High school! It’s been awhile since I walked those halls but it feels like I was there just yesterday. I enjoyed most of my high school experience despite the fact that it was made up of 3 different schools in 3 different countries. So I know what it is like to be the new student, to feel lost and to not have friends.
Many will be entering high school for the first time this year, including my daughter, and it can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. Here are 6 pieces of advice.
As a Christian my faith is to permeate everything I do, say and believe, so these pieces of advice are for those whose faith is in Jesus and whose rule for living is His word.
Know Who You Are
Many students find their identity in worldly things like academics, popularity, beauty, friends, fashion styles, social activities or sports. While many of these things are good, they do not define you. You are something much more special than all those things. You are a child of God, forgiven, made holy, always accepted, deeply loved, and an ambassador for His kingdom.
There is always a temptation to conform to what other people want you to be or do or say. Don’t try to change who God has made you in order to please others. Be yourself and you will end up finding friends who love you for who you are and not for someone you are pretending to be.
Boldness is not the same as being loud. You can be bold whether you are an extravert or an introvert.
Let your boldness be seen in the kindness you show towards the kids who might be a bit different, whom others find weird, annoying or uncool. Boldly follow Christ’s example by standing up for the weak, the different, the shy and the struggling. This is not something a coward is capable of doing because sometimes being bold will bring with it some ridicule. You will find boldness as you look to Christ. He is will give you his strength.
Friends are an important and fun part of high school life. But gossip and slander of any kind is a black spot on someone’s character and very disloyal to your friend. So be wise in the friends that you choose and be loyal. But also be loyal to the God who made you and the most important friend you have. Put him first, stick up for his name and never be ashamed of his word. We fail him so many times and never once has he turned his back on us. His love and forgiveness are constant.
I put this as one of my points because it is the whole reason you are in school, to learn. Extra curricular activities are great and friends are necessary, but it is your GPA that will be looked at by colleges, and your study habits will affect many other areas of your life.
School is where God has placed you for now and it is in this context that you will be glorifying God. He is your headmaster and he has prepared for you good works to walk in as a student.
Learn To Remember
Some days will seem crazy and overwhelming. There will be a lot of things that you are going to have to keep track of like class schedules, homework assignments, project due dates and tons of information your teachers want you to learn. These things are very important and being a reliable student in one of the jobs God has for you right now but they are not the most important thing you need to remember.
Remember God. Despite your busy schedule set aside time to read God’s word and pray. Go to him for everything. Praise him for the good things, ask him for wisdom in decisions you need to make, cry out to him when you are disappointed, vent to him when you are frustrated or angry, seek comfort from him when you are anxious.
Remember who you are. Above any label anyone could ever come up with, you belong to Him and are treasured more than our minds could ever understand and loved so much that the son of God died for you. This trumps everything!