The Examiner went straight to the experts and asked high school graduates that question, compiling a top 10 list full of advice for those who will come after them.

With the graduation season in full-swing, thousands of high school students are filled with excitement as they close the doors of high school behind them and open doors to futures full of possibilities.

That makes this time of year a perfect time to ask them - what advice would you give to future high school graduates?

The Examiner went straight to the experts and asked high school graduates that question, compiling a top 10 list full of advice for those who will come after them.
“Life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent how you choose to do it,” said Jessica Alexander, a 2010 Fort Osage graduate. “Everyone has a choice on how they deal with challenges. It is up to you to decide how you are going to deal with them to get through it.”

10 Do your best.
Bill Gates once said in a high school graduation speech, “your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not.” The point he was trying to make was to always try your best in what ever situation life presents – that includes high school.
“I always tried my best and never gave up,” said Erin Willgard, a 2010 Fort Osage graduate. “If you don’t try, then you will never know what you can accomplish. That is something important you should always remember.”

9 Be yourself.
Maybe easier said than done, but for Rachel Prescott, a 2010 Lee’s Summit North graduate, it is something she has always kept with her.
“Just be yourself,” she said. “Don’t let others influence what you do.”

8 Spend time getting to know your teachers.
Katie Woroniak, a 2010 Grain Valley graduate, said getting to know her teachers was one of her favorite parts of high school and something she will miss the most.
“I love all of my teachers,” she said. “After a while, you get really close with some of them and form these great relationships. They help you and give advice when you need it. It is awesome.”

7 Don’t stress it.
“High school comes at you really fast sometimes, but it is always important to remember not to stress out,” said Kelsey Cox, a 2010 Fort Osage graduate. “If you just do what you are supposed to do and be responsible, high school will be that much more fun.”

6 Enjoy high school.
Lisa Green, a 2010 Lee’s Summit North graduate, said she believes what makes graduation such a sad time is because of how much she truly enjoyed her time in high school.
“Enjoy each and every second, no matter what you are doing,” she said. “Time flies by and before you know it, high school is over. That is when you must look at your future and become an adult.”

5 Study, study, study.
Hannah Fuqua, a 2010 Grain Valley graduate, cannot stress the value of studying more.
“Study when you are supposed to study. It is so important,” she said. “If you get bad grades, then you might not graduate. If you don’t graduate, then life will get a whole lot tougher.”

4 Don’t forget the homework.
Seems pretty simple, but Kalili-Mateo Fuimaono, a 2010 Fort Osage graduate, admits, he did not always follow his own advice.
“Do your homework and do well on your tests,” he said. “That is something I didn’t do, and it made high school much more difficult. Also, stay in school. No matter what happens, stay in school.”

3 Be prepared.
“I believe it is crucial to stay focused, doing what you need to get done when you need to do it,” said Jessica Redmon, a 2010 Grain Valley graduate. “Don’t necessarily get tied down with all the work. Keep your grades up, and just make sure you are prepared.”

2 Motivate yourself.
Ryan Vermillion, a 2010 Lee’s Summit North graduate, said he wished he would have done better in school. He said something he missed was finding that one thing that would have motivated him to do better.
“Find that motivation, something you can relate to with school,” he said. “That will let you do the work, while still enjoying what you are doing.”

1 Have fun.
“Have fun every minute of high school,” said Shelby Stephens, a 2010 Lee’s Summit North graduate. “Don’t be nervous about what high school has to offer. Just have a good time because it will be over before you know it.”