This morning I left my house for work and it took me an extra couple minutes to get out of my neighborhood. Why, do you ask? School starts back today!
Seeing parents dropping their kids off, seeing teenagers pulling into the parking, it immediately took my mind down memory lane. I went to a small Christian school from 2nd grade to senior year, and apart from a mean girl or two and some typical school stress, I had a wonderful school experience.
I made friendships that I knew would last forever. With my best friend MaryBeth, we even remember making up a secret handshake on the playground in 2nd grade. Now, that’s lasting stuff. :)
I dated, I learned about myself and about life, I was hurt and disappointed. I studied, I excelled, I struggled. I fought drama and worked hard in sports; I learned the art of practice, of endurance and passion. I wore weird makeup, didn’t know how to style my hair, probably spoke too much and had quirky ideas. I had good teachers who loved Jesus and genuinely cared about me.
High school was a great four years for me, praise the Lord. The mean girls had finally matured a little bit (and I think I had too, because I didn’t care about them anymore), I discovered the person I wanted to be and I strived for that, I set goals in my particular sports and worked hard to meet them, and I grew closer to the friends I now call family.
It’s been five years since I was in high school. I think about what I would tell my high school self if I could….
You are free to be whoever you want to be, don’t let other girls pressure you to be something you’re not.
Things are not always as bad as they seem. Give it a day or two and you’ll probably feel better.
Read and study for tests, not just the night before. Absorb as much information and teaching as possible.
Your identity is in Jesus first, and next is affirmed by those who love you. Be confident and at peace in that.
Take advantage of the fact that you see and hang out with your closest friends every single day. That doesn’t last forever.
Remember that the high school days are short, so make the most of them. Don’t let the small things get you down.
Clothes, cars, and money aren’t everything. What makes a person cool is their heart, character, and personality, not the brand of their external appearance.
These, among others, are what I would tell my high school self. I’d want her to adventure through life exactly how she did, but maybe with these things in mind. I wouldn’t be the person I am without those specific high school years, and by God’s grace I came out stronger and better than when I went in.
What would you tell your high school self?
Carol McGahee says
Chelsea, you are a wise and wonderful girl. I love you!