I didn't hate high school. I had some pretty good friends and I got good grades. I was never seriously bullied, I had never failed a test and I never had days where I dreaded going into school. But I don't think I realised until after I'd left, that I was never as happy at high school as I am at university. The realisation has hit me that I am definitely one of those people who peaks after high school. During my first semester I very rarely saw anyone from high school apart from my friends who I had actively kept in contact with and arranged to meet. This semester I've gotten a part time job in my home town so have been taking the 30 minute train home at the weekends to work there. This means that I see people a lot more often. I don't really mean my friends, more people that I went to school with and know but don't really speak to that often. And to be honest? Seeing these people again makes me feel uncomfortable. I wasn't the most confident person in high school, I was quite socially awkward and generally kept myself to myself. I wouldn't say people loved be or hated me, just didn't really know me. And I feel like whenever people see me now they still think of me as the person who I was in high school. Although I now feel like a completely different person. But just in that split moment, I let my insecurities get the best of me and I become high school Hayley again and I don't want to be her.
I wouldn't go back and do high school all over again if you paid me. I feel like I've moved on a lot since then. But there are some things that I wish I'd known. Maybe I'd have had a more positive time. Like I said, I didn't dislike it. But I wasn't the happiest person ever.
Talking to people isn't that hard - In high school I felt really uncomfortable speaking to people that I didn't know and so a lot of the time I would never start conversations. Since starting university I've realised that it isn't as hard as I thought. I even surprise myself sometimes.
You shouldn't dislike someone unless they've given you a reason to - When I was a lot younger if one of my friends disliked someone, I would dislike them too. I think high school can be really clique-y and a lot of the time all of the bickering is totally unnecessary. I should have been more open and more inclusive of everyone, rather than writing people off without having spoken to them.
Your teachers are pretty awesome people and you should value that - I didn't really realise until I was in my last few years of school just how great my teachers were. If you'd told 11 year old me on her first day of high school that she'd cry on her last day because she would miss a lot of them I wouldn't have believed you. But I did!
You are never going to have this much free time again - What did I do with my free time before I had a part time job and had so much studying to do? I am so jealous of my 12 year old time wasting self.
Grades do matter - In my last year I got 4 unconditional offers for uni and I'd be lying if this didn't affect my work ethic for the rest of the year. I didn't do badly but I know that if I'd worked just that little bit harder my Bs would be As. I applied for a chemistry degree but I always had an interest in chemical physics. I tried to transfer to chemical physics in my first week at uni and got told 'if you have to work for a B in advanced higher maths, you won't survive in chemical physics'. Ouch. Maybe if I'd worked a little bit harder I'd be doing a completely different degree.