Adolescence is a challenging and confusing time of life that often leads to bad decision making. Many factors contribute to this including peer pressure, the need to achieve good grades and added responsibilities. Use these tips to help make better choices as you journey through your high school career in order to achieve greater success in higher education, as well as in adulthood.
Be Careful With Social Media Posts
Think twice before posting on any social media portals, especially if these posts contain pictures related to alcohol, drugs, sex, guns or contain vulgar language. This can affect your ability to be gainfully employed in the future. In fact, statistics reveal that over 90% of recruitment agencies investigate social media posts before placing prospective candidates.
Your future employer is not interested in your privacy or whether you were just having some fun. They will make use of the public nature of the internet to help determine whether you are of the character and dignity of a person they would like their business associated with. It is best to avoid any posts that may be considered to be embarrassing by a future employer.
Also keep in mind that social media posts have a way of going viral, even if you aren’t the one who created the original post or shared it. There are dozens of stories on the internet about individuals who lost their jobs and are now finding it difficult to be employed due to dodgy social media posts that were submitted years ago. So it’s best to behave in a manner that doesn’t attract posting from peers.
Your Grades Matter
The pressure from parents, teachers and even peers is greater than ever to achieve good grades. This pressure, no matter how challenging to deal with, is however justified. Your grades can influence your ability to get into a good college, receive a scholarship and could affect your future employment.
The need for self-expression and finding individuality has led to the general belief that your grades don’t define you. While this may be true to a certain extent, your grades are still important, relative to how they may impact your future.
Even if you feel that the grading system is outdated and flawed, the numbers still matter at the end of the day. Especially to prospective colleges and employers who tend to be old-fashioned in their approach for selecting candidates.
Work hard at achieving the best grades you are able and maintaining these grades. You don’t always have to be a straight-A student, but must always show an effort at doing your best.
However, it is important to recognize other factors that could affect your future and not let the need to achieve affect these or your overall quality of life. The pressure and stress of being the top of your class should never affect your ability to enjoy the full high school experience.
You Can Say No
We are all taught from a young age to be amiable and agreeable which is a good skill to develop. However, you should never feel obligated or pressured into saying “yes,” whether this pressure is being applied by parents, teachers, peers or any other person. Saying “yes” when you should have said “no” is the greatest factor that influences bad choices.
Legislation and your parents provide you with laws and rules to follow that should dictate what is acceptable and suitable for you to do at your specific age. But at the end of the day, it is up to you to make the decisions that will affect your future when no one is watching. Always keep in mind these laws and rules, most were created to protect you. Never be afraid to say “no” if you feel that entering into a certain activity is wrong.
Protect Your Identity
Identity theft is a part of modern life that people of all ages need to learn protect themselves against. Teenagers and young adults often think that they are not targets for this type of crime. Having your personal information available to criminals may result in criminal activity that may be associated with you.
In fact, teens make great targets for identity theft due to the time they spend on unsecured networks and their tendency to leave electronic devices accessible to others and unprotected.
Just a few basic security measures can prevent this from happening to you.
- Keep your electronic devices on your person or locked away at all times.
- Make sure that all your devices, computers and laptops are password protected. Choose a complicated password and never share it with anyone.
- Log out of your personal accounts, including email after use.
- Never leave documents containing account information or your social security number where others may have access.
- Pay attention to any activity on your accounts that you did not perform.
Learning to make good decisions in high school will set you up to make even better decisions as you move into adulthood. Never underestimate the impact that one small mistake or bad decision can have on your future. If in doubt, sleep on a decision or find a mentor or person whose advice you trust and talk to them before making a choice. School is a place of learning and you should take this time to educate yourself in all aspects of life, including how to make better choices.
Beatrice Quany is the Marketing Director for ILoveCopperJewelry.com, a website displaying unique creations by award winning designer John S. Brana. Visit the site to view their stylish collection of beautiful copper jewelry.