School can be pretty rough. High school can be especially rough. It can also be a lot of fun, as long as you know what you’re doing, and how to stay safe.
It’s easy to think of your school as a safe space, but that’s not always the case, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
So, here we have a list of ways that you can help yourself stay safe while at school.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
Your first few weeks at school can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t really know anyone at the school you’re going to.
It’s always tempting to stick close to the first few people you talk with, but it always pays to be aware of who you’re making friends with (see also “200 Questions You Can Ask To Get To Know Someone Better“),.
Don’t worry too much about who’s popular and who isn’t, worry more about whether the people around you make you feel comfortable and whether you fit in with them.
Your friends at school are going to be your lifeline for a lot of your time there, so make sure that the friends you pick are ones you can be yourself with.
You don’t want to be months into school with a friend group only to find out they sneak out to go drinking every week when that’s something you might be very uncomfortable with.
Choosing the right friends and being safe around them is so much more valuable than anything else because these people can be there for you when things go wrong or when you’re in an unsafe situation, and you can’t always rely on yourself or your parents for everything.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Teachers
When teachers aren’t scary they’re normally just a nuisance. That said, they’re the ultimate authority at school, and their number 1 priority is making sure students stay safe.
Even if you think your teacher doesn’t care about you, or couldn’t help with a problem, you should always turn to them if you feel unsafe for any reason.
They are people who do this job because they care about your well-being, and they have been specifically trained to help you in case you need anything.
They can help you through anything that makes you feel unsafe and will deal with anything they need to in order to keep you safe.
Don’t Hate Your Parents Too Much
I know, I get it. You’ve probably heard this before and it sounds stupid and cliche. That said, it’s cliche to hate your parents and it’s cliche to not hate them, but you’re going to have to listen to this one.
Your parents or guardians are the ones you’re going to have to ultimately rely on for anything that goes wrong at school (see also “How To Tell Your Parents You’re Being Bullied“).
If you’re being harassed by others, made to feel unsafe by adults, or are getting involved in things that are dangerous and make you feel uncomfortable, you are going to have to communicate that to your parents at some point.
You might want to try and avoid it, or be worried that your parents will only make things worse by interfering, or that they’ll blame you for whatever’s wrong – but ultimately your parents only want what’s best for you, and your safety (see also “Independent Teens: 10 Safety Tips To Protect Yourself“) will come first over everything else.
Your parents can do things that you can’t, and hold a lot more power over the school they can use to keep you safe. Always talk to your parents or guardians if you don’t feel safe.
It’s important going into school that you know your own worth. It can be easy to feel the need to do things for other people or to do the things you think other people will like you more for.
We all do this to an extent without thinking, so it’s important to grow your self-confidence to a level where you understand your own boundaries and have the courage to say ‘no’ to things that you don’t want to do.
Not only will you be a lot happier not worrying about what others think about you all the time, but you’ll also find yourself in a lot less dangerous situations if you’re the only clear-headed one in the group who realizes when something is a bad idea.
You don’t have to feel the need to confront others when doing things that aren’t safe, like drugs, alcohol, or partying with strangers, you can just choose not to get involved.
Don’t feel the need to justify your decisions to anyone. You are, after all, the one making the smart decision to not do something dangerous.
While we partly mean your physical health here (make sure you’re getting exercise and eating healthily, you’ll feel and look so much better for it!)
We also mean that you should look after and be aware of your mental health.
All too often, schools, parents, and even friends can overlook the stress school life can put on you, and make you feel depression, anxiety, loneliness, or any other number of factors.
It’s important you do well at school, but it’s more important that you’re genuinely happy with the things you’re doing, and not constantly burnt out.
If you feel that things are becoming too much for you, or if you’re having intrusive or harmful thoughts, reach out to someone.
It’s understandable that you’ll sometimes feel uncomfortable bringing these things up to your teachers or even your parents/guardians, so if you really feel like you need to go to someone else for help, there are a bunch of online, anonymous ways to go about it.
The Youth Alliance is a charity organization that has a compiled list of support lines for discussing your mental health and ways to get through it.
Remember there’s absolutely no shame in talking about it with someone and is something almost everyone has experienced to some degree in their life, even adults.
We hope this helps you live your best life at school, and get through those study-heavy years without having to worry about dangers around the corner on top of everything else.
Remember, these can be the best years of your life! So have fun, stay safe, and don’t study too hard.
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