Four Ways to Enrich Your High School Experience

With academics, athletics, jobs, and other activities taking up most of a high school student’s time, one can forget to relax–or doesn’t know how. Here are some ideas for making your experience memorable.

By Michelle Shavnya

1. Volunteer (doing something you enjoy)
Whether you like art, animals, interacting with seniors, reading, or anything else, there’s likely a volunteer opportunity to suit your interests. Try volunteering at a local museum, animal shelter, senior center, or library. 93 percent of teens report being interested in volunteering, but only 55 percent actually volunteer. Stop waiting for a volunteer opportunity to appear magically; instead, set a reminder on your phone to avoid procrastination, and when it goes off, actually get up to do it.

2. Try a unique sport
It’s okay if team sports like basketball or soccer have never appealed to you. There are plenty of individual sports to choose from, including biking, rock climbing, martial arts, running, pilates, or yoga. Individual sports boast benefits that team sports might not. For example, not having teammates to rely on teaches players to deal with problems on their own. Moreover, exercise is good for your health, especially if you find yourself spending most of your day sitting in class and doing homework until your eyes gloss over.

3. Learn to cook
Relying on your parents to make dinner is easy, but it’s more rewarding to cook it yourself. Even learning to cook a few meals improves your self-confidence and prepares you for the adult world. One alarming study showed that sixty percent of 18 to 25 year olds couldn’t cook five simple meals. You don’t want to be a part of that statistic. Instead of endlessly scrolling through Instagram during your free time, look on Pinterest, YouTube, or cooking blogs to find meals to cook for your family.

4. Talk to a classmate you haven’t talked to before
Maybe there is one classmate who seems like an interesting person, but you’ve never approached them. Strike up a conversation about something pertaining to the class you’re currently in. Doing this will let that person know you’re interested in talking to them and they’ll reciprocate it. Sometimes friendships in high school can fizzle out, so having a few acquaintances will ensure that you always have someone to talk to. And you never know, talking to someone new may cause you to meet a new best friend.

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