10 Things I Would Tell My High School Self

1. The 5 people you spend the most time around are the people you become. It’s not about being accepted, noticed, or embraced by people who don’t really know you. Why would you want people to love you for someone you’re really not? Then they don’t truly love you. Don’t change for them. Don’t even act like your a fan of what they’re doing, even if you’re not necessarily “changing”. You’re still hiding who you really are. Before you know it, you’ll be doing it too.

2. Your mom is always right. All the time. About everything and every person. Don’t ask me how, she just is. The sooner you realize it, the better.

3. Don’t actually believe that you and your girls are going to be “BFF’s”. You’re not. In fact, you probably won’t ever see each other after high school. And if you do, it will be awkward run-in’s at the grocery store with surface level exchanges of “How are you doing?!”. If you’re lucky, you’ll keep a couple a friends past high school. So pour into them and let them pour into you. But don’t spend all your time making plans with friends. Hangout with family. Set healthy boundaries.

4. If someone is talking to you about someone else, they will talk to someone else about you. No matter how many times she promises or guarantees you that they never talk. They’ll be having a sleepover a few weeks from now. It’s only a matter of time. Remember, this is high school. Always stay classy.

5. Take a lot of pictures. These feel like moments you’ll never forget, and maybe you won’t, but you’ll want to remember every detail of the good times. Pictures take you back and allow you to relive the moment.

6. Enjoy the freedom. One day you’re going to wake up and you’ll have bills to pay, groceries to buy, tax forms to fill out, and a gas tank to fill up with your own money. Go to the beach.  Frequent the amusement park. Hangout with friends.

7. Don’t worry about dating. There are about a million reasons for this (i.e. high school boys don’t have brains that work properly), but really, now is the time to find out who you really are. If you’re distracted by being with someone else and that person feels so much a part of you, you’ll loose yourself in them. Don’t. Volunteer, create art, try new things, explore, go on adventures, dream about how you want to change the world and who you want to be. Become that person and change the world. Then, you can find someone else who’s headed the same direction you are to do life with. How do you know who you want to be with if you don’t even know who you are? You’ll have plenty of time for dating later.

8. Read. There is no time for reading in college unless it’s a text book.

9. Form the habits you want to carry into adulthood. Be intentional. Get into an exercise routine. Maintain a healthy diet. Pray every day. Set aside some free time to do nothing.

10. Don’t grow up. It’s a trap that you can’t get out of.

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