Building a support network is critical to high school success. It’s like having a safety net: whenever things don’t go as planned, your support system will be there to pick you up. A strong support network is often made up of teachers, mentors, and like-minded students. Right now, it’s especially important to have role models at school to communicate with about topics ranging from college applications to situations at home. It’s also important to note that the teachers and mentors in your network may end up writing you letters of recommendation for universities, scholarships, and even jobs one day. Here are some tips on how to create and maintain your own support network in high school.
Be involved at your school
The easiest way to create a support network is to simply be involved at school. Participate in extracurriculars you're passionate about and show your interest to the advisors. For example, let’s say you're interested in robotics; you could join the robotics team! You’ll want to show interest during the events, and don’t be afraid to communicate with your club advisor. They’ll see that robotics is an activity you're passionate about and they’ll want to make sure you succeed. If there are no extracurriculars or clubs you’re interested in, start one. This will demonstrate leadership, passion, and initiative to your teachers, and because of that, they’ll want to support you in your endeavors.
Participate in class
Not everyone is outgoing, so this might seem particularly hard at first. It’s important to remember that participating in class doesn’t always mean getting up in front of everyone to speak or asking questions during class. It can also mean small actions like staying after class to ask the teacher a question. If there’s a topic you learned in class that stood out to you, stay behind and let the teacher know that you were truly interested in the subject and want to learn more. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; it can seem overwhelming sometimes, but your teachers are there to help you. By asking questions, participating in class, and showing interest, your teacher will see that you really want to put in the effort to succeed in their class. By building these types of relationships, you’ll have more people who are willing to write you recommendation letters and support you throughout your high school journey.
Embrace leadership opportunities
Leadership in general is so important in high school. When you take on leadership roles and show that you truly want to make a difference, teachers and mentors will take note. One example of taking on a leadership opportunity is running for an officer position. You don’t have to necessarily be student body president to be a leader; you can be treasurer of the theater club or historian of the National Honor Society. With these types of positions, you’ll be working more with teachers and administrators at your school, and because of this, they’ll be willing to check in on you as a student and make sure you’re staying afloat. This support will be especially helpful during your junior and senior years of high school.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in high school, especially during the college search and application process. But having role models at school who truly care about you and want you to succeed will make a world of difference. You know why having support in high school matters and how you can find it—now it’s time to create your very own network. Good luck!
For more ways to make your high school experience more successful, check out our “high school academics” tag.