If you’ve been feeling a little leery about heading back to school, don’t worry–you aren’t the only one. After all, for all of the excitement and initial optimism that the first few days of school tend to conjure up, there are a lot of downsides to school, too. The fact that you’ve probably used up all of your good outfits in the first week, for one. Perhaps your teacher made you listen to her Drake impersonation as a means of inspiring you to do your “work.” Or, maybe, you just don’t really like anyone at your school all that much.
Does the latter (or, perhaps, all of the above) sound like you? Well, then, you definitely aren’t the only one–“hate” is a strong word, but it’s pretty common to feel misunderstood by the people who surround you. It’s not a bad thing, you just need some help to get you through the school year. So, check out these easy ways to enjoy the school year even if you hate everyone at your school:
Join Clubs At SchoolYeah, I know--literally everyone, and their mom, and your mom, probably, has told you that the key to enjoying school is to, like, audition for the school play or join the cross country team or something. But this is a common piece of advice because it really does work, since most extracurricular activities are basically a support system built around something you enjoy with people you might not have gotten to know otherwise. You don't have to join the super-mainstream groups at your school either. Model UN might not be your style, but a lot of high schools have smaller, more original clubs that are still super rewarding to join. (My high school, for example, had a "Sandwich Club. They ate sandwiches. That's it.) Don't see something that you're into? See if you can start your own club! This way, people with similar interests will come your way. Image source: iStock
Do Extracurriculars Outside Of SchoolIf you're really not feeling the extracurriculars at your school (or if you know that you can't stand hanging out there for a minute longer than you have to), see if there are any activities in your community that you can join. This could be a community theatre production, or a club soccer team, or a volunteering gig at an animal shelter. Having something to look forward to after school--even if it's not technically connected with your school--can make being there a lot easier. (Plus, if you're looking for things to put on your college apps, this is a good way to do it, since anything in your community is just as legit as things outside of it.) Image source: iStock
Get A JobThis is sort of like starting an extracurricular activity except, you know, you get paid. This is nice! It can be hard to juggle a job and school, so make sure you choose one carefully, but if money is your main motivator, then an after-school job might be the key towards getting through the school year. This is also a great way to meet people outside of school if you're looking for some people to hang out with on the weekends who aren't your classmates. Image source: iStock
Don't Focus On 'Fitting In'A lot of people tend to get hyperfocused on what kids at their high school are doing, behavior or style-wise, and how their own behavior or style differs from that. Try not to do this--as hard as it may seem to believe now, fitting in isn't easy for anyone in high school. Some people are just better at hiding it. So, please don't alter your own looks or behavior just because you think doing so will make it easier for you to get along with people at school. It won't make you feel better about yourself, it'll just make you feel as though you're conforming to be like the people you aren't that crazy about in the first place. Image source: iStock
Get To Know Your TeachersSeriously! It can be hard to see teachers as, um, actual humans, but a lot of them (plus guidance counselors, plus administrators) are actually really cool one-on-one, especially if you feel like your classmates are immature and annoying. Most teachers are pretty open to students hanging out with them during free periods or lunches (just make sure that you're one of the students who actually does the homework, since your teacher probably won't feel super inclined to spend extra time with you.) Plus, this can be good once you're applying to colleges and need a letter of recommendation, since you already have a teacher who knows you pretty well. Image source: iStock
Try To Figure Out What You Hate So Much About Your SchoolThis could be an easy answer for you--maybe you hate a certain class. Maybe it's the people. Maybe you can't stand the constant pressure you feel from just being in high school. But if you just feel a general discomfort and unease from being in high school overall, try to write down the things that bother you and figure out what's causing most of your stress. (You can also go to the school guidance counselors or a therapist if you need an impartial, supportive person to bonce ideas off of.) counselors or a therapist if you need an impartial, supportive person to bonce ideas off of.) Whatever the case, try to identify what's causing you the most trouble right now and approach it head-on--you'll find that that your problems seem a lot smaller and more manageable once you write them down. Image source: iStock
Focus On The FutureYou don't have to like everyone at your high school. You really don't. But dwelling on how much you dislike everyone around you probably isn't the most productive thing in the world--it's distracting, first of all, and it's unlikely that stewing in your distaste towards others will make things much better for you. Instead, try and think about goals you want to achieve once you graduate, like a college you want to go to or a career you'd like to have in the future, and think about what you can do now to help accomplish those goals. This will help you see that, while you might not love what you're doing now, there's definitely value in it that can help you out later on. Image source: iStock
Do you have issues with people at your school? Do you have any advice for people? Let us know in the comments!