10 Reasons Why You Should Push Yourself in High School

When I suggested this post to my 17-year-old cousin, her immediate response was "Wow. But I'm already exerted!"...and that's actually a good thing. Here's why.

1. Resume building.
In the co-curricular sense, I mean. Don't get me wrong though; this is doesn't mean you have an excuse to spend every waking moment in school in the football field. What I am trying to say is involve yourself in competitions, join a few clubs, participate in a few things. Because you'll only be wearing that uniform for five years, and you need to make it count. This will help you significantly as your activities will portray the kind of person you are, your strengths, your weaknesses and everything else in between.

2. It builds character!
There's a saying by Albert Einstein that goes, "The only source of knowledge is experience." And that is true! It is a widely acknowledged fact that you gain wisdom as you age, and that is mainly attributed by experience. By pushing yourself, you gain personality, you build character as person. Whether its leadership skills, or social skills, or time management skills, there is much to be gained as a person.

3. It pushes you to try harder.
Enthusiasm should exist not only outside the classroom, but inside as well. How many times have you panicked as exam dates drew near? Oh come on, you know what I'm talking about: burning the midnight oil, textbooks upon textbooks...and so. much. coffee. How many times have you pledged to do better next time, only to have the exact same thing happen again? We all know what it takes: a little more planning, a little more discipline, a little more hard work. There's only one way to fill up that brain, and it's time to get down and get busy studying. Exerting doesn't mean exhausting yourself to the breaking point--no. It's about trying to do better than what you already are. It's about self-reflection. Improvement is--and will never be--a bad thing.

4. The experiences are worthwhile.
I didn't particularly enjoy taking part in school activities. However, during my senior year, I decided to go full-out and make the most of the time I had left...and made some serious memories. During camp, we would huddle up and eat cup noodles together. We got to watch the sunrise from the top floor of our school. I walked to tuition with my friends on a rainy day without my shoes on. We even planked in the middle of the road. Okay, so I didn't do the last one (but my friends did! And please don't do that, it's dangerous) but I have to say that they are the things I remember most about my time there. Not the school work. Not the food. Not the stress and everything else in between. And all this would not have happened if I didn't involve myself. Truth is, everything in life is temporary, but memories last forever...

5. You make friends along the way.
...and those memories would not have been as awesome without friends. Say what you will, but one cannot deny that we need a little companionship every once in a while. A shoulder to cry on. A pillar to push you forward. We all need a friend. Sometimes, out of our own shyness, we are afraid to approach people. But by involving yourself more, you're bound to meet some people along the way. And who knows? You might end up becoming lifelong friends.

6. It teaches you to be organized.
So much to do, so little time. Sigh. It's tike to break out the planner. Let's be real: a lot of tasks could have been done and completed easily. Instead, you chose to go on a TV series marathon. You decided to paint your nails. And don't even get me started on DOTA. Time is of the essence, guys! Let's not waste it and instead redirect your energies for some productivity. So much to do, but there will always be plenty to time to do everything. I'll be honest, it's something that I'm still learning to do myself. But until you take the first step to change, that paper is not gonna write itself.

7. You will go the distance if you try.
A lot of times, we often undersell ourselves. Because we don't have the confidence. Because we doubt ourselves. If you never try, then when will you ever know? We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses. But you'll never know which is which until you've given them all a trial run. It's time to be fearless, people. Because you will never have the excuse of being young to make mistakes and embarrass yourself.

8. It teaches you to be a leader.
Responsibility. That's what it all comes down to. We are all more than happy to slack off and let somebody else take the reins, but it's always good to try new things, and taking on some responsibilities is definitely one of them. You literally grow as a person, because suddenly you're in charge of everybody else, and that means taking initiative and making decisions, one of which would be crucial ones. Sure, there's the added stress, but you will graduate high school with the ability of being able to take charge--and that is definitely something that is gonna make you stand out.

9. You learn diplomacy.
You can't please everyone, and that is a very real fact. We'll aim to make as many friends while we're at it, but there's bound to be mistakes along the way. One of the most important skills you'll learn in life is the ability to apologise. And to admit when you're wrong. Or, maybe you are right, and you want to make it known. You'll learn how to resolve conflicts, how to choose your words carefully, because even the slightest slip up can cause a war. Diplomacy is a skill that is honed; it's not something that we're born with. It is also something that you learn only if you are in a position to make significant changes, but it's something that you'll put to practice while being a leader.

10. You learn your true strengths.
One mistake we often make is trying to do too much. Join the netball team! Debate? Sure! Coordinate the annual prefects camp, why not? Participate in choral speaking! Paint a mural! Yes, it does look good on your resume, you will still gain a ton of experience. However, don't be a co-curricular hoarder. By pushing yourself to do more, you will come to realize some of it is kinda redundant, and that's when you realize that there are some things you do better than others. It's really not about being competitive; you cannot expect yourself to do anything (although there will be some people who will try, and succeed while staying classy) but at the end of the day, we're only human. We all have talents and once you realize what yours is, you can focus more on becoming the 'You' you wanna be.

This list is about how you should push yourself to do better in high school, but the act of self-improvement is not exclusive to only that. It is something that we should put to practice throughout our lives, because to be better is something that we should strive to do. In all aspects.
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