Six Life Lessons Teens Can Learn from High School

By Huntington Learning Center

High school is a period of tremendous growth for teens. They build upon the foundation of middle school and move toward college and adulthood, gaining academic and non-academic aptitudes that help them be successful and independent.

There are plenty of academic-focused skills teens will acquire and strengthen throughout high school—time management, prioritization and effective study skills, to name a few—but here are six life lessons that teens will hopefully learn during their time as high school students:

  1. Hard work is always worth it. Whether your teen wants to make the tennis team or earn all As, he or she will have to work hard. The dedication required to achieve a goal is incredibly valuable in and of itself. Good things come to those who put in the effort, and there is growth in the journey.
  2. A growth mindset is the best kind of mindset. In high school, teachers insist that students think critically when attempts to solve problems aren’t successful. They want them to keep trying new ideas, and they encourage taking risks and making mistakes so students can learn. Your teen will find that high school offers an opportunity to cultivate a growth mindset. There’s so much to learn in life. If your teen embraces this belief, he or she is going to gain a lot from high school and college.
  3. Character matters. High school is a time when children mature into young adults—and it’s important for them to decide who they want to be. Students with good character are dependable, ethical and own their mistakes. Character will help your teen build relationships, achieve his or her goals, lead others and live a meaningful life.
  4. It pays to get along with people. High schools are usually larger than middle schools, bringing together a wide variety of personality types. Couple this with an environment that pushes more autonomy and it becomes very apparent how essential it is that teens learn to work effectively with others. The ability to listen to and respect others’ opinions will serve your teen well in high school (and far beyond).
  5. Things change. Adaptability is one of the keys to happiness. In high school, friendships change, your teen’s passions and interests change, and circumstances change. This can be difficult to handle, but your teen will be better off if he or she learns to accept this fact and be flexible throughout life.
  6. Your teen is in charge. One of the most important takeaways from high school is that life is what we make it. Teach your teen to take control of his or her future and learn from successes and failures equally. What happens to each of us isn’t all about luck—it’s about effort, planning and a good attitude.

As your teen navigates high school’s ups and downs, be there for support. Remember that this period of life, while exciting and fun, can also be scary, overwhelming and tumultuous. Your teen, like all teens, will experience highs and lows and a range of emotions. Assure your teen that he or she isn’t in it alone and that with the right outlook, there is a great deal to be learned during the four years of high school.