Eric Porteous

Popularity is Overrated: And Other Advice for the High School Me

I graduated high school 15 years ago. Okay. Hold on a second. I never realized how old that made me sound until I actually wrote that sentence down.


Where did the time go?

Well, a lot has happened in those 15 years, and as I prepare to turn the ripe old age of 33 (my Jesus year), I've been reflecting on a lot of hard lessons I've learned along the way. If only there had been older adults giving me advice during my high school years, perhaps I could have been saved from a lot of heartache and bad decisions.

But, since I didn't listen to my parents, I made a New Year's Resolution to develop a time machine, crank it up to 88 mph, and have a little chat with myself.

If this were actually possible, here are 22 things I would tell the high school me:

  1. Popularity means nothing once you graduate. Focus on growing as a person.
  2. Sit down with your parents to learn what bills really look like.
  3. Your metabolism will slow down. Develop good nutrition habits now.
  4. MTV will stop playing music, yet somehow remain on the air.
  5. You won't see most of your friends after you graduate. Invest more time in your faith and your family.
  6. You're better off with a reliable used car than taking a loan on a new car that will take 5 years to pay off.
  7. You may be shy, but you NEED to network.
  8. Learn how to cook some basic meals.
  9. When you're in your 30s, there will already be a remake of 'Boy Meets World.'
  10. Eating out all the time kills your bank account and expands your waistband.
  11. There's no extra credit in the real world. Work hard everyday.
  12. Ask that girl out. If she rejects you, your life will still move on.
  13. If you think gas is expensive now, just wait.
  14. Your parents are smarter and A LOT more stressed than you.
  15. You may not like youth group right now, but you will be a youth minister one day. God has a great sense of humor.
  16. Don't make fun of your dad when he falls asleep at 9 p.m. after a long day at work. One day you're going to do the same.
  17. I know it feels scary, but go to Confession regularly.
  18. I know you hate running, but one day, you will run a marathon. Crazy huh?
  19. Stop using bad language. It's a hard habit to break.
  20. It's okay to play video games, but find another hobby too. Your wife will appreciate it.
  21. You can learn more about yourself in 10 minutes of silence than you can from just about anything else.
  22. Perfection is impossible in this life. Focus on improving instead.

High school can be hard. Sometimes you may think you have everything figured out. I know I did. Honestly, most of the time, I still think that way. But, it's not a bad idea every now and then to heed the advice of someone who's older and been there. I wish I had, and if I did, perhaps this list would've been a little smaller.

Teens: What are some things you wish you could learn more about as you grow into an adult? (Comment on our Facebook)

Adults: What are some things you would tell the high school you? (Comment on our Facebook)

Categories: AcademicsHigh SchoolMy Life


Eric Porteous

About the Author

I'm a very passionate person who likes to make people think, smile, and laugh. I love sports, helping people with their finances, and working out (Honestly... I'm huge. Don't be jealous.) But, when it comes right down to it, I'm just an ordinary guy who wants to live an extraordinary life. Follow me on Twitter @EricSPorteous.