UPDATE (6/26/2015): I just did a quick search and found Khan Academy gives great insight into maximizing High School for College admissions that gives advice directly from College admissions staff: https://www.khanacademy.org/college-admissions
Today, and on every once in a while in the past, I had a nightmare involving high school. It doesn’t matter about the specific matter in the dreams, but the fact that I’m still having them 14 years after graduating says something about the level of anxiety I had and “trauma” I experienced.
WHY AM I WRITING THIS?
I have 3 kids now, with a 4th one on the way. I’m currently 31, about to turn 32. Having kids, and the extra responsibility of being the sole wage earner puts a lot of pressure on my time management, and the extra difficulties / worries I face today I attribute to some degree on the choices I made prior to having kids.
When I was growing up, I was raised by a single father, who immigrated from Korea, had limited English, running his own auto business, and I don’t think he graduated high school. I had a younger brother and an older sister. All this to basically say, I had no intimate, wise, guidance resulting in me pretty much having to figure everything out myself.
I hope that the mistakes I did will help a current high school student to not repeat them.
I will offend many Public School staff, so you’re better off skipping this. The perspectives below have occurred in my brain without any actual conversation with others, so it is extremely biased toward my personal experience, talents, passions, and priorities in life. Naturally, take what you believe is good from below, and discard the rest.
RESUME OF MY HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
Below is the “Resume” I sent to colleges for my application. I used to look at this list as a sense of pride to basically say, “Look at all the shit I accomplished.” But today, I look at it as, “Boy, what a dumb ass I was wasting so much energy for bullshit activities.” I wish someone had told me to stop wasting my time on bullshit, and focus on the things that would last into my adult life.
|Shoreline, Washington||Shorewood High SchoolGPA 3.88Class Rank: 28 of 338||1997 to PresentGraduation: 6/01|
SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIPS
|Activity/Organization||Years of Participation||Positions Held|
|Asian Pacific Awareness Club||2||Member (1998-2000)|
|Creating a World of Difference||3||Member (1998-2001)|
|Crescendo Club||2||Member (1998-2000)|
|Cross Country||3||Member (1998-2000)|
|Honors Humanities Program||4||Member (1997-Present)|
|Jazz Ensemble||4||Lead Trombonist(1997-Present)|
|Key Club||2||Member (1998-2000)|
|Link Crew||1||Member (1999-2001)|
|Marching Band||4||Trombone Section Leader (1998-Present)|
|Mu Alpha Theta||3||Member (1998-Present)|
|National Honors Society||3||President (2000-Present);Member (1998-Present)|
|One Acts||1||Lead Role (2001)Thespian (2001)|
|School Assemblies||2||Sound Technician (1999-Present)|
|School Television MorningAnnouncements||2||Co-Camera Operator(1999-Present)|
|Serve Club||1||Member (2000-2001)|
|Spring Musical||2||Lead Role as Billy in “Anything Goes” (2001)Lead Trombonist (1999)|
|Student Elected Government||3||Student Council Alternative Representative (1997-98);Junior Class Senator (1999-2000);ASB Treasurer (2000-01)|
|Wind Ensemble||3||Lead Euphonium(1997-Present)Pianist (2000-Present)|
OUTSIDE SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE ACTIVITIES
|Activity/Organization||Years of Participation|
|All-Northwest Band Hosted by the MusicEducators of the MENC Northwest Division||1999|
|Christmas Wrapping School Club Fundraiser at Northgate Mall||1998-1999|
|Classical and Jazz Pianist||1990-Present|
|CompUSA Employee/Cashier & Sales||2000|
|FragHub Chief Executive Officer||2000-Present|
|Jazz Combo Trombonist||Present|
|King County Student Leader Day Hosted by theMetropolitan King County Council||2000|
|Korean Zion Presbyterian Church (KZPC) Summer CampMember||1998-2000|
|KZPC English Ministry Praise Leader||Present|
|KZPC Summer Camp Counselor||1999|
|KZPC Youth Group Christmas Orchestra Director||1998-1999|
|KZPC Youth Group Elected Vice President||1998-1999|
|KZPC Youth Group Keyboardist||1997-2000|
|KZPC Youth Group Praise Leader||1999-2000|
|Meridian Park Elementary School Math Tutoring||1999-2000|
|Puget Sound Regional History Day||1999-2000|
|Shoreline Public Schools Foundation Annual Phone-a-thon Fundraising Event||1999|
|Shorewood Canned Food Drive Collecting||1999 – 2000|
|Shorewood Drill-Team Tryouts’ Judge||2000|
|Shorewood Pan-Steel Performing Group Concert’sConcession Stand Operative||2000|
|Sno-King Regional Solo Competition on Euphonium||1998-2000|
|Sun-Ridge Senior Citizen’s Rehabilitation and NursingCenter Volunteering||1999 – 2000|
|Syre Elementary School All-Subject Tutoring||2000|
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Christmas Brass Quintet||1998-1999|
|Washington All-State Band Hosted by the WashingtonMusic Educators Association||1998-2000|
|Washington Business Week Camp||2000|
|Washington State Summer Leadership Conference||1999-2000|
AWARDS AND LETTERS
|4 Years of Letter in Band||1998-2000|
|Air Force Reserve Officer Training CorpsScholarship Recipient||2001|
|Best Musician Shorewood Freshman Class||1998|
|Best Musician Shorewood Sophomore Class||1999|
|Breakfast Rotary Scholarship Recipient||2001|
|Cultural Diversity Night Master of Ceremonies|
|Graduate of the “Dynamics of Personal Leadership”Program Taught by Performance Dynamics||1999|
|Herff Jones’ Principal’s Leadership Award||2001|
|Masonic Education Council Outstanding AchievementAward||2000|
|North Seattle Journal Newspaper’s October Student ofthe Month||2000|
|Outstanding Band Student||2001|
|Outstanding Jazz Student||2001|
|Outstanding Trombone Section at the EssentiallyEllington High School Jazz Band Competition||2001|
|President’s Education Award||2001|
|Puget Sound Regional History Day Finalist||1999|
|QFC Scholarship Recipient||2001|
|Regional State Solo Contest Winner For Euphonium||1998|
|Regional State Solo Contest Winner For Euphonium||1999|
|Senior Awards Ceremony Master of Ceremonies||2001|
|Shoreline Journal Newspaper’s March Student of theMonth||1999|
|Shoreline Journal Newspaper’s October Student of theMonth||2000|
|Shorewood Boosters Scholarship Recipient||2001|
|Shorewood Homecoming Court Prince||2000|
|Shorewood Newspaper Student of the Month||2001|
|Shorewood Outstanding T-Bird Award||2000|
|Thespian (Troupe 640)||2001|
|Top 15 in the Nation Given the Privilege to Perform at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition in New York City||20002001|
|Washington State Honors Award||2001|
GOALS TO ACHIEVE IN HIGH SCHOOL
At the time that I was in high school, my overall objective was to do as much as possible, and not worry about how other people perceived me. But that was pretty much it. I didn’t have any long term goals to help shape the purpose of every hour I spent in that time. Without long term perspective, a lot of my effort was placed in things that I guessed were essentially “Resume Stuffers” for college, and activities which I continued not based out of intrinsic enjoyment, but out of momentum.
So, if I were to go back to high school, here would be my main objectives to achieve:
– Try and discover the things in which I intrinsically have a passion about irregardless of potential income generation
– Try and discover the things in which I moderately enjoy that has potential income generation
– Maximize the positives of High School, while minimizing the negatives
– Live as though you will need to be the sole income supporter of children in the near future
– Expend enough academic effort to get into a State-subsidized, quality undergraduate college
– If I can learn the topic online through self study, I’ll want to have a VERY good reason why I’m wasting my time with extra busy work in an “elective” class
Prospects for today’s undergraduate students are essentially shitty. The college you go to for undergraduate generally doesn’t mean jack for employer’s in today’s world. GPA matters more and the major you have. (I might write about my lessons learned in College later and link it here).
The best way for you to obtain a job is to get a technical major (math, sciences, programming, etc.) AND also demonstrate extreme proficiency that is beneficial to an employer. Or, just be freakishly talented and be passionate about it (but that’s something you’re typically born with and most people are not).
Now, if you happen to get into an Ivy League college, the rumor is that things are a little different (because of the networking, and which I don’t fully believe unless you have a well-connected, white family), but for the most of you, it does not make economic sense to waste inordinate amounts of money to pay private or out of state tuition. The cost-benefit analysis fails to add up when it comes to your starting salary the moment you graduate.
Here’s an example: my brother went to Georgia Tech, which is a prestigious university for technical engineering majors. So my father went ahead and spent probably about $30,000/year, for a total of $120,000 for a four year degree. If he had gone to University of Washington (which is also well known for its technical majors) for about $4,500/year for a total of $18,000, he could’ve received the same major. So the difference in cost between the educations is $102,000. Was the starting salary my brother received as a Georgia Tech undergraduate graduate much higher than he would had received as a grad at University of Washington?
If the salary was higher, it most likely was not high enough to help make up the $100,000 difference!
Also, Undergraduate is still a time when you’re figuring out what you want to do for your starting career. Unless you are somehow freakish in your talents and need to go to a specialized, private University, you’re generally best served to go to an in-state tuition college while you’re still exploring yourself.
In fact, even if you went community college and got your Associates Degree, and then transferred to a better known, State College, that doesn’t really set you back and is still very affordable. Employers mainly look at your GPA, Major, and the school you obtained the Major from. The question of your community college classes typically won’t come up.
Because undergraduate degrees are becoming less and less worthwhile in stratifying yourself against your peers also fighting for jobs in the marketplace, you should be focusing more of your time with actual, monetizing work, that can demonstrate to a future employer that you will be a valuable asset to them.
If you happen to have a passion, or moderate enjoyment of a monetizing activity that you can do from home, and make enough of it, you may even have the ability to skip college entirely. This probably doesn’t apply to most people, but you may be one of the lucky ones with such talents.
TEACHERS & THE PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM
The public education system is funded by the government which makes it difficult for shitty schools to get shut down. There are multiple layers of politics which make the education system inherently too slow to adapt to the huge changes that are happening in our world today. It’s impossible for the public education system as an institution to adapt and provide the best teachings, so therefore, it requires you, as a high school student to take the good things out of the system to benefit your objectives, and to fucking ignore the rest.
This also means that there are some shitty teachers and staff that you need to just smile and nod politely too, but completely jettison their advice. Generally speaking, publicly funded employees do not have the best perspective on how things actually work in the private sector. Generally speaking, anyone who works in a tax-payer funded job, that is unionized (which means it’s very hard for them to get fired), may mean well, but will give bad advice (unless they worked in the private sector themselves). DO NOT EVER CONFRONT A SHITTY TEACHER IN THE FACE. You will lose, and you gain nothing. Try and switch classes, talk to a counselor, etc, but never in the teacher’s face.
– Don’t waste your time with “busy work”
– Don’t worry about the opinions of the teachers (in so far as you can get good grades to get you into a State college)
– Don’t waste time with any extracurricular activity, unless you’re exploring it to see if you enjoy or are good at it.
– Don’t worry about “Resume stuffers” and that will alleviate a lot of the “perceived” pressure and stupid obligations you’ll waste time on
And yes, of course, there are awesome teachers that will blow your mind and help you discover the unique gifts, talents, and passions you have. You have to realize that teachers don’t have inherent “wisdom” solely on their position.
PEER PRESSURE / BULLYING
After High School, you will never have to see any of your classmates or teachers. You just need to hunker down, and glean as much as you can with the free resources placed before you in High School. Ignore all the peer pressure and bullying bullshit. It amounts to jack shit once you graduate and get the hell out of there. You’ll never have to see the shitty people again.
Of course, keep the great relationships going, but have some perspective that once you graduate, you won’t be forced to be in such close proximity with as large group of losers. Even your closest “friends” in high school will grow distant as you go to different states for college and start building relationships with peers met in college.
High school is a unique environment in that you will never be surrounded by such a wide gamut of individuals. There are a lot of people in high school which won’t be able to survive as productive member in society.
When I mean “losers,” I mean individuals that will ultimately become parasites to our society. Rather than desiring to provide more than what society has provided them and be a productive member of society, they would rather hurt, destroy, and tear down all those around them.
It’s the inherent nature of public school that does not have a mechanism to stratify productive individuals with non-productive individuals. The separation occurs entering college, and the private sector (between those who are employable, and those who are not).
MENTAL ILLNESS & EMOTIONAL TRAUMA
I believe with Obamacare, mental health is covered under your family’s health insurance.
A lot of the “over achieving” that I did in High School was heavily influenced by my parent’s divorce. The emotional hardness that allowed me to not care about how other people thought about me stemmed from a self-imposed emotional shutdown in order to shut out the strong sense of abandonment I felt. This emotional insensitivity toward my self was what allowed me to push myself past breaking point on the activities I did, but was not healthy toward helping me discover what was truly enjoyable or not. In the process of shutting out the pain, I shut out the pleasures in life. I simply did many activities not on love, but based on “pulling up my boot straps” and a sense of “duty.”
I also know that a lot of addictions come from an attempt to help mask the pain that individuals feel in their heart from past traumas.
Mental health therapists should help in recognizing these issues and to help address them.
Depression is also a very common mental illness that can cause major motivational issues.
I wish someone had directed me to seek professional therapy in my middle school (to high school years), as it may had helped prevent a lot of the emotional bad habits I have formed over the years. It’s only been about the last year in which I’ve visited a professional therapist and been able to articulate the trauma.
Religious organizations are a poor substitute for professional mental therapy (details in which I won’t get into here.)
Through High School, I discovered that I was gifted in music, though, I actually had musical talent that was discovered prior through my piano lessons since the age of 7. So I did “0” period of Jazz Band, a period for regular band, and after school marching band. I was in All-State band. I took private lessons in the Euphonium & Trombone. I spent time doing band camps.
I was in all the most “advanced bands” at the time. I spent numerous hours practicing my instrument, and smaller “jam” sessions.
Let’s average out the band portion I did to be a time commitment of about 20 hours per week!
Now, I’m not going to say that it was a complete waste of time, however, I would say that I could had spent those 20 hour per week starting my own band (with my musical talent), making music videos, and really focusing in on the craft. 20 hour/week for 4 years wasted for what? I could’ve monetized the musical side on YouTube, SoundCloud, and produced albums (at least in today’s world now). Back in 2001, YouTube wasn’t around.
How has my Euphonium & Trombone helped me with my three kids? Nothing. And I have since sold all the wind instruments. Good riddance. And let’s not forget all the emotional stress that came with being so involved in band. I still have nightmares periodically of that. Not worth it.
I still do piano on the side and some musical production you can see on my YouTube channel, but I definitely do not have a passion for it and do not inherently enjoy it. Many of the YouTube videos I produced was because I’m trying to explore if it’s something I’m passionate about. I’m competent enough to do it, but I do not inherently have a passion for it.
Why in the hell was I so hardcore into band? Well probably because of momentum. That’s essentially what I did before every year, and I would continue it. I would’ve needed a pretty good reason to stop doing Jazz Band the following year, when I had done it the previous year. I think I had started realizing I didn’t give a shit about band about my Senior Year when I didn’t join Marching Band or the Concert Band. But I still did the Jazz Band because the band was top of the nation, the teacher demanded excellence, and it challenged me mentally.
If I could go back in time, I would’ve skipped doing band entirely the beginning of High School, and spent the time figuring out what I was really passionate about or worked toward monetizing the skills I have.
But there may be some people who are authentically passionate about music and have enough talent to raise a family with it (ie. the freakishly gifted and passionate). Great. Just self-produce and learn to monetize it. Why waste your time with all the other bullshit in band class? You really want to spend your time smelling the farts of the trumpet section when you can be producing your own music for your own development? Or sitting around spending most of your time counting the 24-bar rests until you have to do your 8-bars of playing?
My Senior Year in high school, I went ahead to be a lead on a musical, “Anything Goes,” and found I didn’t really enjoy it. I had the talent, but not really the passion (this is probably because I didn’t really care what others thought about me). It was a lot of work. Just to make sure I didn’t really enjoy it, I did a One-Act play and was lead in that. I didn’t really enjoy it either. So now I know, performing arts are not something I should be wasting my time on.
Give it a shot to see if you’re passionate about it and have talent. Just keep in mind that there’s a very SMALL minority of individuals who make enough money to make a living out of it.
It’s worthwhile to explore it to see if you enjoy it as a hobby, but I wouldn’t invest too much time into it compared to other monetizing activities. The exception would be YouTube and its monetization possibilities, but typically its more comedic in nature and not for “serious” drama.
STUDENT BODY GOVERNMENT
I was Junior Senator and Student Body Treasurer. If you got elected, it would require that your first period be a “leadership class.” Since the objective is In-State College, student government is not needed.
I think I ran for student government as a Resume stuffer and perhaps as a vanity item to somehow feel as though my peers liked me. Obviously it means jack shit after High School. Skip this entirely.
If Foreign language is optional, then just skip it. There are tons of online courses you can take if you truly have a need for a foreign language.
If it is not optional, then take Spanish. Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) is okay ONLY if the teacher is EXCEPTIONAL and you are okay with lots of brute memorization it will require (and the Spanish teacher is bad).
Spanish will help greatly in the US job market and is spoken by more people than English.
I did three years of Japanese, and that was essentially a waste of time. French is also a language that unless you plan on moving there, you’re really limiting your options. German is another time waster.
Just keep in mind that there are A LOT of politics as to what foreign languages are provided in school (ie. what currently staffed teachers have tenure and want to teach a language), not necessarily which languages are most useful to you when you graduate.
I would also be hesitant of language classes other than Spanish solely because of how difficult it is to really master an Asian language. There’s so much brute memorization in Asian languages, whereas Spanish has lot of parallel words to English.
Also, it may be that you end up taking a profession that has little to no interaction with Chinese, in which case Chinese is a true waste of time, but it is highly likely that you will utilize Spanish in your adult life.
Keep in mind the factor of the quality of the teacher teaching the language. An average Chinese teacher is preferable over a crappy Spanish teacher. Having a teacher that is excited about the language and is a great teacher does wonders on the motivation and fun you’ll have to learn that language.
Yes! Take as many as you can! These count as college credit and means you can save money when you get to college.
I took a bunch of AP classes and I was able to use it at University of Washington saving me a bunch of money which amounts to thousands of dollars!
HONORS HUMANITIES CLASSES
I was in Honors Humanities courses all the way through perhaps the second half of my Senior Year. Once I got my acceptance letter to college, I took all easy classes, thus proving that the only reason I did these were for “resume stuffers.”
Since we’re only trying to get into In-State colleges, this is overkill. The amount of busy work you receive from these classes is ridiculous. Now, if you have a passion for reading books, and writing reports on them, then go for these classes. But seriously, you might as well take the regular classes, and educate yourself, starting a blog, and write yourself.
You get better in writing the more your actually do it. So you can do it on your free time if it really is a passion, rather than be pressed down by annoying book reports on the latest Maya Angelou book, or Wuthering Heights. In our Honors Geography class, we were required to hand draw entire regions of the planet. Wow.
The amount of extra time I had to waste in these classes because the teachers feel politically pressured to place extra work load than the “non-honors” classes is significant enough to be concerned about.
You want to excel and spend the energy to work hard to do this well. The more advanced you can go the better. This will serve you well in the business world and technical majors.
I didn’t do much sports, but I can assure you that unless you’re freakishly talented, you shouldn’t be wasting so much time playing sports on school time. If you do it as a hobby, that’s fine, but understand you should just quit the team as soon as it is no longer enjoyable. It’s better to join a “club” or meet with people online to play a sport your enjoy.
An interesting discussion relates to sports and tuition that could potentially be provided. The problem is that these scholarships require you to play in college, and unless you intend to go pro, playing sports in college is an even greater time commitment than in high school.
There are much better ways to use your time to accumulate the costs for tuition if that’s an issue than to focus on getting a sports scholarship (which isn’t even guaranteed anyway).
YEAR BOOK CLASS, PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO PRODUCTION, ETC.
These are more niche classes that you can probably explore on your own as a self-study. You’re probably better served spending the time in club where everything is voluntary, rather than be forced to waste your time doing busy work in a specific class by a teacher.
But if you have a passion for them and can develop digital content that can be monetized, then this is an awesome elective.
Do the bare minimum requirements unless you have a passion for it. This is very niche in relation to a major you decide in College and unless you have a passion for it, enough to become a Science major in College, you’re better served spending your time doing other things.
PERSONAL FINANCE / BUSINESS CLASSES
I personally had to learn all this stuff first from reading “Money” magazines and “Kiplinger’s” until the Internet really exploded. Today, there are entire online resources to learn personal finance. I was thinking about doing an overview of personal finances, until I realized that there’s so much material already out there, it’s a waste of time.
Even when I run my current real estate businesses, I never had any formal training, but absorbed articles on Google like a madman. Self-taught.
Quick Tips: Vanguard Index Funds, Compound Interest, & Roth IRA (boggleheads.com). Also, Real Estate is a time tested way to build wealth (biggerpockets.com).
So if this was offered in class, I would be hesitant to waste the time on this.
We got to do a lot of bowling, go to Greenlake in Seattle and roller skate / ride bikes, play “whirlyball” and do other activities that many adults do for fun. This was a lot of fun, and would be a great elective to take if still available. It provide a chance to try out many different activities to see what you would enjoy as a hobby. I discovered through this class that I think bowling is a waste of time.
There’s minimal economic value, but it is important for you to discover what kinds of hobbies you have for leisure time, especially activities which generally are more fun in a social setting with your classmates.
This is a class in which I’m EXTREMELY regretful for not taking. It was in its first years around my Junior year, but I believe it may had conflicted with my band classes, or some other waste of time class. This would had made sense for me to take considering my passions and talents.
However, on the flip side, computer programming can be done very easily as a self-study. In fact, I self studied and developed my own Android App about two years ago. My self-study helped me discover that I have the ability to program, but not the passion.
I know a lot of people who took Computer Programming that discovered their talent and went on to be Computer Science majors. Back in 2003, the Internet wasn’t so user friendly, so I don’t think my perspective may be as accurate in today’s classes that teach computer programming.
But this is a great class to explore if you’re wondering which electives you should take. Or try and self-study, and see how you like it.
ALL OTHER CLASSES
There are a lot of other classes I haven’t listed and many new classes which probably have developed with the prevalence of social media. The general principle is to be intentional with the time that you’re spending in High School. You want to find your passions. You want to find your talents. And you want to figure out what you can monetize, and what activities will need to remain in the “hobby” realm.
RUNNING START (COMMUNITY COLLEGE)
Some high schools will allow Juniors and Seniors to skip their high school classes and go straight to community college classes. This makes absolute sense, and I’m entirely on board for this. Whatever critiques may exist about losing the “social” value of high school interactions is ridiculous and can be balanced out with other intentional activities.
Yes. Even better if you can pull it off. There’s a lot of high school, time-wasting activities, which you can skip (time wasting as in has no consequence once you’re in college). I would probably only recommend this for individuals who show self-initiative and passion for self improvement.
I had lots of summer jobs that paid essentially minimum wage and it was lower back than! About a couple years ago, I made a 30 second YouTube video that has netted me about $80 in ad revenue. I have another video reviewing a product that has provided $200 in ad revenue. I also receive Amazon referral income from product links I put in my videos.
I think if you put your mind to it, you can make more than minimum wage being a digital content creator. Also, all the digital content you produce is giving you experience and skills much better than some brain-dead job you’ll most likely get.
I can assure you that producing music videos of my children pooping in the toilet is much more interesting than being a cashier at the now defunct “CompUSA” or a cashier at fast food restaurant.
SEX, DRUGS, ALCOHOL, PORN, AND OTHER ADDICTIVE ACTIVITIES
For many teenagers: sex is addictive, drugs are addictive, alcohol is addictive, and porn is VERY addictive (for most men).
There are a lot of studies that indicate that the adolescent mind is still developing and is especially vulnerable to addictive behaviors. My general advice is to be sensitive toward your personal impulsive behaviors and avoid situations which encourage risky behaviors.
I would recommend abstaining from addictive activities until about your mid 20s in which your brain development has progressed and is less vulnerable to addictive activities, you’re more aware of your own addictive proclivities, and you have a monetarily supportive career that can put your addictive activities in perspective.
When you’re addicted to an activity or substance, your mind loses focus on the ultimate high school objectives, and thus life objectives. Essentially, it’s a huge distraction that will distort your priorities toward immediate versus delayed gratification and really fuck up your life trajectory.
The common phrase: “Everything in moderation” generally rings true. The concern relates to the effects of these intense experiences on the still developing brain.
As a parent, I’d very much rather my kids experiment in a safe, controlled environment that I can provide wise counsel, if they’re hell bent on participating in potentially addictive activities, but if you don’t have someone in your life that you can trust to help guide you through the risky behavior, you’re much better off simply waiting until you get your adult life together and have a well paying job, otherwise, you have a high risk of derailing your future for the sake of these addictive activities / substances.
TL;DR: many addictive substances can permanently fuck up your still developing brain. Try and wait it out until your brain is more developed and you have better self-control which is probably around mid to late 20s. And make sure you’re not trying to self-medicate any underlying emotional trauma that you need to see professional help with.
I’m addressing this more towards the dudes.
This one I’m going to single out due to its easy accessibility and its very powerful effects on the mind. There are a lot of great articles that cover this topic much better than I can.
Porn addiction is dangerous in how it affects your motivation in the rest of your life and how it can damage your views of sexuality.
My recommendation is to avoid it as best as possible.
Your brain goes absolutely insane once you start with it. And then the next day, your brain will start going crazy to get its next fix. The threshold to start an addiction is very low due to how pre-wired your brain is toward procreation.
Know your limitations and be aware you’re playing with fire, and make sure you’re not trying to self-medicate any underlying emotional trauma that you need to see professional help with.
I gamed a lot in high school during the summer out of boredom. Gaming today is also multidimensional and complex to try and simplify.
A lot of coding stems from a love for gaming. The love to design 3D worlds comes from gaming.
I think I would’ve gamed a lot less if I was producing digital content instead and making money. Gaming can be addictive, but also has monetization potential via Twitch.tv and YouTube videos. I believe that the VR world (Vive & Oculus), will become an entire economic opportunity for those who can help develop it.
If you look at Gaming from a social point of view, some of the best times of my high school life were playing FPS shooters with my friends in the same room, or playing RTS at a LAN party.
Just as above with the addiction concerns, I would recommend that you remain sensitive to recognize when you’re going overboard on gaming and sacrificing your ultimate objectives in high school and life.
I’m not necessarily recommending going cold turkey on Gaming, but you may decide it’s necessary to do so if you simply don’t have the self control. Social Media has the same effect as well. Anything addictive is the same as well. Sometimes you have no option but to go cold turkey.