1. You aren’t going to be friends with everyone.
It’s okay if you only have a couple of friends, or a friend or two. More friends does not mean you are cooler or more fun to be around. More friends do not equal more happiness. Invest in your high school friendships. Even if it’s one person.
You never know if you will be friends with them after high school or not. If you want to still be friends with them, it is important to invest deeply in those friendships while you can. You guys get to see each other every day, take advantage of that. You all could be going off to different colleges after high school, no one knows. Choose your friends wisely. Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. Who your friends are is so so so important. If they aren’t acting, living, and loving people the way you want to, then you don’t need to be around that.
Don’t date a guy and become so isolated with him that you don’t have any other friends at the end of the day. I saw this happen so many times in high school. There is a way to have a good balance between the two.
2. Don’t care what other people think about you
No one is going to remember if you were "popular", the best volleyball player, or homecoming queen. Everyone moves on after high school, high school is not your “peak” in life. It may feel like in the moment, that high school is your world and your peak in life, but that isn’t necessarily true. You have so much more life to live once you graduate high school.
You won’t see or even speak to half the people in your graduating class ever again. I know it’s sad to hear, but it’s true. That’s why you have to be so intentional with the people you want to maintain relationships with. Because you aren’t going to see any of these people after high school, who cares what they think about you!
Live for Jesus, love every single person you come in contact with, do the right thing even when everyone else does the wrong thing, be kind even when everyone else is making fun of that person, be the friend that one person may not have. Who cares what people think about you. You have nothing to prove to them.
3. People are going to remember you by how you treated them and others.
People are going to remember you by your reputation and character, not your achievements. When they think of your name years later, they aren’t going to be like oh yeah that girl was homecoming queen. They are going to remember how you treated them, and how you treated other people. What do you want to be remembered for? Don’t be the person that has a bad reputation in high school.
Treat others the way Jesus would treat everyone. Be judgment-free and love regardless of who they are or where they came from. Love them despite the mistakes they’ve made. Give grace like God has given us grace. You will be remembered for the way you loved and cared for others. Live a life of integrity. Be different for Jesus. As His followers, we WILL stand out. There is no denying that. If we aren’t standing out and being seen as different, then we aren’t doing something right.
4. You don’t have to have your whole life planned out by the end of high school.
This is such a big pressure I remember feeling during my last 2 years of high school, but especially during senior year. People would ask me what I was planning on doing or wanted to pursue after I graduated high school, and I always told them I had no idea. I had to learn to be okay with not having my whole life figured out at the age of 17 or 18, ...duh. That is a lot of pressure to put on someone.
I started to slowly become interested in different things and did a lot of research on careers or colleges I might want to pursue. It can seem stressful at the moment, trying to figure everything out, but looking back I realized that everything worked out and fell into place how it was supposed to. Instead of stressing and worrying about what you’re gonna do after high school, just trust God that He will lead you wherever you are meant to be.
Enjoy the moment while you are in high school. Be where your feet are planted and don’t be so focused on the next season of life that you miss what the Lord has for you in the season you are currently in.
5. Use this time to pursue and run after the Lord wholeheartedly
After high school, things can get crazy really quick. Life gets busy, college is busy, you often get a job and start working a lot. High school is a time where you can have a real turning point in your relationship with God. Attend church, go to youth group, get involved in serving with your youth group.
I would not be the person I am today if I had not attended a youth group and had countless spiritual mentors pouring into me and cheering me on in life. You can't go through life on your own. We all need a Christian community. Pursue and run after Him as fast as you can.
Once you get out of high school, all the pressures of this world and the “adult” life are going to be coming at you. The world will test your identity, religion, beliefs, morals, and every aspect of your life. Prepare yourself while you are still in high school. Figure out what you believe and stand strong in it no matter what.
- Kayla Milligan
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