“Dear me, before you start high school…”
Five things I wish I had told myself before I'd even taken a class.
Depending on where you live, you may be finishing the school year soon ... or later on this year. But wherever you are, the end of a school year is a great time for reflection.
When something ends, it’s a really good time to look back and learn from what is closing. It’s also a good time to take what you’ve leaned and make another beginning.
No matter where in your school journey you are, here are five lessons I wish I could go back and tell myself at the start of my high school career:
1. Realize that life is often not as hard as you're making it
There really is a bright side to every situation, and sometimes, the situations really aren’t all that bad in the first place. Are you studying for five finals and writing three papers? Hey, at least you have the opportunity to get an education.
Each of us have things in our lives that we can just be plain ole thankful for (be it a supportive friend, a new shirt, or even a favorite dessert), no matter the momentary stress. We just got to choose to see the bright side.
2. See others' needs instead of focusing on getting your needs own met
It’s easy to see how people aren’t doing enough for you. But, do you ever wonder in what ways you could be doing more for others?
Next time you are tempted to complain about someone, stop and take a look at your own life. Are you frequently complaining about others instead of seeking ways to make their lives better? Ask yourself what practical ways you can invest in the lives of other people to help stop any pity-partying.
3. Do what you know is right, every time you can
The easiest option - whether it comes in the form of school assignments, work duties, or even in relationships - is not always the best option.
- You know you could skimp out on that paper.
- You sure could do a half-hearted job at work.
- You could just ignore those people because you just don’t know what to say to them.
The thing is, we are capable of so much more than we realize. When we seek to live with integrity and to honor God with each choice we make, we can be amazed at how freeing it is to live wholeheartedly and obediently.
4. Try to lean on the side of more than less when it comes to kindness and patience
It's so easy to just want our own way and to want it when we want it. It's so easy to blow past people when we are trying to get what we want.
Aren’t relationships so important, though? We are to love God, and then to love people (Mark 12:30-31). Showing love through simple acts of kindness can go a long way. Doing this not only gets our eyes off ourselves but can encourage other people in ways that we may never know.
Because life can be hectic, a life that shows patience with others is rare. Taking time to patiently listen and to have patience when people make mistakes is rare but worth it. We want others to listen to us and to have patience in our failings and times of need, and we would be much better off extending this same attitude to others.
5. Say what you mean
It can feel like an overabundance of words are bombarding you. Each word you hear, though, affects you, and we are given the choice of which words we say.
Sometimes, we need to say the hard things.
Sometimes, we need to say things that might feel awkward.
When we genuinely speak straight from the heart, change can happen. You can find yourself growing closer to a friend. You can finally deal with an issue that’s been nagging you. You’ll find that you start holding a lot less regrets of words left unspoken, too.
These are just a few of the things I wished I could have told myself at the start of high school. Do you have anything you'd like to say to your younger self at the same age? Leave your comments below.