Welcome back, welcome home. HSD 214 opens.

The graduates of the Class of 2016 in the high schools of Township High School District 214, the second-most populous district in Illinois, based in Arlington Heights, offered some advice for new and returning students.

In a series of whiteboard tidbits, the graduates offered the following advice about high school, which began today in the district’s six high schools: Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove, John Hersey, Prospect, Rolling Meadows, and Wheeling, as well as the Newcomer Center, the Academy at Forest View, and the Vanguard School. Except for occasional punctuation changes to reduce multiple occurrences of exclamation points, we present their advice verbatim.

  1. Stay motivated.
  2. Make as many friends as possible and join new clubs.
  3. Doubt kills more dreams than failure.
  4. Walk faster.
  5. Have fun with high school. Clubs and making friends are important.
  6. Play girls’ water polo.
  7. Tip: Don’t worry unless it’s productive.
  8. You are the metric for your own success.
  9. Everyone has good, bad, and average days, but you will only remember the good and bad.
  10. Don’t be shy, get involved.
  11. Get involved in clubs that are a little outside of your comfort zone! You’ll surprise yourself. I chose improv.
  12. Play volleyball.
  13. Find the people that make you laugh and stay with them.
  14. Take risks.
  15. Make friends with people you wouldn’t normally talk to.
  16. Getcha head in the game.
  17. Join tech crew.
  18. Get involved.
  19. Don’t blink.
  20. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  21. Go to school events you normally wouldn’t go to.
  22. Be someone’s mentor.
  23. Walk through the secret hallway.
  24. Remember that this is supposed to be fun.
  25. To freshmen: Have fun in swim class.
  26. At the end of every storm shines a rainbow. Stay strong & focused.
  27. Don’t spend 2 much $$ at the vending machines.
  28. Take SOS senior year.
  29. Join track & field.
  30. Make a good impression on your teachers.
  31. Join at least one sport.
  32. Be nice to freshmen … think about the children.
  33. Join the Baked Potato Club.
  34. Sleep.
  35. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your dream.
  36. Never give up.
  37. Join Charger.
  38. Be open and put yourself out there to meet new people.
  39. Engage in new activities. You’ll meet awesome people.
  40. Do what you love, not what looks good on a college app.
  41. Enjoy high school.
  42. Try out for girls’ basketball.
  43. Take at least 1 class in the Fine Arts or Technology wing of the building (media tech) PER YEAR.
  44. Get more involved in school.
  45. Make friends, get involved, and have fun.
  46. Be a teacher’s aide for a CLS class.
  47. Stay out of trouble.
  48. Get out of your social comfort zone.
  49. Become a tutor.
  50. Be the best version of yourself every day, no matter what.
  51. Drink more coffee than you need.
  52. Take a PLTW class.
  53. Join Yearbook.
  54. Get involved.
  55. Take APLAC.
  56. Learn to love who you are.

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.