As we now have all boys in High School, it has gotten me reflecting on this time in their lives, and mine. High School was ok, heck, it was often FUN as can be. I faced many of the issues kids do today. Yet, today it's magnified and social media has created a whole new existence. Kids say the cruelest things. There is so much more pressure, deadlines, and stereotypes and the bullying is horrendous. Our boys are pretty good about going with the flow but definitely have been hurt. I know it is especially difficult for girls. I want them to know that by NO means does High School define you. It is a tiny chapter in your life that you have to make the most of. Today is my life and the one I love and while I look back on some things with fondness, others I don't even have much of a memory today and I truly only miss a handful of people. The true people who care are the ones sitting across the dinner table from you, working down the hall, taking the time to catch up with you or giving you a hug.
I practiced many on this list, others I wish I had and I certainly hope kids today can look at a list like this and realize to not sweat the small stuff!
1. It won't matter later on that he was on a high school football, basketball or wrestling team or she was a cheerleader or you had a 4.525 GPA
2. Chill with the eyeliner.
3. Don't tell your mom you hate her; you will regret it.
4. Innocence is beautiful.
5. Call your grandma just because.
6. Some people will never like you; don't let it bother you. Kill them with kindness anyway.
7. You were beautiful before he told you.
8. Don't believe stereotypes. Get to know people personally instead of judging them.
9. Don't let one mistake define you. But learn from your mistakes.
10. Eat home-cooked meals. You will miss it one day.
11. Your mom can see a fake friend before you can.
12. Your dad can see a crappy boy before you can.
13. Enjoy your metabolism while it lasts and eat the dang doughnut.
14. There is more to life than Friday night.
15. If your parents buy you something, whether it's a Hamburger or a phone, say thank you.
16. Try hard to keep your best friend. While you'll make other friends later on, she probably is the "BEST" best friend you'll ever have.
17. Prom is not the "best night of your life," but go anyway.
18. High school years are not the best years of your life, However, enjoy high school while it lasts, you will miss some of it.
19. Stop comparing yourself to others; that will never do any good.
20. Learn to forgive. Also learn that not everyone deserves your trust.
21. Learn to apologize.
22. He most likely isn't the love of your life.
23. Stop pretending to be someone you are not to impress people.
24. Keep a journal. Seriously, you will love reading it one day.
25. Take your studies and SAT prep classes seriously. Knowledge is power!
26. Write thank you notes for everything.
27. Tell your favorite high school teacher she (or he) Rocks. Teaching is tough.
28. Nothing good happens past midnight. My parents always said this and it is so true.
29. His plan is greater than yours (Romans 8:28).
To all of the high school girls (and boys) reading this--I hope you never forget that even though life sometimes stinks, you will have plenty of moments that make you forget about the hard times. You will have moments of laughter, joy, and thankfulness that compensate for the time you failed your math test or the "one" broke your heart. Be willing to adventure through life, and go through the bad with a smile knowing the best is yet to come. Embrace your innocence and stop trying to grow up. You only get to be a kid once; so enjoy the end of the beginning while you can.
Senior, Fall 1988
25 years later
The High School "Men" on their first day last week!!