I have two half siblings, one in middle school and one in high school. While school now is so much different than when I was in there is some advice that transcends that. With the new school year in full swing I thought I would share some big sisterly advice.
1) Respect yourself and respect others for being true to themselves.
Don't let others disrespect you or your friends, and equally as important don't disrespect others.
If a friend makes fun of someone for having a disability or their sexual orientation or whatever it may be, fight the urge to be agreeable and laugh with them, stand up for yourself and others and let them know that they don't have to like that person, but picking on them for differences is not okay.
If you feel compelled to make fun of someone else for whatever reason, take the time to think why you're making fun of them. Are they different? Why are they so different?
Wouldn't you accomplish so much more if instead of making fun of someone if you went up to them and introduced yourself? Ask them about themselves? Learn about them because you might just find something way more under their surface.
Two of my favorite phrases for any situations like these are: "You can't control others actions, you can only control your own actions" and "Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".
2) Find friends who bring out your best qualities.
Really try to get a good group of friends that bring out your best you. Don't just hang out with someone because they're "cool", hang out with them because they make you laugh or are a great friend and are loyal.
Find friends who are actually friends and not friends who will blow you off or make fun of you because those are not qualities of a friend.
Don't let friends treat you any less than you deserve to be treated.
3) Find your style and rock it no matter what.
When I was in middle and high school I went through so many style changes to find my own. I wore typical 90's kid fashions (oh the spandex and graphic tees), went punk/goth (skulls, multi-colored hair, chains, and huge pants galore!), then to hippy (flowing skirts and long hair). In college I experimented more with my look and even today I am constantly trying new things.
Sure I would get made fun of (particularly in my punk days), but I loved how I looked and my friends accepted me so I didn't bother with what people would say and I don't to this day.
4) Be extremely aware of what you post online or send through tech; it really will never go away!
Seriously, that's not just something people say to scare you it's true.
So before you say something mean or send that suggestive picture to a crush, really truly think if what you are doing is a good idea.
5) Go out on a limb.
Sit next to the person who never has anyone sitting next to them, join a club just because you're curious, try a sport you've never done before, talk to that person you think is cute, etc! The list goes on and on! Try everything and anything. Put yourself out there because you never know what could happen! You could meet a best friend or find out new things about yourself.
This is the time to experiment and figure out who you are and you'll never do that if you don't try things. Know that you don't have to have it all figured out by the time you graduate high school (or even College)!
Until Next Time,