I have reached a point where I can look back and see some flaws in what I thought high school meant, and I can also have a laugh at some of the things that younger me did.

Because I can now do both these things, it seems only right that you do them with me. This might just be a laugh for you, or it could help beat the fear and anxiety many often feel toward high school.

Either way, this will be great, so let’s begin. Here’s five things I wish I knew before I started high school.

1. Don’t spend $200 on a basketball jersey when you don’t know anything about the sport.

There is a whole back story here about me liking, but being friend-zoned by this basketball player. The only result of the tale was me being $200 poorer because I bought this damn jersey, thinking it’d help me get with this guy (spoiler: it didn’t).

What you can learn from this is simple: don’t do something for a secondary motive. At high school, it is easy to pretend to be someone or into something you’re not, so you fit in. As easy as it is to do this, I am telling you: don’t do it.

Be into things that you actually like and share your passions. Before long you’ll find friends who appreciate that about you and you won’t be $200 dollars poorer. (I mean there is a housing crisis, I really need to save!)

2. Appreciate the funny kid.

My school is all girls, but it has a ‘brother’, shall we say, and there is a guy there who has the funniest Instagram account ever. It never fails to provide a comedy-based perspective on things. It brings light.

At your high school, whoever that person is that provides laughter and humour, appreciate them. because when you’re knee-deep in mock exams and three coffees down but still not energised, he’ll be the one that makes you laugh and realise that you don’t need to take life too seriously.

3. The people who go to parties aren’t cooler than you.

I’ve never been to a party and don’t plan on attending one. Largely because I feel like my older brother hosted enough (which were awesome) for the both of us.

I don’t want to tell you not to go to parties; if you feel safe and want to, then go for it. My point is this: there is no line between ‘cool’ and ‘not cool’.

I once mentioned this guy and a chick goes, “How do you know him?” Her tone suggested someone like me shouldn’t have known him. Perhaps I would infect him with my I-prefer-coffee-not-parties-ness.

The truth is, by all standards this guy probably is cooler then me, I’ll admit that. But in the real world coolness doesn’t mean anything. Humans are humans and you can talk to whomever you wish.

4. Not having a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school is OK.

I used to think that I needed a boyfriend to be ‘mainstream’ in my high school experience. That’s not true. In fact, since I’m either always writing, having business meetings or studying, I probably wouldn’t have time to make a guy feel valued (because that’s what a guy deserves).

You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend in high school; you have a lot to focus on. Studying does actually need to occur; it is important. Friends are important, too.

I’m not saying don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend, I am simply saying you don’t need one. If you have one, make sure you balance your time for your other enjoyments and commitments.

5. Listen, but don’t take everything on board.

Teachers teach and you have to listen to them, because that is a part of being a student and learning respect. It is also important you know that forming your own opinions is vital.

As you go up the years in high school and get closer to adulthood, don’t stop listening, but choose what you remember. That is what you’ll go into adulthood with.