Driving down Reynolds and pulling into the parking lot of Bryant High School on my second-to-last day of school filled me with many emotions. Some I recognize; some are fuzzy. But one that was clear was thankfulness. Actually I felt an overwhelming joy as I thought back on these past four years–past 12 years–I’ve spent in school at Bryant. Yes, there is some fear for the future, but as I reflect on the past there is evidence to thousands of memories with friends I love, many nights at the table eating with my family after school, and an overall theme of God’s goodness and grace.
I don’t think this is the only way to do high school…other people did things differently and had a great experience. But for me, these five things are what stand out the most looking back on what made my high school career great… and I thought I’d revive the blog to share. Yes, it wasn’t perfect. Yes, I made mistakes. Yes, I have some regrets. But I believe that it was as good as high school could get. And I have learned that in order for this experience to be possible, God has to be at the first and front of it all.
Find Your People
These are my people. They are loud. They are lively. They are funny. They are encouraging. They are 30-minute-long discussions over pointless things. They are loud arguments over Battle of the Sexes. They are the people to invite to a game night. They are slumber party material (the girls, that is). They are the best company for a meal. My friends are many things. Many things that I love. Many things that have shaped me into who I am today. The people you surround yourself with do have an impact on you. So choose wisely.
Find Your Person(s)
I have always had a sweet friendship with my friend Lauren and through yearbook was blessed with another sweet friendship with my friend Helen. Ironically, we are all co-editors of the yearbook. It was this time working constantly together and being under stressful deadlines that our friendship grew into something deeper. Because we had a common trust in one another, we started sharing struggles, praises, and stresses. Our friendship formed into what we call a “Committee”. Whenever I came across a difficult situation or tough decision, I went to Lauren and Helen to help advise me and direct me, and they were my “Committee”. They give me a calm voice in the midst of loud chaos. They display patience, they speak wisdom, and they go to the Lord on behalf of me. They know me well, and they know how to encourage me well. They not only point me, but push me, towards the Lord.
There will be many voices in your high school career…and all throughout your life. It is important to pick out the truest voices to encourage and help guide you. It was crucial for me to find a friend that would keep me accountable and a friend that I can trust…luckily I found two. They aren’t the only people who have influenced and encouraged me, but they are deep friendships that were pivotal to me trying to live in a way worthy of the Gospel.
Talk to Your Parents
I picked up on this peace of advice not soon enough. They say your parents have wisdom, but I seriously doubted this until I experienced it for myself. In fact, my Committee member, Helen, taught me this lesson. There were many things I went to Lauren and Helen seeking advice for, but there were also many things that Lauren and Helen did not have the expertise in. You’d be surprised the guidance your parents will provide when you seek their help.
Take a Bath
Like for real. Get you a hot steaming bath running and just soak. High school is a time where you may find yourself in constant motion…and with constant homework. So it’s important to check on your physical being every once in a while. I like to take a bath, paint my nails, or go for a run. I also like to spend time with people who refresh my spirit (not all of them pictured above 🙂 ).
As much as you can…but not too much. Freshman year, I joined the cross country team. No, I wasn’t fast, but it was a fun place where I could exercise and meet fun people. I also tried out for the yearbook staff and along the way have gained many skills, many friendships, many memories, and many opportunities.
Go to pep rallies and sports events and dress up for spirit week. Have fun!! Get to know your teachers and the people around you.
Being involved in my church had a huge impact on my life. I was able to serve, grow, and be around people and older women that would encourage and help me in my pursuit of Christ.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
This verse sits on my car dash, and it has come to be one of my favorites. The Lord has blessed me during these past four years with a great friend group, accountability partners, amazing parents, and a school and church that care about students.
I was convinced that high school would be like High School Musical. At some points it had that We’re All In This Together feeling, but if I’m being honest, many times it was far different. In fact, I even found myself on the couch crying with my parents one night disappointed because my senior year wasn’t going like it was for the East High Wildcats in High School Musical 3 at the end of the movie. It’s tough. Pre Cal/Trig is hard. People can be mean. It’s hard to wake up in the morning. Bad things happen.
I’m not downplaying the hard parts of high school. But I am saying that high school in tune with God is so rewarding. You can experience His goodness. You can experience His peace. You can experience His faithfulness. You can walk off your campus confidently because you’ve experienced Him…and that will stay with you longer than Pre Cal/Trig will.
(Take that Dr. Sadlar.)