Things I Wish My Grown Up Self Had Told Me About High School…

Today, my youngest daughter starts high school. 

High school! 

When did my baby….my  last born…my youngest child get this old?!?!?

Natalie as BelleNatalie as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, about age 6 or 7…

I can’t believe she is starting high school today.  It was just yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital,  totally healed from the hole in her heart and ready to go home.  It was just yesterday that she took her first step and spoke her first word (it was “Ashley” by the way…).  Where has the time gone?!?!

So, today she starts high school.  I don’t remember my first day of high school.  It was different for me because I was just walking across a sidewalk to go from junior high to high school.  I lived in a small town and we were all going from 8th grade to 9th grade together.  For me, it was just another year at school.  For her, it will be different.  She is going to a school where there will be 1,499 kids she doesn’t know—strike that out—1,498 kids she won’t know (her cousin will be a Junior at the same high school).  She is an excited bundle of nerves.  She asks me if I think she will make friends.  She asks me if I think people will like her.  So many questions, and so many fears.  What can I tell her as her mom that would help her through this time in her life?!?  Probably nothing.  I wouldn’t have listened to my mother either!  I will, however, share what I wish my grown up self could have told me about high school.

1)  Everyone else is just as scared and insecure as you are.  I can guarantee there isn’t one person starting high school today that doesn’t share the same fears and insecurities!  Each one is worried that no one will like them.  Each one is worried that they won’t make friends.  Just knowing that others are feeling the same way, should make you feel a little better.

2)   Twenty years from now, the nerd boys will be the most successful and best looking; the most popular girls will be overweight; the mean girls will probably still be mean and the most popular, good looking guys will be bald and out of work!!  Life is not about high school.  High school is 4 years out of your life.  It is not the rest of your life!

3)   Be nice.  Being nice goes a long way in life.  Be nice to everyone, not just the people you want to impress.  There will be a lot of kids that no one is nice to, but if you are nice to them, maybe others will follow suite.   Say hi to people.  If someone drops something, help them.

4)  Be yourself.  Who is “yourself”?  Are you a dork?  Then be a dork!  Are you smart?  Then be smart!  Be true to you.  If you try to be someone you aren’t, then you’ll just attract people that aren’t themselves, and you don’t want that.  You want your friends to be real too.  Trust me on this!

5)  Don’t worry about boys!  Don’t worry if that boy you have a crush on doesn’t return the feelings.  Besides, you can’t date until you’re at least 16 anyway, so why worry about it?!?!?

6)  SMILE!  Walk through the halls with a smile on your face.  Smiling is contagious!   And you never know…you may smile at someone that just needs someone to smile at them!  It might make someone’s day.

7)  Have FUN!!  Go to football games, go to dances, make the most out of your high school years!  Make the friends you will have for the rest of your life.

8)  Show the love of God.  I know that you love God, and that the love of God resides inside you.   Show the love of God through your actions.  Going back to number 2, show kindness and love to others.  You don’t need to preach about God…just show His love and people will notice there is something different about you.

Finally, always remember that God and your momma love you!  We’ve got your back.  If you have a bad day, or someone hurts your feelings, or your heart gets broken, God and I are both here for you and love you.  There will be days you don’t feel it, but know that it’s true.

These are the things I wish my grown up self had been able to tell me when I started high school.   Maybe she will read them and take them to heart, maybe she won’t, but even if she doesn’t, I know she will be all right.  Have a wonderful first day of high school, Nat….

Nat's first day of high schoolNatalie, age 14 1/2 on her first day of high school…

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