Although you couldn’t celebrate the way you wanted to, you have finished that part of your life. If you think you missed out on so many milestones as you went through this precious time in your life in a time so unique such as the pandemic, then you’re wrong.
If anything, you are more than awesome for having been through what all other generations haven’t. Online classes that are tough to concentrate on, being apart from your friends for such a long time, and being faced with a crippling uncertainty of the future, which is what you’re urged to plan as early as now, it’s all too overwhelming, but you weathered through the storm anyway.
At this point, you’ll make better sense of the notion that your success is not measured by your GPA but by how you manage opportunities that come your way. Regardless of how well you performed in class, there’s no doubt your high school experience helped you lead a more responsible life ahead.
Owning up to your choices, for instance, whether you’re dead-set on working part-time jobs to attend an affordable college or earning a GED, is one, but there are more values high school inculcated in you than you realize. Perhaps, too, there is no better time to assess how well you’re faring in terms of these life skills than now:
High school and academic life, in general, set you up for a life chasing deadline after deadline, and you only ever made it through because you complied, no matter how hard the assignments were. And when you thought it’s going to end when you graduate, life shoves you more — paying bills and taxes and projects at work. So then, you learn to give more weight to the saying “Time is gold.”
Time is a non-renewable resource that people have to use wisely rather than recklessly. So you learn to follow a daily routine, time to wake up, to shower, to eat, to commute, to work, to shop, to socialize, to perform your hobbies, and to rest. Along with this, you develop a growth mindset, keeping in mind you can only get better at one thing if you perform it consistently. With this, you dedicate time to activities you’re passionate about or interested in to make you a well-rounded person.
You were a teen approaching adulthood who, although you still had mistakes to learn from and a big room for improvement, learned to better tend to your personal needs and present your best self to the world. This sense of self-care goes beyond grooming and dressing but also keeping your spiritual well-being in check.
You learned to believe in yourself despite the pressure to meet standards and impress others. When things got too overwhelming, you realized when to push yourself more or take a step back and recollect yourself for your own sake. And, although it could still be a struggle at times, you learned to set boundaries and not overextend yourself, especially when you already got your hands full. But, of course, it takes time to become fully self-aware, and until then, “It’s not the situation, but how you react.” could only mean so much more.
High school taught you to lead at some point, whether it’s a group project, the student council, or your varsity team. You learned that you don’t always need the title to lead, but it’s an innate concern to drive a group’s effort toward one goal. Leadership could go as wide and as deep as from being a law-abiding citizen that young ones can look up to, or simply being your friend or family’s source of practical advice, to being involved in social causes like developing a sustainable economical use of recycled plastic.
As early as high school, you were also able to hone your skill in facilitating effective communication among your peers, maximizing productivity, and minimizing conflict. You also became an effective communicator that strives to understand and not merely to listen. This aspect of professionalism is especially crucial to prepare you for the corporate world.
As they say, people are given the same amount of time to become better versions of themselves. In this case, that is a certain number of years in high school, and the same life lessons are presented. But how they use this opportunity is what will set them apart in the long run. It will only get more challenging from here, but there are good things ahead if you stick to these values.