Goodbye, 9th grade — 3 Things I’ve Learnt This Year

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

You can be successful without killing yourself.

This, I think, has been the biggest lesson I’ve learnt this year. I have learnt that you can do everything you want to (and soo much more) without having to sacrifice your self-worth or self-love. Just because you have a goal in mind, it shouldn’t mean that your existence must depend on its completion, no matter how basic or ambitious it might be.

Being a bit of an autodidact, I do happen to be hypercritical of how I use my time while studying or learning anything. I turn even the dumbest things into “work” because giving my tasks that label seemed to make it easier to handle. But somehow, draining emotion out of my tasks seemed to drain the fun out as well.

Somewhere during this year of high school, I realized that doing this leaves me dissatisfied and exhausted, and so I chose to stop it.

What you do doesn’t matter as much as who you do it with.

This is actually a direct steal of a quote by John Green, but tbh I had no other way of saying this except, maybe, “Don’t ditch your friends just because they don’t do the same things as you do.” Something like that, I guess.

I’ve talked about before, but it still seems like an alien thought to an introvert like me. I grudgingly admit, however, that it is true. It really doesn’t matter what you do, if you don’t do it in a way that lifts you up. and 99 per cent of the time, it’s people who lift other people up. Not circumstance, not the beautiful trees out the window (although those definitely help). And you might be saying, “I lift myself up.” Dude, you’re a person, too.

There’s a quote by Kurt Vonnegut that I want to share.


“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

Kurt Vonnegut

This sums up everything I want to say. You have friends, and most probably, you have a lot of them. Go talk to them! Find out what keeps them awake at night. Talk. Just CONNECT. Make memories. They don’t need to be good, or comfortable, or everything you dreamed for. You just need to make them.

Love is a kind of magic.

No, I’m not directly addressing the romantic kind with that statement cause if I did, I’d be dead. Instead, I’d like to focus on the more one-sided love you might feel, usually with respect to your passions and dreams.

For a long time, I felt that to love an idea meant to completely devote yourself to its cause and leaving no scope for that idea to slip out of your reach. I felt this a lot with respect to the two things that matter to more than school: writing and music. Over the last year, I’ve gotten myself more and more into the world of the arts, but there used to be a nagging feeling whenever I took a break from life to listen to my favourite song or relax and write without any restrictions. Something felt inherently wrong about the fact that I was taking so much time to do the things that I cherished. Self-love seemed to be a concept of indulgent behaviour, rather than normal behaviour.

And I know that it’s clear when I say it like this, but at some times, I used to feel guilty for loving something so much.

I’ve changed.

Thanks to some undiscovered (i still looking for it tho) shift in behaviour, I don’t feel that way anymore. I’ve listened to the people that I idolize from all fields of success, and all of them practically preach the idea of loving your passions like your love knows no bounds. Sure, you should definitely love in moderation, but I have learnt to not love with guilt in my heart.

Cheers,

Udita.

A Guide to Surviving Freshman Year of High School

-From a high school freshman.

You’re not running a Fortune 500 company.

So stop acting like you have the world’s weight on your shoulders. These 4 years of high school do look extremely daunting. I feel it. And I’ve been in 9th grade for a week. But trust me: don’t stress. We’re gonna get through it unscathed. But:

These 4 years are gonna matter a lot.

So spend every waking, breathing moment either working hard, feeling great or being nice to others. These should be your top three priorities. Get in your best hustle game. Make the best and closest friends who lift your spirits up. Smile!

Notes.

Words simply cannot describe how important taking good notes are. Organized, neat and simple notes will become your best friends in these 4 years. So treat them write. Here are links to up your note-taking game:

Rihanna:*work, work, work, work, work, work*

Work ethic is gonna become key if you want to ace every one of your tests. It’s also very subjective. So experiment with different methods of studying, different locations, and create a timetable that lets you slay all your work and also leaves you energy to do other things. And do this in the first week of your new year. Once you come up with a plan, commit to it.

Do more than just textbook studies.

I know. Don’t virtually curse me. I know there’s also a truckload of stuff to do in our textbooks. But for the sake of your individuality, please don’t restrict yourself to the information in your textbooks. The world is bigger than your wildest imagination of it. Don’t live in a bubble. Expose yourself to as many new, wild, crazy, truly innovative things as possible. Google absolutely everything you see. Learn to play a musical instrument. Learn Calculus, Laws of Thermodynamics, Coding, World History or a new language. Experiment with your strengths and weaknesses. But please, don’t close yourself in a bubble of fear and call it comfort.

You are going to do absolutely amazing in your first year of high school. For sure. Trust me.

I just got in.

High school is neither a democracy nor a dictatorship – nor, contrary to popular belief, an anarchic state. High school is a divine-right monarchy.
― John Green, Paper Towns

P.S. What’s your best advice for high school? Leave your advice in the comments. They might just help me out:)