High School Regrets: Learn From Our Mistakes

Lauren Mitchell, Media Editor

As high schoolers, our teenage brains aren’t fully developed yet, an excuse for why most — if not all — of us have made some pretty idiotic decisions. If you aren’t too far in the hole of high school mistakes, read these and stay away from these high school regrets. 

At one point in high school, people feel so bored and need change, or they are just looking for a way to channel their emotions. One of the most common ways to do this is by cutting your hair or dyeing it… STEP AWAY FROM THE SCISSORS! This is the biggest mistake you could make… if you don’t give yourself time to think about it. 

Change is great and all, and I am not saying to never cut your hair. I am saying that when it comes to drastic hair decisions, give it time to sit in your mind, ask others opinions, try to imagine yourself with it. For cutting, it will grow back, of course, but it takes time. For dyeing, I am not joking when I say dyeing hair causes dying hair.

“My sophomore year of high school, I took on what you might call an ‘emo phase’… I took it a little too far, did some things with my hair that I shouldn’t have, and I did it on my own,” senior Rian Cameron said. “I regret thinking that I was a hairstylist and just doing anything with my hair.”

Then there are piercings and tattoos, they make you feel so spontaneous and cool at the moment, but maybe not in the end. I fully support getting both, but maybe not if you haven’t thought it through. They are permanent! Not to mention, when you don’t take care of them or get them at unprofessional places, it can lead to infection. On that note, DO NOT GO TO CLAIRE’S FOR EAR PIERCINGS! 

Let me be an example of that. I got my cartilage pierced and it caused trauma to my ear, I am not even kidding! Do it the right way by paying more money at a tattoo parlor and be 100% sure about that decision. 

Under the age of 18, we are still under the roof of our parents, yet we all still think we are pretty responsible. Are we really though? For example, hamsters are a kid’s pet, right? WRONG! Here comes another personal tangent, this time about how parents are the ones that really do the work with those rodents. I thought I could juggle school, a mediocre social life, chores around the house and a tiny little hamster to feed, love and clean… I was wrong. 

I know, I am talking about responsibility here, but man my hamster was mean to me, probably because I sucked at taking care of it and I got it free off the internet, but that is beside the point. This is an example of thinking we can handle something, but we can’t. 

Responsibility is all about juggling life, figuring out a balance to keep everything together. Putting something on your plate that doesn’t fit is something you need to think about, like getting a hamster when you don’t have time to take care of it properly. Being responsible is majorly important in high school and life in general, that’s why it was a word most of us learned in first grade.

Photo Credit: Etsy

For senior Chloe Dube, “I regret letting my schoolwork consume my life and putting so much pressure on myself.” She continued, saying that she regrets “not having a happy balance between both” social life and schoolwork. 

That is one thing that may be hard to find balance at first. We all just want to have fun with our friends, but we also have to deal with other things. “I regret letting my need to aspire to a higher leadership role in a club or sport get in the way of one of my best friendships that will never be the same,” senior Anthony Soliz said. 

Speaking of responsibility, balancing everything else high schoolers have going on, you have to manage to get good grades at the same time. It is pretty easy if you work hard, and in ten years or even two, you might regret not just trying a little harder to raise that D to a C, or C to a B. 

“I regret failing Algebra I. It was freshman year and I thought it wasn’t important,” junior Manuel Lopez said. “I kept digging myself a hole, and made myself have an F. The final did bump my grade up to a D, but in my mind, it is still failing.”

Similar to Manuel’s story, what senior Justin Diaz Perez regrets most is “not doing good my freshmen year, I didn’t think much about it and I didn’t think anything that year mattered. In my first semester I got a D, and from then on I got straight A’s so it’s bringing my GPA down.”

This goes along with picking your classes wisely. Pick what YOU want to do! Do research, ask other students what the class entails, or choose it if it’s an interest of yours. Don’t just pick a class because it’s easy or not pick a class at all, just to be thrown into a random one. These are things to think about beforehand. 

Senior Isabelle Espinoza said, “I regret choosing the wrong classes [early on], because I didn’t figure out what I want to do until later, so they weren’t able to help me.” As an aspiring vet, “I wish I would have taken health classes.”

Not picking a class you personally enjoy will lead to major regret. Not to mention following the requirements of classes. Waiting for junior year or senior year to start your foreign language and CTE or fine arts credits is a huge regret for many, leaving them in classes of freshmen while everyone has surpassed them. 

“I regret not changing out of a class to get the one I want, Drawing and Painting II,” said senior Gia Avila. She should have “taken them earlier because I didn’t have any fun in my first years here with just core classes.”

You’ve probably heard it a million times, but GET INVOLVED! Whether it be clubs or sports at school, DO IT! There are over 20 clubs at our school, there is one for you! I wish, like many others, I was involved earlier because here I am, in my senior year, wishing I could have done more things, to make little families within each one. 

“I regret not doing many club. I only stayed in drama club,” said senior Justin Diaz Perez. He regrets this “because I never got to meet everyone at my other school until my last year there. The more you go to clubs, the more people you get to know.” 

“I regret not getting more involved in extracurriculars,” senior Kristen Stutler said. “Honestly if I would have started freshman year, I would have done band and went through with it since I would have been doing it from the start.”

Being involved includes going to Homecoming, cheering on at sporting events, watching theatre’s musicals and plays, basically going to any school-sanctioned event. They may seem cheesy, but it’s high school, live it up, YOLO! 

I never went to a single school bonfire, which is a tradition that I regret never participating in. This year I finally went to the theatre’s haunted house, which made me regret never going before then. 

The small things add up in the end. High school slips by so fast, and you’ll regret not living in the moment. These things don’t happen much in adulthood. 

For senior Darian Hodges, an athletic trainer, she regrets “not experiencing as much as she should have, not getting involved. “This year, my senior year, is the only year that I’ve got involved,” she said. She wishes she would have gone to more football games for fun and lived in those moments. 

Getting involved is the key to making friends, and friends make high school much, much better. It’s great having a small group to chill with, but expanding your circle and making more friends makes high school easier, believe it or not. 

Every year, you will get a new random selection of students in each of your classes. Take advantage of this! Go out there and meet some new people so that you have more people to talk to when the next year comes and they might be in your class with you again. 

Although it’s great making friends, at one point, there can be a line drawn. Having toxic friends or people in your life that bring you down will be regretful in the future. 

To senior Manuel Peralta, “My biggest regret has to be letting people walk all over me and being too kind to others that I left myself vulnerable.”

Bonding with teachers is also important and can lead to enjoying classes more. By the end of a year, you might regret not trying to enjoy a class and getting to know the teacher. Teachers are human too, get to know them!

“I feel like I didn’t bond with any of my teachers, which made me dislike my classes,” senior Paris Sutherland said. “They can be really nice teachers, but you just don’t like the subject so you don’t create bonds with them.”

Last, but not least, high school relationships. Gosh, where do I start? DON’T PICK A S.O. OVER YOUR FRIENDS! Like responsibility, keeping a balance is important. Balance both. Your friends care for you so don’t just leave them in the dust. 

Flat out, Kaylee Moses said, “I regret dating my ex.” Expanding more on that, “Don’t date boys in high school, they are immature and some just don’t know how to respect girls.”

In Angel Cruz’s perspective, “I regret being in a relationship throughout high school. I feel like you’re shut out into a different type of circle. So if you have a girlfriend, you are kind of just with them, but if you’re more open then you will enjoy high school and do whatever you want.”

Sure, get in a relationship, but most people regret those they were with later because at this point, drama is common and there is a lot going on. Get into a relationship that you know will matter with someone you care about, or don’t get in one at all. Listen to your heart. 

Regrets are something we all live with whether it be in high school or later on in life. It just depends if we can learn from them, and I hope you can learn from some seniors who can’t turn back time to tell their younger self not to do such idiotic things.