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September 5, 2005

Don't abuse your freedom

By Maressa Zahra

The countdown that counts has just started.Itís back to school time, unfortunately, for most of us.

Let me be honest, gearing up for school ainít my most favorite hobby, and probably not yours either, but itís nonetheless important in order to get through your freshman year, particularly since youíll be attending high school for the first time.

I can even hear you ask, ďWhat the heck does she mean with gearing up?Ē

Well, I can reassure you that my version is not your parentsí one, if thatís any comfort.

Yes, yes, no studying and you gear up just the same, perhaps better, too. I mean something that no amount of endless studying without ambition can ever reach.

Itís about achieving a mindset where you ask yourself where you want to stand in the next few years. Do you wanna repeat? Do you wanna get straight As?

Whichever one you choose, think up an action plan.

Believe me, high school has so many traps Ė too much freedom Ė that youíll need one.

Speaking of freedom, beware!

Between high school and your previous school thereís a gap of world-shattering proportions.

Youíll have the freedom of not attending classes. You might just be able to skip homework so easily youíll gasp. Your teacher might not even learn your name after two years.

At high school everyone will just worry about himself Ė most teachers and counselors are there for the pay, and you must get into that college someday, so you better think about your marks.

That said, it follows that you canít be a baby. Anyways, youíre not supposed to be. Babies donít go to high school.

So, for your sake, donít allow yourself to be one.

Missing classes and not doing your work is the conventional recipe for falling behind. And you donít want your friends graduating while you study makeup lessons, do you?

Graduation may seem light years away, but these years fly so fast you wonít see them, and you wonít even realize it until theyíre past and buried.

But letís not beat around the bush! You want to miss classes because thatís just so mighty cool. Youíll enter into that cool clique. That popular person will start to notice you, yes you, and perhaps youíve been uncool and unpopular and all the unís you may think of for so long! You may even get that date you dreamed of these past years.

Sure, it will get you instant popularity and other trivial rewards.

But donít fret so much over it.

Popular people change at a faster pace than Colin Farrellís girlfriends. Popular one day, zombie the next, thatís the rule of the day at most high schools -- though ,of course, it never hurts to be popular one of those days.

But donít inflate your head. Iíve warned you.

Itís okay, donít strangle me for nagging! Just bear with me a bit more; Iíve got a confession to make that will make all this come to some sense.

I know what it feels like to want to act cool, but the feeling of remaining behind just isnít worth it. Iíve been through it, and believe me, getting out of that kind of a mess takes a hell of a lot longer than it did to get into it.

Youíll attend high school just once in your life. I hope that alone inspires you to use your time well and make the cut to college successfully. There, Iíve told you. My conscience is clear now. Good luck.  

To read all of The Tattoo's Insider's Guide to High School, click here

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