You’re your own best guidance counselor, so make sure to set up an appointment with yourself.

it may stress you out to do it right now, but I strongly recommend you start planning your high school graduation pathway. I never did, and kind of stumbled through freshman year up to senior year.

Freshman year, instead of taking public speaking and health, I chose to have a study hall. Though it’s always hard to transition from middle school to high school and a free period may be the thing you need, you might regret that choice later on when you’re a senior and you still don’t have your public speaking or health credits and have the occasional nightmare you won’t graduate in time.

So, get those pesky credits out of the way earlier than later.Also, take advantage of summer classes. Had I taken public speaking and health some time the past threesummers, I would have only suffered for a couple of weeks rather than three years.

But anyway, hindsight is always 20/20, right?

Obviously, you can’t take into account everything that will happen during high school. You might be like me and change your mind all the time and go from not wanting to do IB to deciding to do it in the span of one day. But it’s still worth mapping out your high school path to have an idea of what credits you need to get taken care of so you can take full advantage of the course offerings at the high school.

School is what you make of it. If you take all the classes you think you’re supposed to take but not the ones you want to take, you’ll be miserable. So it’s important to be honest with yourself and recognize how much of a workload you’re willing to put on yourself. If you want to study until the wee morning hours, knock your socks off. But if you’re more focused on what you do outside of school, then maybe don’t take that extra AP class.

You’re your best guidance counselor, and that’s something that took me three years to realize.