7 Things You Should Actually Care About in High School

There are plenty of things in high school that won't matter in the long-run.

From getting straight A's to attending school dances and so much more, the majority of things that go down during grades 9-12 really won't have a longstanding impact on your life past the day you graduate.

That said, there actually are a few things that are worth caring about in high school.

Keep reading to find out what they are!

1. Having a Mentor

Whether it be a teacher, guidance counselor or heck, even a tutor, having someone you look up to and who truly respects you and wants you to succeed not only helps you through high school, but it continues later in life. Much of the time, the mentors we connect with in high school end up becoming our close friends later in life and continue offering us wisdom down the different paths we take.

Young girl gets tutoring assistance from older man

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2. Having a True Best Friend

Being the homecoming queen or cheerleading captain won't mean a thing years from now, but having even just one person from your high school days who you remain close with years later? There's something very special about someone who has known you through all of your life changes. You don't have to be the most popular kid in school, but walking away with even one BFF is important. Not only will they get you through those tough times in hs, but you'll always have each other to look back on those days and laugh about the crushes, the drama and everything in between.

Teen girl blindfolding her friend

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3. Foreign Language Classes

Foreign language classes are hard, they're kind of a drag and you're sitting in front of the teacher the whole time, thinking, when will I ever actually use this? But rest assured foreign language knowledge of any kind is a lifelong useful tool. Aside from the obvious—being able to converse with people who don't speak English—you will need to take foreign language classes in college if you choose to get a Bachelor of Arts, so why not get a head start on the basics? Also, hiring managers look highly upon potential employees who can somewhat speak another language. It gives a person a sense of worldliness and well-roundedness. And as you get older, travel more and meet more people from different walks of life, you'd be surprised how much your knowledge will come in handy. Plus, don't you want to be able to gossip about your nemesis in a language they won't understand? 😜

female student practices french in her foreign language class in school

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4. Staying Active

No one is saying you need to be a star athlete or even take part in a sport, but taking on some sort of regular exercise (whether it's workout videos at home, hikes with your dog or anything of a sort) will really carve out your level of activity in the future. Once you get to college, it'll be easy to have your head in your books or spend time with your S.O., but you want to train yourself now to incorporate exercise into your day-to-day life. Not only does it make you feel positive and energized, but it will help keep your metabolism high as you get older.

smiling girl holds water bottle while going for a run

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5. Eating Reasonably

Similarly to No. 4, having decent habits now will only set the tone for how you consume food in the future. When possible, regularly snack on fruits and veggies, take a stab at cooking with mom, meal prep when you have time and make an effort to stick to an 80/20 type of plan, where 80% of the time, you eat relatively healthy and drink lots of water and then 20% of the time, you let loose with pizza, fries and whatever else you can get your hands on. Not only will your skin and mood thank you for your conscious effort to eat well, but you'll be less likely to fall into the trap of the horrid "Freshmen 15" when you get to college.

girl eats apple as she pays attention to work in her math class

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6. Having College and Career Aspirations

When we're in high school, it's easy to focus on crushes, weekend plans and popularity contests, but once your glory days of grades 9-12 are dunzo, it'll be time to crack down on your future. You don't want graduation to come and go, with you struggling about what to do next. Meet with your guidance counselor or a teacher you really connect with and start honing in your talents and passions. If you excel in your English class, think about a future in journalism or creative writing; if you excel in math, how about brainstorming the next steps to making the big bucks in accounting? The world is your oyster and even if you don't want to lead a traditional 9-5 career life, there is something out there for you—now let's figure out what it is and how to get it! The workforce can actually be a fun space if you're doing something you love.

Teacher helping two students with their computer work.

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7. Getting Involved in Extracurricular Activities

Part of what helps us figure out what we want to do professionally in the future or what we want to major in, in college is getting involved in extracurricular activities. Not only that, but doing things outside of class allows you to bond with all types of people based on a common interest or hobby. With the pressures of school getting to all of us, having a forum to let loose and not talk about grades or teachers is very refreshing. Whether you join French club, '80s Club, cheerleading, the school band, a sport or take up some kind of volunteer work, participating in extracurricular activities is a fun way to make you a more well-rounded individual and make new pals in the process!

friend group of girls and a boy do volunteer work, collecting food cans

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One thing we definitely don't need in high school? Bullies! HERE's how to take the high road when dealing with one of them.