The stores are stocked with pencils, notebooks, juice pouches, and peanut butter and jelly. Parents’ tempers are short as their six-year-old asks for the 4th time, “Why can’t I get this 68 pack of markers?!” “Your list only says you need a 24 pack. Please stop shouting.” Every store is screaming, “IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!” While high schoolers are screaming on the inside, “NOOOOOOOOOO!”
It’s the beginning of August, and I can’t believe that school is starting so early. Back in my day, (HA) we started a week and a half later than these poor kids. Although, I’m jealous of these kids getting to go back to school shopping, (I LOVED getting new school supplies, a quirk of mine) I remember dreading going back to school and starting classes again. But looking back, there are a few things I learned in high school that have nothing to do with algebra, Shakespeare, or the history of the Roman Empire. These are things that I wish I could have done better, and what I wish for every high schooler to know.
- Work on your foundation in Christ
I went to a Christian school and learned a lot about who Jesus is. I really began to build my foundation on Christ during these years, but I wish I would have worked at it more. You may think it will be easier in college or when you are out on your own, but it will be harder. You will have many more things vying for your time. So establish a regular habit of reading the Word and praying. Find out how you best connect with the Lord whether that be through journaling, playing music, or sitting in silence and talking with Him.
2. Don’t wish this time away
You may be so ready to start a career, move out, travel the world, get married, but don’t wish your time in high school away. This is a time where you have few responsibilities. Enjoy your time playing sports, going to high school games, spending time with friends, figuring out what you like to do, and not having to worry about money or a job.
3. Be friends with your parents
Your parents are there to help, not make your life miserable. Respect them and listen to them, they know a lot more about life than you do. I probably got into way more arguments with my parents in high school than I needed to, and I didn’t listen to them as much as I should have. Now, my parents are my best friends and I ask them for advice all the time. So high schoolers, be nice to your parents, they love you and know what is best for you. I promise.
4. Be nice to those younger than you
It may not be “cool” to talk to a freshman when you are an upperclassman. Who cares? Do it. Incoming freshman are terrified, and mostly because of you. So be nice to the kids younger than you. Help them out, be their friend, show them where their classroom is, smile at them. You’ll influence them more than you know.
5. Choose your friends wisely
Have discernment and take your time in choosing who you will be close friends with. Listen to your parents and respected adults when they say not to be friends with someone. I would have saved myself a few bad friendships had I done this. Once I learned this though, I made some really great friends, some of whom I am still friends with and one who is one of my best friends today. Realize that you do not need to be friends with everyone, but choose your friends wisely and still be kind to those you should not be friends with.
High schoolers, I realize this is a weird, crazy time in your life. You are trying to figure out who you are, what your life will look like in the future, and how to stay grounded. Let me tell you, you are loved, everything will be ok, and it’s ok to not be like “everyone else.”