Life lessons from Davis High School

Scott Swain

More stories from Scott Swain


First semester is practically over, which means I will be entering the last semester of high school in about a week. High school has been full of experiences. When I was a sophomore, I got advice from a senior and that’s what I aim to do here. Take it or leave it, this is the most important stuff I learned at Davis High School.

Some of the best advice I ever received was that you are going to remember high school no matter what you do. You may as well fill the time doing things that will make it worth remembering. Have fun with your friends, participate in events, make good memories. It’s a simple idea, but it has made all the difference getting through hard times.

As a student, time is money. Time is what fuels the economy of your life. How you choose to spend that time will determine what your life is like. Just like real money, you can either spend your time, or you can invest your time. Unlike real money, you can’t save time. Time will continuously pour through the limited bank account of life. Use it wisely and you will be successful, whatever you determine success to be.

Emotional energy is essential the battery of your life. You need to recharge as much, if not more, than you use your energy. Fulfill your basic needs: sleep, eat, drink, communicate, take a break. Even the strongest willed have a breaking point. Don’t be afraid to push your limits; nevertheless, gauge yourself to avoid snapping under the pressure.

The most entertaining people to be around are the people that are unceasingly unique and strive to be so. Refuse to sink beneath the waves of societal norms. Everything you do adds to who you are. Do things that make you interesting.

You have more control over the quality of your life than you realize. Pay attention to what makes you happy and what drains or upsets you. You may find yourself holding onto the things that make you miserable because of some sense of obligation or commitment. That’s the biggest mistake you could make, and you deserve better. Cut out the bad to make more room for the good. At the same time, do what you must to make it through life.

People are shortsighted and lack perspective. Other people only see so much of your life, and thus they don’t understand everything you’re going through. The way they treat you is based on limited information. They may ask for more than you can give. As a shortsighted human yourself, you may struggle prioritizing the demands the world gives you. Keep in mind what matters to you and make your decisions with that in mind.

People will tell you that you can do anything. This is true, but it is misleading. A more appropriate statement is that you can do anything within reason, but you can’t do everything.

Take calculated risks. Do those things that you really want to do but worry about judgement. Ask that person out and go on a fun date. Hand out compliments whenever you see the opportunity. Go on adventures with your friends. Don’t be stupid, but don’t be a coward.

The most frustrating thing is when a simple mistake costs more progress than you can afford. Spending countless hours on a project only to have your work fall apart can break your resolve. Many say that the key to success is to pick yourself up and push onward, but sometimes moving on to more important things may be the better options. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a want if what you need is elsewhere.

Change is terrifying, but it can be the best possible outcome you could hope for. You may have to leave behind what you think is the focal point of your life and end up in a place you could have never imagined. You may have talents that you don’t know about and may never know about. Embracing change will give you the opportunity to discover yourself.

The most important thing you could ever learn in high school is that you are just as much a human as everybody else. You are entitled to your choices. You have value. Don’t forget it.