What I Wish I’d Done Differently in High School

New school year, new you!

For many, the beginning of the school year is an opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a chance to meet new people, get involved in new groups and get a better grip on your future. To help you make the most of this school year, we connected with six Florida high school graduates to find out what they wish they had done differently in high school.

Here are their biggest regrets.

I wish I’d gotten involved sooner.

My biggest regret is not getting involved sooner in sports and extracurricular activities. Once I joined groups like the Spanish Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America and other academic clubs, I started meeting more people and making new friends.

Milo Tamayo

19, freshman at Yale University

Kahisa Saint Louis

23, junior at Keiser University

I wish I’d earned my AA.

I wish I would have taken more dual enrollment classes so I could have earned my associate degree in high school. If I had, I would have already completed my bachelor’s degree by now and be working on my master’s. It would have saved me time and money.

I feel like I held myself back.

I didn’t apply to the colleges I wanted to attend because I didn’t think they would accept me. But there’s this quote, “Nothing beats a failure but a try,” and it’s so true.

Aleeyah Fletcher

23, 2017 graduate of Broward College

Charles Martin

25, senior at
Florida International University

I didn’t realize the importance of time management.

In high school I was really involved in the debate team. The experience made me a great candidate for several communications-related scholarships. But I didn’t apply for any; I was too busy hanging out with my friends and family. I really regret that now. It would have taken just an hour or so a week to have applied for those scholarships. I didn’t realize the importance of time management until my first year in college, when my grades started dropping because I didn’t know how to balance everything that was going on in my life. I realize now there’s time for everything: studying, applying to scholarships, hanging out with friends, etc. It’s just a matter of making that time.

I wish I’d been myself.

I always hung out with the popular crowd; I wanted to be cool like them, and I wanted them to like me. I wish I would have been myself more, rather than trying to fit a mold I thought someone else wanted me to be. Once I did start branching out in my senior year, I met someone who would eventually become my best friend.

Josie Casillas

22, senior
at Florida SouthWestern State College

Dale Prater

19, junior at
Golf Academy of America in Orlando

I wish I’d studied harder.

I feel like it would have better prepared me for college. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked on my first few tests in college and realized I needed to change my habits. Now I study with small groups, I find working with people helps me focus better. I also make sure I’m not too relaxed when I study. If I’m lying on my bed, I’m more likely to fall asleep than read my school books. I always study at my desk now.

New Year’s Resolutions

Who says you can only make resolutions once a year? The following tips will help you graduate with no regrets.

Talk to your school counselors and teachers about all the options available to you. They can help you get involved in the programs and activities that will set you up for success after high school.

Try new things. Sit in on a meeting of a group that interests you. Switch up where you study or how you manage your schedule to see if another method works better.

Talk to someone new each week; even a simple “hi” could open doors to a new friendship.

Believe in yourself! We know this sounds corny, but it’s true. And while you’re at it, never give up. Don’t let setbacks or negative people hold you back.