As a young person the years can feel unsettling and fast paced or they can seem to chug on and on like a steam train going around the same old mountain. The reality is, is that your teenage years are full of opportunity. Opportunity to discover the type of person that you want to be, the career(s) you want to one day pursue and most of all the newfound freedom to spend time with friends, get your driving license or even start a casual job.
However, youth years can also be tense with the pressure of circumstances that can sometimes be beyond your control. It’s during these times that it’s important to not let the momentary storms of life in the school hallways rock the boat. Remind yourself that high school is only a season that happens once in your life so treasure every moment, as it will be gone too soon.
Our Hillsong Youth Services team works hard to create a sense of community and friendship within your high school through our programs and services.
Below are a few practical tips our team has put together to help you find your feet on your first few weeks back!
1. Work hard. Play hard.
I know high school can be daunting, but having the right outlook and approach going back for a new term is important. You may only have a few years left of high school (EVER) so make the most of it. Use this time to actually prove to yourself you can complete an assignment that your teacher gives you. Work hard on it BUT reward yourself as well. Balance is key. Taking a break from study on a Saturday is okay (depending on work load, season, or grade). Give yourself time to breathe so that you’re rested and refreshed for what’s next.
2. Take a deep breath and remember to breathe.
Make every moment count, High School can be the best days of your life, if you let it be! It’s so easy to make a mountain out of a molehill as teenagers, by that I mean that not everything is as big of a deal as it feels. We need to learn to regulate our emotions in order to enjoy the big life that is in store for us. Be slow to speak, slow to become angry and quick to give an encouraging word. During exam times work hard, try your best but in the end take a deep breath and remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get perfect marks. Take personal satisfaction in the fact that you tried your best because in the end that’s all that matters.
3. You Can Sit with Us.
One of my favorite sayings is, “You Can Sit With Us”. Where the culture around you might be creating cliques, and definitions between the popular group and everyone else. Embrace the stranger. When you see someone sitting alone at lunchtime, choose to sit with him or her. Choose kindness over coolness and make it cool to be kind. You never know the gold you will find when you connect with new people because you choose to step out of your comfort zone and be the change you want to see in your world.
4. Count yourself in, not out – trial and error.
So easy to say but when it comes down to it, can be terrifying. A lot of the time we don’t let ourselves try for things because we’re so scared of failing, that we count ourselves out. Go for it, we are cheering you on. Try out for the netball team; audition for the school production; go hard studying for that test; make that new friend; try that elective even though all your friends are in another one; and why not start that lunchtime group! High school is the best place to try! So count yourself in, not out!
5. Learn to regulate your sleep patterns so you are not too tired.
Experts say that most high school students sleep between seven to seven and a half hours a night but really it would be best if they were to sleep for at least nine hours. If over the school holidays you were getting more like four hours of sleep, you probably should take the time to get a little more! No matter how good that Netflix series is that you have been watching nothing beats being able to have a real conversation the next day with your schoolmates. If you don’t get enough sleep your concentration levels become affected, and who knows you might miss out on a piece of information that your teacher says which could change the course of your year!
6. It is okay not to know.
To all the New Year 12 students out there! Everyone will be asking – “What are you going to do when you finish school, in 12 months?” “Do you know what you want to study at university?” It can seem overwhelming like you need to have everything figured out. It is okay not to know! Take a minute and remember to enjoy the journey of finding out what you love and what you are passionate about.
We hope what we have shared helps you and we are believing that 2017 is your year and our team is here to offer the support and friendship you need!
Big Love from Team HYS: Ashley, Dani, Kath, Nancy & Rob