Sometimes I wish I could have a do-over in high school. We had it easy. We were able to pursue so many opportunities while not needing to pay for much of anything. Our parents took care of our needs and yet we were old enough to have independence. However, I didn’t take advantage of those pivotal years like I could have. One thing I must say is that each life experience has made me the person I am, so why go back and change anything? However, sometimes I wish I could go back to my high school self and convince her of a number of things. Here are 10 things I wish I could convince my high school self – a message for all teenage girls.
- Be Confident – You are smart. You are talented. You’re actually pretty cute. I know you don’t believe that about yourself, and it shows. You need to know you were created by God, and he did a pretty darn good job. Be comfortable in your own skin and embrace you. Your insecurity is hurting you, it is self focused, and it is holding you back from all that you could be.
- You Like Art – Stop pursuing things to follow in your older sister’s footsteps or to do what your friends are doing. You like art. Take more classes in that area. Pursue your creativity. The other things you pursued were good, but you missed some of the great because you weren’t listening to your passions.
- Challenge Yourself More – Yes, you get good grades because you know how to study for a test and turn in your work, but you are missing so many opportunities to really engage and learn. You are distracted. You are distracted by your social life, and you are distracted by your day dreams. Those things are good, but you could have taken honor classes rather than taking the easy route for good grades. I wouldn’t want you to live, eat and breathe school. That’s not what I’m suggesting. I’m just suggesting you utilize the time in the classroom to try and really learn rather than just get by.
- That Guy You Think Hangs the Moon…He Doesn’t – You spend so many hours thinking about this guy. You would do anything to get him to notice you back. Some day you will be so glad that you didn’t end up with that guy. You are wasting your time, thoughts and energy on a relationship or the idea of a relationship that won’t go anywhere. Don’t give yourself physically to those guys. I know how tempting those moments are, but just as those guys aren’t worth your obsession, they are not worth your physical affection.
- Be Nice to Your Mom – She is on your team and would do anything for you. Yes, you guys are different and butt heads sometimes, but you have so much in common too. It took being a mom for me to understand how much she loves you. You could gain some much wisdom and knowledge by listening to her and pursuing her more.
- Be Happy with the Body You Have – Stop the diets. Stop the unhealthy pursuit of thin. You are never going to look like a 6 foot model because that’s not how you are built. Your efforts are in vain and are totally self-focused, yet again. When you are past your high school years, you will wish you had the body you had way back then. Enjoy this time of higher metabolism. Don’t obsess about it and do the damage to your health by not eating the way you should. Figure out now how to just eat healthy, enjoy food and do it all in a way that embraces your own shape.
- Popularity is an Illusion – You want to be popular. It’s definitely on our radar, but it’s an illusion. One day, you will all be on the same playing field. One day, it won’t matter. You’ll return to your high school reunion, and you will see that people are people. They are all pursuing different things, marrying different people and “cool” no longer seems to matter. Being nice matters. The “class” hierarchy somehow dissolves when you get older, so why waste your energy hoping that certain people, often not very nice people, accept you and invite you to their parties. You’ll discover that people you may have considered beneath you do amazing things in their lives and are really interesting people. Run after true friendships with people that support the person you were created to be. It is better to have a few true friends than a huge number of shallow friendships.
- Don’t Be a Temptation for Guys – One of the huge temptations for guys is visual stimulation. You don’t even come close to understanding how much guys struggle with this temptation, even if they are fighting to remain pure and strong. You can be modestly dressed and still be cute. Don’t use your body to try and manipulate or tempt. I know you want the attention from guys, but please don’t help them stumble. The slippery slope that falls into sexual sin is ugly and snowballs, especially for boys. You will one day understand, to a degree, how much guys struggle in this area. Be a part of the solution.
- Family First – That high school world is temporary. Some people will stay close to their high school friends throughout their lifetime, but family really is forever. You think your parents aren’t cool but someday you’ll want to hang out with them more than others. They have your back. They are a lot of fun. Make them a priority.
- God’s Way is Better – The adults in your life are trying to convince you that God’s way is better. You don’t believe them right now. Believe them. You are going to pursue the parties and the popularity. You are going to go your own route. You are going to waste time pursuing the world, but it is going to take you to a dark place. You will come back to wanting to follow God. Don’t waste your time on your worldly ways. You are young, but you could make a big difference for God now. Don’t follow a road that leads to pain and heartbreak. I know you might have to figure out these things on your own, but I wish I could just convince you to follow God now.
Thanks for a great article! I could not agree much more! I’ve been out of high school for a few years, and this is soo true! 🙂
Seems to resonate with a number of people I have talked to. Thanks so much for commenting. High school is such an interesting time!