Any graduating senior will tell you what they wish they knew as when they were freshman. Most of this comes from circumstance: if someone studied all the time and never had fun, they might tell you to have more fun. If someone who had a lot of fun but never studied, they will tell you to study more. So everyone has different some nugget of wisdom they will share.
Then there are some universal lessons that everybody learns, whether they like it or not. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you did in high school, you just can’t avoid these realities. So if you are are an underclassmen, save yourself the time and learn these lessons before it’s too late:
- Popularity comes and goes. (Just ask any American president). People’s priorities change over the four years of high school, so your popularity is never guaranteed. You might get mocked as a freshman for skipping a party so you can go on a church retreat. But as a senior, you know that being every party can be lame, and not only that, most parties are stupid. So not going to a party can make you more popular. Who would’ve thought? (To make things more complicated, hard-earned popularity in high school means nothing in college.)
- Stand for something or you will fall for anything. There is nothing worse than being remembered as someone who would do almost anything if pressured hard enough. Rarely will peers pressure you to do something that is good for you, so don’t bend with the wind. With time, others will always respect you, even if they don’t like what you stand for. Trust me on this.
- You really won’t see them again. You spend four years worrying what your peers think of you, and then one day you get a diploma and you never see them again. Next year will be my 10-year-reunion, and I can honestly say I have only seen 5 or 6 kids from my class over that decade. It really didn’t matter what anyone thought of me or what I thought about them. We disappeared from each other’s lives. So if you are a senior, this is a good reason to not get sloppy drunk on graduation night. Don’t let their last memory of you be of you vomiting in the toilet.
Don’t think that I am cynical about the experience of high school. I had a good time in high school, and I have great memories that will stick with me forever. But I’ve worked with high school students long enough to know that many people didn’t have the same positive experience of high school. That’s why I try to write clever articles here on lifeteen.com: so you don’t get lost in the mess of high school. The good life only comes when you follow the teachings of Christ. So whether you are a graduating senior or a rising freshman, make today be the day you follow your Creator.