Top 10 things I wish I knew in high school

High school can be a very fun time and it can be a very difficult time. High school is when you start to learn a lot about yourself. You get to decide how you will react to certain situations and what kind of reputation you wish to maintain. Will you be the quiet girl in the back of the class room? Will you be the athletic guy that everyone wishes to be like?

High school was both fun and difficult for me. Now that I have been out of high school for a full year, I started thinking of things that I wish I would’ve known during that time of my life.

1.) The drama does not matter.

I will be the first to say that every high school has some type of drama. That part is quite inevitable when you put several teenagers with different personalities together in one building. Now, let me also be the first to tell you that all of that drama literally means nothing after you graduate. I find myself laughing at dramatic situations that I once thought would “ruin my life”. My best advice would be to avoid it at all costs, however, as long as you handle every situation with a Christ-like attitude you will be just fine.

2.) Do not let that “mean classmate” bring you down.

I firmly believe that as every school has drama, they also have that mean girl or guy. I bet as you read that first sentence, at least someone came to your mind. We all deal with that one person who is just cruel without ceasing. But please hear me out on this. Before you go straight to defensive mode, giving any comeback you can, think about what Christ would do (yes, I played the WWJD card). No matter how much their words hurt, love them. No matter how many people they point their harsh words  at, love them. Because the thing is, we have no idea what that person is dealing with. They could be dealing with a battle far greater than we can imagine. So how amazing would it be if you were the one who showed them Christ’s love? When everyone else hates them and fuels their bitter fire, you could be the one who is different. The one who is gentle and compassionate. It might not be the cool thing to do. It might cost you some friends. But it’s so worth it.

3.) That boy who broke your heart will become a distant memory eventually.

This one is for you lovely ladies out there. I know what it’s like to feel like your heart is just shattered by a boy. I know the feeling of thinking “wow, I’m going to die alone with 72 cats!!” This thought was always particularly disturbing for me considering my dislike for cats. But please believe me when I say that is not the end of your world! You might be sad at first. It will hurt for a little bit. It will not last forever though! Eventually you will start to see God’s plan unfolding. You will understand why it didn’t work out. You might even look back and laugh at the fact that you were so torn up about it. The most important thing through all of it is remembering that God has such a divine plan for your life and He is most definitely working things out for your good and His glory.

5.) Even if you don’t have a date, go to Prom.

It seems like there is so much pressure on having a prom date. If you have a date, that’s so great. If not, go with a group of friends! Get all dressed up {but modest is the hottest, ladies}. Have a night dedicated to fun and dancing {as long as it’s clean dancing because you should always leave room for Jesus πŸ™‚ }.

6.) Keep up, not catch up.

This one is more for after you graduate. My sweet friend Rachel {the pretty blonde pictured above} was the one who shared this one with me. High school is a time you can make precious, life-long friends. Rachel is an example of that! When you find those friends, make it a priority to keep up with their life. Avoid trying to play “catch up” all the time but be truly invested in their life and keep up with what is happening!

7.) Your parents are right 99.9% of the time.

I know if you’re a teenager reading this, you’re probably cringing at the thought of your parents being right. You’re probably thinking “Yeah right, they don’t remember what it’s like to be a teenager!!” But oh friends, they do. Looking back, I can’t think of an incident when my parents weren’t right. Believe it or not, they actually want the best for you. Some parents express that differently than others. But the honest truth is that they really do know what they’re talking about.

8.) Don’t put so much pressure on the perfect ACT score, or getting accepted to the perfect college.

{Parents or teachers reading this: please understand that by no means am I saying education is not important. I’m currently going to college majoring in Elementary Education and I value education wholeheartedly.} But here’s the thing, high school students. That ACT score that you have does not define you. The truth is, it doesn’t matter where you go as long as you’re seeking Jesus through it all and you’re bringing glory to Him. I’m definitely not saying that you shouldn’t try hard because you should always strive to do your best. But trying to reach this unattainable goal of being perfect will leave you exhausted. Focus on trying your best and giving glory to Jesus throughout the whole journey.

9.) Invest your time in something that matters.

High school is such a good opportunity to share the beautiful and redemptive story of the cross. Unfortunately I didn’t fully realize that until after I graduated. Think about it though. You’re around the same people everyday each school year. You could impact so many people just by sharing His love and His story. Don’t take the opportunities that you have for granted.

10.) Always, always, always find your identity in Jesus.

Throughout high school, you will find yourself putting your identity in other places. Whether it’s sports, academics, or even people. You will never be satisfied and will always be searching. Always remember where your identity is found and if you have trusted Jesus and made Him the boss of your life, you are truly a child of the King! And I can’t think of anything greater than that.

Quick tip: one thing I did that really helped was putting a little note on my steering  wheel. Here is a picture of the note: 

 I put this note on my steering wheel the day I started my senior year. It wasn’t removed until my dad secretly took it off the day I graduated to put it in a cute little shadow box as a present. {isn’t he the sweetest?!} It was such a big help for me because I would see it every morning before I would walk into the school. Although I wish I could take credit for it, I got the idea from Ryan Young, my dean green school year at Super Summer. He challenged all of us to do that and now I’m challenging you. I promise it will make a difference in your attitude when all you want to do is go back to bed (trust me, I’ve been there). 

I can only hope and pray that this will make an impact on some high school student somewhere. I pray that the student reading this right now will trust Jesus in every situation high school will bring, living to serve Him and make Him known.

Thanks for reading!

βŒͺβŒͺ Paige Elizabeth βŒ©βŒ©

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