Hi, everyone. Are you looking for tips for surviving high school? Probably not, but maybe your teenagers are. My name is Jenelle (most people just call me Nell), and I'm writing this post for my Mom. I'm giving you some of the tips I've learned since starting high school a few weeks ago.

Tips for Surviving High School - What I've learned so far (as a freshman).

9 Tips for Surviving High School

1. Smile. Not too much, not too little, though. It's high school, so you have to find a happy medium. If you walk in without a smile, everyone's going to think you're stuck up or mean. If you smile too much, they might think you're fake.

I know it sounds difficult to figure out how much to smile – that's because it is!

2. Stand tall. I'm 5'11”, so standing tall comes naturally for me. But I've seen some kids that are hunched over or just not proud of their height. It doesn't matter if you're 4'11” like my friend is, or nearly 6 foot tall like I am, stand up. You look like a target if you're hunched over.

3. Don't steal anyone's seat. Or you might get punched in the face. I haven't seen this happen just yet, but high schoolers get realllly territorial over their seats, so, just find your own. Stand your ground when you find a seat, too, or you'll just get knocked out of your chair every day and that won't be fun.

4. Pay attention in class. Everyone has a laptop in class, so it's easy to get sucked into games like slitherio. There are many reasons you shouldn't do this.

The first one is, you're in high school to learn so take advantage of the education they're giving you.

The second one is, if you're playing slitherio in class and you die, all three kids sitting behind you will groan “ohhhhh” and your teacher will notice you're playing a game. Don't ask how I know this, just don't do it.

5. Join a club. If you're the sports type, join sports for sure – but if you're not, don't worry because there are tons of clubs even at small high schools. If there isn't one you think you'll love, talk to your teacher or principal about creating one. Chances are, other kids will want to join you.

My Mom made me join Girl Scouts and at first I was like “really?” but then I went to a meeting and had a lot of fun so now I'm excited to be in the troop. The busier you stay, the less trouble you'll get into. At least that's what my Mom keeps telling me.

6. Help people. It's difficult to stand up for yourself sometimes, so if you see someone struggling with that, don't be afraid to step in. If you think you'll get punched or something, privately talk to a teacher about the incident.

Let other kids know you're looking out for them and won't stand for bullies. The more kids that do this, the less bullies there will be. It's not easy to stand up to bullies, but watch my bullying video and read my story, and maybe it will help you.

7. Be yourself. High school is your chance to shine, to find yourself, and to let everyone know who you really are. Don't hide your quirks or nerdiness just to make people happy. Be the 100% real you. You'll make better friends that way instead of fake ones that only like the fake you!

8. Branch out. If you started high school with a group of friends, that doesn't mean they have to be your only friends. The kids I knew from middle school, well there are only a few of us here at the high school so we stick together at lunch. Safety in numbers and stuff. But branching out means you'll make more friends and that's something I'm working on.

If you see someone sitting alone at lunch, invite them over to your table or go sit with them. Everyone needs friends.

9. Remember to be a good sister. This one might just be for me, but part of surviving high school is having as little stress at home as possible. I know that sounds crazy, because WHO HAS LITTLE STRESS? But if you have siblings you know what I'm talking about.

My little sister, Sapphire, is almost 10 years old which is so crazy because I remember when she was a baby! She had a project she was working on and asked for help. I wanted to say no, but I asked her what it was about and told her I'd help her. Come to find out, it was a project I enjoyed doing. Look below to see how it turned out.

Sapphire's #GivingBackPacks Project with Wonderful Pistachios

#GivingBackPacks

Sapphire wanted to donate school supplies to a kid in her school. Their parents aren't working right now and the kid didn't really have stuff to start the first day of school. Rachel and Saff went shopping and got everything on her list for herself, and also for the other kid. She included a few healthy snacks in the bag because Wonderful Pistachios sent us a bunch to donate. They also sent us a gift card to buy school supplies, but we put the gift card in the back pack because what if the kid needs shoes or something? It could help buy a decent pair at Payless.

wonderful pistachios

Donating school supplies and a backpack goes along with #6 above: help people. It doesn't take much extra effort but can make a big change in their lives. I would guess if I was a single parent and struggling to support my kids, that someone giving them a backpack full of school supplies would help ease a lot of stress! Moms are always so stressed out anyway (or is that just my Mom?), so every little bit helps.

Wonderful Pistachios #GivingBackPacks

I love how Sapphire always wants to help people. It's probably because she spent a lot of time in the hospital from her migraines, and a lot of people helped her while she was there. Our whole family donates stuff at Christmas and sometimes when we get extra stuff we give it to kids that need it, but Sapphire is the one that is always talking about donating, helping other people, etc. She gave her last $2 to the homeless guy at Wal-Mart on her shopping trip for these school supplies!

Wonderful Pistachios #GivingBackPacks

Wonderful Pistachio tube packs are awesome because they fit anywhere in your backpack and you can hide them which means your friends won't try to steal them all like they do when you get out a piece of gum. Is it just me, or does everyone always want gum?

Wonderful Pistachios #GivingBackPacks

When you're craving something salty (girls, you know what I mean), Wonderful Pistachios are a healthier option than potato chips. I like the Roasted & Salted kind but Rachel really loves the Sweet Chili. I don't know why anyone would like Sweet Chili anything, but hey, we all have our preferences.