Posted by : VANITY Blog Sunday, 31 May 2015

I’ve been writing advice articles for years, but every now and then new realizations hit me. Since I’m now older and wiser, I think and believe these new ideas of mine could help you guys and save you some time.  

1. There is no shame in summer school 

This shame in summer school belief may not be shared by everyone. From where I came from, summer school is somehow apprehended with a little bit of reluctance. Everybody knows that you’re there because you’re in remedial or repeating a class you failed. No one is there to do advance class. When I first got here, I almost cried when I found out I’m going to summer school. Then I realized, it was for the better. I was there to catch up with my credits so I could graduate in time. Moreover, no one should be ashamed in school during the summer. You’re doing it to better yourself, and, aside from that, you get to make new friends from different schools! 

2. Eating alone in the hallway is not recommended 

I know this may not sound true to introverts, but as a fellow introvert and an immigrant, it would only make you feel sad to eat alone during lunch break. When I was in high school, I never ate in the cafeteria. I never got the chance to meet someone new during lunch breaks.  I remember once I was eating by myself in the stairwell. A sad background music is the only thing that’s missing to make a depressing emo music video.  I thought to myself, "this has to stop". So I begged my high school counsellor to find me friends. Best decision I did in high school (and taking planning 10 online :P) 

3. Decreasing your credit/term load is not always a good thing 

When I got into grade 12, I finally got the chance to have free blocks. I thought I didn’t have to take classes that were not necessary. I thought all I needed really was English 12, the rest were electives. Boy, I was wrong.  I wish I took an Accounting 12 or Pre-Calculus 12 then I would probably have something to write on my résumé as experience or have prerequisites for college courses. Although, spending all those hours reading in the library is a joy too. The caveat is know what credits or classes you need to take before embarking on a schedule with lots of free blocks. 

4. Make friends outside your circle 

For us immigrants, we tend to be friends with the same people like we are. How can that be wrong? We know that birds of the same feather flock together. I was content with the friends that I have in school that I never bothered making new ones in my classes. Now, I can literally say I only have six friends. I don’t have anyone to talk to when they’re busy. I didn’t have friends or even acquaintance in my classes that they weren’t in. Learn from my mistake and step out of your comfort zone and make new friends that are not immigrants like you. You’ll have more connections and more strings to pull when you need it in the future. I know that sounded like a crude business person advice, but we have to accept that connections are important in the adult world, especially when you’re an immigrant. 

5.  Your GPA does not define you 

Like any other parents, mine want me to get good grades. B+ is not good enough.  I get sad when I’m not in the honour roll even though I knew I worked hard. I got so obsessed with getting good grades that I was not learning anymore. Being in school should mean that we are learning life lessons that we can use when we’re done schooling.  I got so fed up with only wanting high grades that I can’t even remember what I learned about last term. And when I finally got into the honour roll, it wasn’t much that gratifying. What’s a grade on a paper going to do when you’re finally out of school and have to do everything on your own? Besides, there are a lot of factors that determine your grades, and your intelligence is not the sole predictor of it. 

I’m sure that sometime in the future, I will find some new realizations and I’ll be glad to share it with you again.  For now, I encourage you guys to take these suggestions into consideration and keep your head high! High school is not a place to dread for! Good luck.  

- Anonymeh

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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