Tips for Success from a Graduating Senior

Bayla King, Staff Writer

Everyone always says that the four years you spend in high school fly right past you. They’re right. Before you know it you’ll be trading in your first day of school outfit for your cap and gown. At Ida B Wells-Barnett, students make choices every day that shape their lives and education. Here are six tips I wish someone had told me my freshman year to help me navigate those choices. 


1. Join clubs and actually go to the meetings.

While it may seem more fun at the moment to get lunch with friends, you’ll regret skipping a club meeting. Clubs are a great way to meet new people and try new things in a supportive environment. If you are interested in furthering your education after high school, being in clubs throughout your four years at Ida. B Wells shows colleges that you are a dependable and committed person. Not only will you find friends, community, and cool activities through clubs, but you’ll also have a lot of fun while doing it. 


2. Don’t spend all your money on lunch. 

Luckily for students, the food carts on campus have delicious food. Unluckily for students, delicious food on the school campus can cost a lot of money. It’s important to learn how to budget and manage your money at a young age so that you can build good habits for the future, and spending too much money on lunch can make it difficult to save. Instead, pack a lunch from home more often and try to give yourself a weekly budget for lunches. This will help you save more money and teach you skills you’ll need as an adult. 


3. Avoid the math hall women’s restroom at all costs.

I’m not telling you to use the bathroom farthest from your classroom, but I’m warning you, this bathroom always smells like feet and crayons. For the entire two and a half years I spent in the building, this specific bathroom continuously has this overwhelming scent. Honestly, I think it might be from the ghost of something that died there a long time ago. Whatever it is, if you have a sensitive nose, it might be best to hurry upstairs. 


4. Participate in the arts program 

Although you are required to take an art class as an elective, I highly recommend continuing with the arts program throughout high school. The art teachers at Ida B. Wells are amazing and make class super fun. If you think you can’t take these classes because you aren’t artistic, you’re wrong. The teachers are supportive, helpful, and demonstrate what to do almost every step of the way. These classes that you are offered for free will cost you a surprising amount of money somewhere else, so this is a great opportunity to be creative and learn new things at no cost.


5. Don’t force yourself to take too many Advanced Placement classes

You may think that you have to take as many AP classes as you can, and while they can be great for college applications and challenge you as a student, don’t overwork yourself because you think you have to. AP courses are hard work and you shouldn’t commit to them if you aren’t prepared to spend more time on schoolwork. Loading too many hard classes onto your schedule is draining and stressful, so be ready for that before you decide. It’s also perfectly ok to not take any AP classes. Everyone learns differently and for some students, it just might not be right for them. Choose classes that are a good fit so that you don’t end up in over your head at the end of the semester.  


6. Use tutor time to get help from your teachers

Tutor time is provided to students for a reason. Use that time to check in with your teachers and get help if you need it. Don’t take advantage of a free hour in a quiet place to work and get your homework done. Your teachers want to help you achieve as a student and tutor time is a great time to get one-on-one help from them. Wouldn’t it be better to get your work done at school so that after school you can have free time? 


High school is everything you make of it. These tips will help you have a good experience, but it’s up to you to make decisions about who you want to be and what you want to do. Try new things and put yourself out there because pretty soon you’ll look back on the last four years of your life and wonder about what you could’ve done differently. Most importantly, have fun. You really are only young once, even though it’s not always easy, enjoy it.