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The Big Secret Key to High School Success

Image courtesy of Ul Marga

I am currently in my second semester of my second last year of high school, and looking back on all that I’ve learned, I realised that there was something I really wish someone had told me on my very first day of the ninth grade. If I knew then what I knew now, I would have payed much closer attention and been a lot more successful. I wouldn’t have gotten that blasted 64% in math last year and hurt my chances of getting into the marketing program I want. Nor would I have had that very public mental breakdown a few years ago from chronic, long term stress.

I’m sure all of you university, college or graduate students already know “The Big Secret Key to High School Success” or TBSKtHSS if you’re into acronyms. Your parents probably told you about it many times, and you just shrugged and brushed it off your shoulders, only to start telling all the young people you meet the very same thing a few years later. In fact, you grandparents probably told your parental units the very same thing. They probably reacted the same way you did when they told you because it’s much too simple to be effective. After all, the more effort you put into something, the better it is, right? Simple can’t possibly be good, can it?

The reason that TBSKtHSS is so hard to believe when you hear it is that it relies heavily on hindsight, which is something you lack when starting a new phase in your life. You can’t look back on an event it it’s still happening to you, can you? I’ll reveal the secret in a minute, but there probably won’t be much you can do with it if you’re still in high school. You still lack that all important hindsight. But don’t worry. I do too remember? In fact, I had to call my best friends adult sister to ask her what the big secret is anyway. She’s in second year university and has had adequate time to look back on her four years in high school. You know what she said to me?


That’s it. “Enjoy your time while you’ve got it. Balance your life if you really want to be happy and successful. You can’t be all work, but you can’t be all play. It’s rarely as bad as you think it is.”

It was such a simple reply I wanted to scream. I’ve been dwelling on this for a couple of days, trying to come up with eloquent prose that detailed the knowledge of generations past. And yet, when I asked those generations past what their big secret was, I got a one word reply.


Does this then mean that it really is as simple as that? That we’re probably over complication things with our constant desires of perfection? Of perfect résumés, of perfect records, of perfect minds? Apparently, the answer is yet another one word reply. Yes.

So take a deep breath. Study some and party some. Smell the roses, then smell the pages of your textbook. Hang out with your friends at the movies, and hang out with them at the library. Balance your life if you want to make the most of it.

And that my friends, is the great big secret to high school success.


I thought it’d be appropriate to introduce myself, seeing as this is my first time ever writing for Gearfire. My name is Ayomide (pronounced i-oh-me-day. It means “my joy has come.”) I’m a high school junior who one day decided to stop being self-centered, and start doing something meaningful with my self and help others. I do this by writing. Here, I plan on writing more articles like this one- articles that help you put things in perspective. As for student success, my area of expertise would of course be how to succeed in high school, seeing as it’s a bit different than college/university/graduate school. I’m a master at motivation, balancing extra curricular activities with life and school, self-improvement, and networking.

I also write a blog called where I cover how to live the kind of life that makes you smile. (And look good doing it!)

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7 Responses to “The Big Secret Key to High School Success”

  1. Max says:

    Yeah, I think you’re right.

    I’m just starting my first year of uni, and I’ve found making an effort to balance things like my studying, hobbies, partying, and whatnot truly does help keep me sane. It’s one of those simple insights which only makes sense when you work it out on your own; if someone tells you, it’s one of those things where you don’t pay attention.

    I’ve also noticed it’s thrown around a lot as self-improvement advice. But yeah, it does apply to school life as well.

  2. Ayomide says:

    @ Max: I know, eh? IT reminds me of the quote “Experience is that thing you get right after you need it.” :D

  3. Max says:

    @ Ayomide: lol, I haven’t heard that one before. I would say it’s true though. Let’s trade quotes, here’s another one with a similar style:

    “The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde”

    hehe :)

  4. Nathaniel says:

    balance is right…
    there is a time for everything.
    That’s in Ecclesiastes, you know.

  5. seo blog says:

    My first year at uni was crazy. I was out drinking all the time. Now I’m behind :(

  6. Kayla says:

    I’ve come to realize that you do need a balance in your life between play and work. However, there’s not much to do in my small little retirement town so most people here just die of boredom.

    Good article!

  7. Jessica says:

    I’m only a Freshman i High School, but success is the key to balance and i think what you said is completly correct and I also think that you have a good head on your shoulders.