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What were 5 things you wish you knew as a senior in high school?

I am just now a rising senior in high school. I have too many questions to ask and not many answers, but I realize now that I am at a golden opportunity (not many responsibilities) in my life to make big changes and preparations for a successful life in the future. How can we avid teenagers reasy to take on the future better prepare for life?

My love life has been less than exciting. Despite putting in an inordinate amount of effort, I have, only this year gotten my first kiss, an endeavor which ultimately ended the first inklet of a relationship I ever had.

I have taken many leadership roles for clubs and a nonprofit organization that is working on a penpal program between China and the US.

I enjoy investing and learning about the stock market.

I play tennis and rock climb.

I enjoy Photography and Videography.

I enjoy hanging out with my friends.

The point of this whole description really was to express the diversity of my interests-- and presumably the diversity of everyone's interests--and to express my dilemma. Where should I focus my attention to best prepare me for the future? What five things that you know now looking back would you tell me? What five things do you regret doing or not doing looking back? Which aspects of your life do you wish you had focused on?

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    Jun 27 2013: This is a great question!
    I don't know if I have five things, but I do have three.

    1. Don't lower your standards to fit into the crowd! I was raised in a closeted Lebanese Druze community and I maintained a lot of conservative views through high school. When I got to college, I was so excited to become "American" that I betrayed a lot of my beliefs. Sure, in the moment it was a good time, but looking back, I would have been better off clinging to some of those old world views. I didn't know what it meant to really be "American," and I was in such a rush to figure it out - I think it was ultimately a little damaging.

    2. It's not the end of the world if you get a B. I beat myself up over small grade slip-ups - it was a lot of stress that resulted in health issues - hair loss, anxiety, sleeplessness. At the end of the day, it was only a handful of tests, and I got where I wanted to go regardless of the B's and C's.

    3. Be greedy with your trust. I wanted to make friends so bad that I trusted and loved everyone the second I met them. True, it might be a nature thing - I'm still like this to an extent. But when I started college, it was especially trying to meet friends who only spoke to me because they wanted answers to a quiz. So be stingy! Have high standards! Give everyone a chance to be your friend, but only keep those who truly care about you (yes, YOU) close to your heart.

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