pace, it is your job to consult your teacher about it. If you have a big test coming up, it’s up to you to take the initiative and to make time to study for it efficiently. You must train yourself to focus in every single class, despite how uninteresting they may be. If you want to maintain your grades, you are the one who has to take the necessary actions to do that, because no one else will do it for you. The process of it may seem cruel and draining at first, but your accomplishments later on are going to feel so much sweeter, knowing that you achieved them all by yourself.
High school is where you will live out most of your teenage years. Me being a teenager, I can easily say that having a social life is one of the top priorities on a teen’s mind. We want to have fun, to make friends and explore the world with them. With its demanding schedule, school can definitely get in the way of that. Spending eight hours a day inside a cramped building and then spending the rest of your time vigorously studying leaves little wiggle room for you to do the things you want to do – the things you saw teenagers doing in movies. You may not be able to go to the beach or go shopping or go for midnight drives with your friends as much as you’d like, but it is not impossible to make lifelong friendships in just the simple setting of a classroom. While bonding over the difficulties of trigonometry may not seem ideal, it is those random surprise connections that make each class worthwhile.
High school is known for its mental strain. Every year, we are pushed to a breaking point. Grades drop, relationships are broken and we lose pieces of ourselves. Life comes at us wave after wave and we try so hard to stay afloat, but we just cannot seem to take a breath. It is terrifying. Unfortunately, this is an issue where even I could use some guidance, so I will only speak from experience and of what has helped me in the past. My advice is to find a tether. Find something that you can always rely on to bring you back. Find something that will keep you grounded, even when it feels like you have lost your footing. For me, my tether was reading. When reality became too much for me, I would escape into the worlds given to me through literature, and it would clear my head. Your tether does not have to be limited to a hobby like mine, though. It can be a person. These days, mental health is something that is much more openly discussed. Talk to someone. Someone you fully trust, because in all this mess of variables, you deserve a person who presents themselves as a constant. Be it a best friend or a parent, pick someone who will give you the warmth of their hugs and both of their shoulders to cry on. Your mind has been through many things, and you owe it to yourself to take care of it.
High school is a scary place. It is a maze that twists and turns and pulls the ground out from under you at any given time. It changes you, but you need to know that that is okay. You are supposed to change. You are supposed to make mistakes. You are supposed to shed your skin and grow into the person that you have been working so hard to become. You may not have taken the paths that you thought you were going to take, but you are still on a path. Granted, it is a wild one, but I have learned to embrace every second of it, and I hope you do too.
Hi! My name is Alexandra Dadivas and I’m going into Grade 11 with the goal of being in healthcare sciences. Avid reader of young adult fiction!
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