My 20th High School Reunion is fast approaching, and I have been reminiscing and remembering those days so long ago that were so much fun. I find that had I known a few important things, it would have prepared me more for the things I faced.
Having a child currently in high school and another who will not be far behind has given me a lot of food for thought. What if I knew then what I know now??
Here are seven things – little pearls of wisdom I really wish I had known then – that I want my teen to know about navigating high school.
Academics are #1
Make your grades your focus. Do well and learn as much as you can. Yes, you will need that grammar and syntax lesson in the future. But question the status quo, be engaged with your teachers, ask questions and get the most out of it. This will prepare you for life and make sure you never stop thirsting for knowledge.
No, Everyone Doesn’t Have to Like You
This is important, you will come across peers, and teachers who will just not appreciate how wonderful you are, and you know what? That is ok! Don’t focus so much on what people think of you, and instead focus your energy on how you treat people. This is super important, because it mirrors life. I am sure that over the years I have worked with people whom I am sure do not like me, and that’s okay. I know my worth, I know my value and in the end that works for me. Being secure in your own skin is something that takes work, but know this… confident people are like magnets, and people who share your energy will gravitate to you!
This is hard, because I remember my need to be funny at all costs. It distracted from the fact that I was a poor student and allowed me the attention I craved. But vying for attention with humor can be a double-edged sword, if you wield it at someone else’s expense, they will get hurt. Contrary to the old fable “Sticks and Stones”, words can and will hurt and the effects are long lasting. Kindness is a currency that never runs dry.
Your Parents Really Do Understand
Goodness, is this ever true! Yes, the technology is different, but the social dealings between girls and boys, and girls and girls for that matter are still the same. There is still that friend cons you in to doing bone-headed things and you will definitely get caught doing. That boy who tries to push for more than you are comfortable giving, and those girls who will tear you down with pleasure just to see you cry. Parents know all too well about this stuff. Let us in to help give you the tools to get through it a stronger more confident person.
Dating Can Wait… Really!
Dating is a tricky thing in those high school years. Girls fall fast and hard for boys who are ruled by hormones and it never really ends well. The thing is, in order to be with someone, you have to know yourself inside and out and that takes time. Go out, have fun, go to the dance, but Let the serious stuff wait till you are ready, there is a lot of life yet to be lived.
Nurture Your Friendships
There are a lucky few people who get to walk through life along side the same friends that they snuck out to parties with and giggled them selves silly at sleep overs with as teenagers. I am one of those lucky ones so I must have done something right. I have the love of an amazing group of women who I can’t wait to dance the night away with as we celebrate our 20 year reunion.
Show Acceptance to EVERYONE!
There are always going to be people who are different from you. Who believe differently that you or love differently than you do. This is what makes life and friendship so amazing. Make your group of friends as amazing as you by showing love and acceptance and by encouraging them to be themselves no matter what.
I am hopeful that these few tips will help my teen (and maybe yours!) make the most of those magical four years and set them on the right path for their future!
Buckle up and enjoy the ride!