How To Make It Through High School (Or Almost Anything)

You’re allowed to care about stuff. That’s the first thing. Even if you think it’s stupid or weird, like polka music or “being obsessed with mimes.” One day you will look back not at all the things that made you cool enough to fit in, but the things that didn’t. And you will love them.


The second thing is write everything down. Even if you don’t like writing, just write about every obsession, story, hatred, happiness—whatever. And save it. All of it. I say this because when you’re an adult, you will get drunk with your friends one night and read your diary out loud to them.

It will be the funniest night of your life.

When teachers say, “This is the best time of your life,” they are wrong. They are only saying that because they’re teachers and they have to look at your weird faces every day. There is no “best time of your life,” but rather perfect moments, like when someone’s gum falls out of their mouth while they’re telling a story, or when a jerk is walking toward you and accidentally gets hit in the head with a soccer ball. Make sure to store these moments in a safe place in your brain. They will be useful to you in the future, I promise.

But also, quit bitching about being in high school. At least your mom still makes you dinner at night, and that rules.

If you want to stay out all night, say you’re sleeping at a friend’s house. If you come home super early and your mom says, “Why are you home so early?” you say, “I got homesick and I missed you.” She will then make you eggs and you can watch TV.

You might feel at times that you are ugly and disgusting and unlovable. Some of you might feel as though you are beautiful and hot and cool and awesome. Know this: When you’re in your 20s you go through, like, a time machine of opposite days. What I mean is, everyone who thinks they are hot s**t in high school eventually turns into cold diarrhea by their 30s. And all you ugly nerds will eventually start to sparkle like geodes. If you don’t believe me you can ask Facebook.

–The incredible Lesley Arfin, author of Dear Diary, offers advice to high schoolers in Tavi Gevinson’s awesome new web magazine Rookie.[Rookie Magazine]

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