I’ll just say it bluntly: starting high school can be a rough transition for many kids. It’s a time of major change academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. Things are starting to get more serious at school and many kids struggle to figure out how to rise to the occasion. But with some preparation, a smooth transition is possible!

I asked 9 high school students to give me the one piece of advice they wish they had known when they were starting high school. Today, I’m sharing their wisdom.

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“One thing I wish I would have known is that you need to be able to find a balance between school and life. Work hard at the beginning of the year to set up a system that works for you and keep to it, so you are not procrastinating and overly stressing out. This will also give you time to actually experience your four years of high school, not just the school work.” – Ansley

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“High school should be fun. Try to enjoy as much of every day as you can.” – Chris

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“You will find your people.” – Victoria

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“Getting into a good college is very competitive, and I wish I knew to start building my resume from day 1.” – Nick

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“It’s okay to be wrong about everything – high school is one of the best times to change so don’t be afraid when change is happening. Adapt to it, and life will be a billion times easier.” – Jordan

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“You don’t have to only stick with your friends from middle school — don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and express your interests and hobbies. You’ll find new friends, and others will find you.” – Carson

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“I wish I knew to enjoy myself more. Because I was pretty quiet and didn’t socialize often, I didn’t attend many parties or gatherings. Most of my days consisted of getting home and worrying about homework. I would suggest making sure you take school seriously, but also allow time to enjoy yourself. Don’t overwork or stress yourself out too hard; make high school an enjoyable experience!” – Gabe

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“Having some sort or agenda or planner is the key to time management, which frankly, I believe is the only way I managed to find success in high school. By organizing my time, I was able to make time for free time!” – Julian

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“Don’t be afraid to seek out new opportunities in high school. Go for it!” – Grace

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“I wish someone would have told me that if I see a problem in my community, I have the ability to educate myself on it and take steps to fix it. For example, it always bothered me so much that my small town didn’t recycle. I never realized that I could have done some research into the cost of getting recycling services at our schools and made a proposal to the school board. It never occurred to me that I had the power to fight for things I believe in.” -Sarah

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