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15 Small Things In High School Which Make The Days Memorable

15 Small Things In High School Which Make The Days Memorable

It’s funny, isn’t it? The years go by, but our memories stay strong. High school was a unique experience for everyone. No one has the same stories, events and triumphs of another. There are however, common but meaningful moments of joy and laughter that we can all relate to when thinking back on our transformation years from teen to young adult.

Think of this as a time machine to step back from the present and travel back for a moment to our so called glory days.

1.  First Day Freshman Year

Maybe your parents didn’t take pictures and cry like they did for kindergarten, but the first day of high school was a big deal. At the time it seemed like the most important thing you’ve ever done. The goal was simple. As long as you made it through the day without being trash-canned or stuffed in a locker by a senior, you could consider day one as a high schooler a success.

2.  Gym Class

There were two types of kids in gym class. Those who loved gym class and those who hated it. Whether you were the one throwing the dodge balls or the one being pelted, you never forget the craziness that went on during gym. Not the mention the stink and sweat you had to deal with for the rest of the day after class.

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3.  Getting Called On When You Weren’t Paying Attention

There you were, day dreaming away, staring at the pretty girl across the room or thinking about what you’ll do after school ends. Out of nowhere, BAM! The teacher calls your name and you didn’t even hear the question. Two possible outcomes awaited: You were either clever enough to come up with a guess that might work, or you sat there dumbfounded while the teacher called on someone else in disgust. Don’t worry, it happened to all of us.

4.  First Crush

Let’s face it, we all had one. We can all think back to the first guy or girl we couldn’t help but smile at and hope we’d get a glimpse of them walking down the hall in-between classes. The question is, what happened after that crush? Did the crush fade away? Was it heartbreak? Or maybe you went all four years without ever saying a word, satisfied with split second eye contact every few weeks. Who knows, maybe you even married them. Either way, we all remember our first crush.

5.  Substitute Teacher

When you walked into the classroom and saw an unfamiliar face sitting at the teacher’s desk you knew it was going to be an interesting day. Pranksters were full steam ahead when a substitute teacher was in for the day. Mixing up names, talking in accents, random shouting, anything to erupt a roar of laughter from the rest of the class. The best was trying to convince the substitute how our regular teacher always let us do something, like listen to music during class, when it was never actually the case. You never knew what to expect on substitute teacher days.

6.  Sneaking Texts

For those who didn’t have cell phones during high school think of it as passing notes on steroids. Not only could you send a message without skipping down the entire row of desks but now you could send it to someone in an entirely different room. It was always a thrill making sure you could punch out a few words before the teacher saw what you were doing. The downfall was when you got caught teachers kept your phone for the entire day, or worse, brought it to the principal’s office.

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7.  Group Projects

Working in groups could go a few different ways. Most would be groups of friends who partnered up so they could joke around the entire class before trying to scruff something together in the last five minutes. One group was always bound to get stuck with the kid who never did anything and they’d have to compensate the extra work while he sat there picking his nose. My secret was to partner up with the smart kids, knowing they’d do the hard work to make sure the group got an A and only assign me enough to make it look like I actually did something.

8.  Being Called On The Intercom

A stir of emotions flowed in when you heard your name over the loud speaker to come down to the office. A sense of pride in having the entire school hear your name aloud followed quickly by a sharp worry of what trouble you got yourself into this time. Then when you arrived to find out it was only because your mom dropped off lunch money you wondered why they made such a big deal to announce it to the whole school.

9.  Field Trips

It didn’t matter where you were going, the best part about any field trip was the bus ride. All of your friends squeezed onto one bus shouting and joking around the entire way there and back. It’s amazing to think back on the things bus drivers would put up with.

10.  “When will we ever use this?”

This question came up every single day, especially in math class. Most of the time the teacher came up with an example of when we’d use that days lesson in the real world, but it was always satisfying when we got the response we were looking for: “Probably never.” But it was in the curriculum so class continued on and we had to learn it anyways.

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11.  Lunch

Lunch was arguably the best part of the day. Not because of the food, no definitely not the food. It was a break from nagging teachers and boring lectures, and a chance to hangout with your friends. It’s funny to think about the big decision of where to sit every day. Lunch was were groups of friends were defined. Scan across the room for 30 seconds and you could point out every single clique there was. Lunch was about the experience and never about the food. Honestly, does anyone know what it was they put in those sausage links of breakfast day?

12.  “Study” Hall

A lot of different things happened during study hall. Studying was never one of them. It was either spent talking with friends or you opened up your book to a random page and dedicated the rest of the period to sleeping. Study hall was a part of the day were it was perfectly okay to do nothing. Where’s that in the 40 hour work week?

13.  Homework?

Class is almost over. The bell’s about to ring and the teacher’s lost track of time. The whole class is hanging on their seats because no homework has been assigned and everyone is pumped to go home knowing they won’t have any work to do. Then, usually the teacher’s pet, bursts out, “what about homework?” The teacher thanks her for the reminder and then give the class the assignment. Just like that the excitement is ruined. Such an emotional roller coaster in that short period of time for all of us young people.

14.  Daily Drama

You can’t think about high school without thinking about all the nonsense that went on everyday. Even if you played no part in drama you knew the inside scoop of what was going on. Who was dating who, who didn’t like which person, who got caught cheating on their test. It’s funny to think about all the little things we cared about. It’s even funnier to think about all the people who still do.

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15.  Senior Year

Almost as fast as you’ve read this post it seems you went from walking in the doors for the first time as a freshman to walking out one last time as a high school graduate. When we think back to high school, senior year tends to dominate the image. Rulers of the school, you could do anything you wanted and no one would tell you otherwise. Well, that’s not really true, but it’s how we all felt. Senior year was the last step of the 12 year journey, afterwards it was time to leave the nest and take your first step into the real world.

It’s always funny thinking back on high school. Whenever we reminisce, it’s never about the tests, grades, or what we learned in class, it’s about the memories we have with those who were closest to us. We think about the relationships we built. About being with your friends every day for four years, laughing, joking and bringing joy to each others lives.

That’s what we remember most about high school. And that’s exactly how it should be.

Featured photo credit: GyorgyMadarasz via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2020

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

1. A Positive Attitude

Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

2. Confidence

All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

  • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
  • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

3. A Sense of Humor

It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

4. Ability to Embrace Failure

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

5. Careful Listening and Feedback

This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

  • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
  • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

7. Growth Mindset

Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

8. Responsibility

Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

9. A Desire to Learn

It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

The Bottom Line

Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

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Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

Reference

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