I’m here to say that high school is what you make it.
Yes they were right, your friends are going to change from freshman to senior year. There are going to be mean girls. Boys will break your heart. The tests will seem like the end of the world. Your parents are going to be on you for what seems like no good reason.
But I’m here to say, through all of that, there was always joy in my life because of the way I looked at the pain and turned it into something to learn from. I didn’t let any crap get me down for too long and made my high school experience a positive one.
The girls I thought were my best friends, I’m better off without. Now I have my actual lifelong friends, people that provide me unconditional love and support. And when I really looked at it, the not so nice girls were outnumbered by the nice ones. In fact, it was so insignificant that it was easy to take the high road. In regards to boys, that’s a hard one to get over. But I found joy in the times we had together and then found greater happiness investing my time with people who lifted me up and made me see my worth. The tests and the grades might stress you out the most if we’re gonna be honest. But what I did was I never let a piece of paper determine my happiness or mental health. And your parents want you to succeed and not make the mistakes they made. I found peace in knowing they’re imperfect, as am I.
I was pretty involved in high school and made sure I made the most of my time. I attended lots of sporting events. I was a big Student Council girl and they became my family. I ran for homecoming queen even though I knew I wouldn’t win. I went to every dance even if they weren’t fun. I didn’t just look at the people in my grade, but befriended those older and younger than me. I got super involved in Young Life, which changed my entire life in a positive way. And I even reached out to people in other schools because I didn’t want to limit myself to one pool of friends.
I think the people who say high school was the worst didn’t seize the day. They went to school, came home immediately and did their homework, then sat on their phone and let negativity or jealousy influence their life. There was no purpose to their day.
I LOVED high school because I did everything I possibly could. I didn’t put limits on who I could be friends with or what I could do. I did what I wanted and learned not to care what any haters thought. I made a point to leave my mark in my school, my positive impact. I owned life and owned who I was. If on the day of graduation you’re able to say who you were in high school and feel content with it, then you did what you were supposed to. You did you, and what you did was meaningful.
Make your life meaningful! Make your time meaningful! I can’t stress that enough. Make the most out of the situation you’re put in and seek to find joy (big or small) in daily life! High School isn’t about your math grade, it’s about laughing with your friends when you realize y’all just failed that mess. It’s not about how conditioning for a sport sucks, it’s about the conversations you have when you’re running/dying together. It’s about how good you’re going to look in that dress to the dance, regardless if the boy didn’t want to go.
And when you really look at it, the sucky things that I just mentioned really aren’t that bad in the long run. In college it’s not going to matter anymore. Who cares in four years that you didn’t make the team, that you weren’t at that one party, that the boy didn’t like you back. These parts of life will help shape your character and allow you to grow, if you let it. High School won’t be great if you don’t turn the negatives into positives.
Here’s my advice to you gals:
- First off, count your “haters” and realize there’s only about 5 of them. Laugh and move on. Don’t fall victim to thinking they’re the entire world and don’t let them influence you being yourself.
- Consider why you are friends or in a relationship with someone. Do they make you feel good, or just “look” good? Do they still stand by you or temporarily leave when you aren’t in the best place? Would you still feel like your own person without them? Are you putting all of your efforts into them?
- I don’t regret any relationship I had, you learn from everyone. But what’s hard is telling yourself to let go of the guy who only wants you when it is convenient for them. The back and forth ambiguity is the worst. News flash! God didn’t create us for relationships like that. But LORD, there’s those freeing moments when someone reminds you your worth and how if a boy can’t see what God sees, then that boy aint worth ____! Find your supportive girl/guy friends that remind you this truth.
- Now the parents… sometimes they’re not always right. But here’s what I did: I didn’t get into a fight and apologized when I did. When you know they are overreacting, all you can do is remain calm and try to humbly level with them.
- Please do your homework. I’m serious. It will save your grade. Do your best. Don’t slack off, but give yourself a break when you’ve been grinding hard.
- GET OFF YA DANG SOCIAL MEDIA. I love Instagram, but I used to feel left out when I was young because of it. You’re bound to feel like you’re not good enough if all you do is stare at social media and look at people with seemingly perfect lives. My advice to you is to turn off phone notifications and don’t spend more than an hour on it. Find something else to go do, go figure out what you’re actually interested in. Get a hobby forreal.
- Let yourself flow between different cliques. I had my preppy southern group and then my down to earth but top of the class group. Each “clique” highlighted different sides of me and both had my very best friends in it. It was nice being able to hang with people of different energies that matched mine at the time. What I’m trying to say is don’t contain yourself to feeling like you have to be this type of person with this crowd… you’re allowed to have multiple crowds that you roll with.
- Find YOUR THING. My thing is photography. It’s also my faith and psychology. All three of these things are an outlet for me and something I find peace or happiness investing in. You can’t go through high school not knowing or at least searching for your thing. It’s essential to getting your “me time” in and developing who you are.
- Join at least one club, in or out of school, that’s not academic based. It’s beneficial to belong and be a part of something.
- Remember, God defines who you are and everything is perfect in His timing. He has a plan and a reason for everything. He calls you beautiful and wants you just as you are. If you didn’t have to change a thing for Him, why do you feel like you have to fix something for someone else? The creator of the universe designed you to be you.
Whoever is reading this, I love you and hope high school is amazing for you!! You can contact me on instagram @calliegracem if you ever wanna talk, I always respond 🙂
with love, Callie Grace