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Is it too late to turn my high school career for the better?

sufferingstudentsufferingstudent Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Hi, I'm currently a sophomore in high school and I'm worried that I'm not well-rounded or prepared enough for college. I feel like I'm just wasting all my time not volunteering or helping out my local community, especially on the weekends when I have time. I'm only really involved in a small creative writing club at school with my friends and the only significant extracurriculars that I do are cross country and track, which I've been doing since last year. I get good grades (I have, like a 3.95 GPA?) and I'm in some honors/AP classes, but I tend to procrastinate a lot gaming on my phone or scrolling through social media and I waste a lot of my already limited time that could have gone to doing homework or at least something that would round me out better as a student.

Is it too late to change my current lifestyle and habits to better my high school career? Am I not well-rounded enough for college with what I'm doing? My counselor says I have a really strong academic record already with the classes I've been taking and the grades I've been getting in them. However, I feel like I've just been wasting away a lot of my life and going through the motions not really doing anything. I do genuinely being able to run cross country and track, but I feel like in a lot of my academic classes I'm just doing the bare minimum when I know I can do a lot better. I want to be able to do something fun and be in more clubs/societies or school activities that I think I'll enjoy like a lot of the smart, talented kids I know so I can get accepted into the universities I'm thinking about going to. But I'm worried that starting to do some activities that I'm interested in doing during junior year -- which will surely be the most difficult year of high school for me, as I'll be taking 4 APs -- will not look good on my college application because I started doing this kind of stuff late and will cause me extra stress on top of what I already have. I feel so guilty for just having wasted nearly half of my high school years not really living the prime of my life.

Replies to: Is it too late to turn my high school career for the better?

  • needtosucceed27needtosucceed27 Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    Hey there! You sound a lot like me.

    If you feel like you're procrastinating and wasting time, then stop doing the things that distract you. If you use Google Chrome, download the extension StayFocusd which basically blocks certain websites after you go on them for x number of minutes. It's really useful and prevents me from mindlessly going on websites when I'm bored and wasting time on them.

    Social media is designed to be addictive, so don't feel bad if you feel addicted to social media. I personally only use Facebook and Instagram. Facebook isn't really addictive to me because I don't really know how to use it (LOL), but Instagram can be kinda addictive sometimes. To curb this, try going on IG just once a day, or just delete all social media apps and go on a cleanse for a couple of days.

    It's literally never too late to change your current lifestyles or habits to improve yourself.

    I entered sophomore year thinking that I was going to achieve a lot of things, like make the state math team, qualify for state in a competition, go to FBLA nationals, etc... but NONE of those things happened. Devastating? Definitely. I felt like failure since I didn't achieve anything that I wanted to.

    The end of school is coming up! Use summer to build good habits and improve yourself. Learn new things and take on new hobbies. Summer is a really great time to do everything that you weren't able to do during school. It's also a really good time to grow and develop and change.

    I didn't succeed a lot this year, but I plan on using my summer as efficiently as possible. I'm doing a lot of things (maybe too much?) but I would SO much rather burn out during the summer doing and learning fun things instead of being buried under schoolwork during the school year. I'm going two summer programs, interning at two organizations, starting an online business, starting to work out, learning web/iOS development, coding two websites, deep cleaning my room, throwing out things I don't need anymore, and selling clothes that I don't wear anymore. I also plan to get rid of mindless habits, like Youtube, Quora, College Confidential, IG, Facebook, etc. and focus on MYSELF. I'm going to start listening to podcasts and maybe read a few books if I have time (I literally have not read books outside of school for 3+ years). I'm gonna try to become a happier and more positive person and not be dragged down with comparisons on social media and the toxic atmosphere that high school sometimes has.

    Idk, I'm just feeling really hopeful and ambitious with summer coming up. Summer is really really precious, especially with junior year coming up. I mean, this is going to be the last extended period of freedom you'll have in a LONG time. Junior year is hella stressful and I bet you'll barely have any time to sleep.

    You said you wanted to be in more clubs and activities. Make sure that you do them because you LIKE them, not because other smart kids are doing them. I'm in 4-5ish clubs at school and I'm in them because I actually like them and I like competing and I like learning from other people in those clubs, not because I think that they will add to my college application or anything.

    And you're right with starting activites in junior year being sorta late. Honestly, you're pretty late. But it's so much better to start junior year instead of starting NEVER right? Yea, it'll cause you a lot of stress, but if you use your summer wisely and develop good time management habits and stop spending time on useless things like social media, then it will be manageable. I got involved with 3 clubs during freshman year, and 1 more this year, and will start Robotics Team during my junior year. So yea, I'm a bit late, but it's better than never.

    I feel ya. I feel really incompetent too, especially when I see seniors at my school going to uChicago and UC Berkeley and other really good schools. It really makes me anxious because I don't know if I have what it takes to get into a good school.

    Freshman year and sophomore year were both incredibly crappy, but I really hope to improve this summer. Colleges will see the upward trend, too, and that'll help.

    Also remember to prioritize yourself over activities and academics. Like don't deprive yourself of sleep too much next year. I was going to take 5 APs because I thought 4 APs wasn't enough, but then I realized that I probably couldn't balance 5 APs and 4 clubs and outside-of-school projects. AND ACT prep (yikes) and SAT II prep (double yikes).

    I just wrote an essay for this answer. Sorry that it's so long. It's just that I really saw myself in you, and I know how it sucks so much to have two years go down the drain.

    Anyways, I hope this answer helped. Message me if you want.

    Idk if you'll respond to this but I hope u have a successful junior year!!!
  • chanoo2003chanoo2003 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    I give that essay a 100 lol. I agree with the above that you should at least start doing ECs, because something is always better than nothing!
  • HowardGradlyHowardGradly Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Consider: self-compassion
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