Dear High School Me,

There are many things I could tell you after looking back on the past eight years. I will tell you that the days are long, but the years fly by. You have a lot to look forward to and a lot of new experiences ahead. It won't all be easy, but it will all be worth it. There are really hard things you will face that will make you stronger. You'll look back and know that all of these things happened for a reason and will see how much they helped you grow. There are sweet memories to come that you will never forget. Make the most of these moments. Don't let others define who you are. Your identity is in Christ, not in the clothes you wear, or the way you look, or the number of friends you have. High school is hard sometimes, trust me, I remember. People are mean. People gossip. Everyone wants a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You feel defined by how popular you are or aren't. Don't fall into this kind of mindset. The majority of boys are major sissies right now and you don't need that. What are the odds you will marry this homeboy. Probably about a 5% chance, so tell that boy bye. Just make some really good guy friends instead. Mean girls are major sissies too. Rise above it. Be a good friend. Show others that you care.

Tell your teachers thank you for all the hard work they put into teaching you day in and day out. You don't realize it now, but they are spending so much time out of school preparing and planning lessons just for you. Be positive. Be you. Don't try so hard to fit into a particular group. Be a floater. Get to know people who are different from you. Embrace them for who they are. Have fun playing sports or doing whatever extracurricular activity you want to do! You sat on the bench one game? It's okay, it's not the end of the world. Don't get mad at coach. Work harder in practice. Grind. Show your coach you are willing to do whatever it takes to be a team player.

Try to see things from other people's perspective. It will make it a whole lot easier when you feel frustrated with someone if you take the time and put yourself in their shoes. Laugh. Joke around. Don't take things too seriously. Trust in the plans that God has for your future. He knows exactly where you will be in the next few years. Trying to plan everything on your own will leave you feeling stressed out. Where you are going to go to college, what you'll study, who your roommate is going to be, even who you are going to go to the high school dance with, all of these things are all under God's control. Pray about it and give your worries to Him. Don't let others bring you down. You are truly a beautiful person, made in the image of God. Your self worth is not in your outer beauty, but in your character, how you carry yourself, and especially in your relationship with Jesus. Love on your parents. When they ask you how school was, don't just say, "Fine." When they ask you what you did today, don't just say, "Nothing." You are going to realize how much they mean to you in the next couple of years. Start early and realize it now. They do so much for you and they really care about you. Spend quality time with them and have meaningful conversations. These are some of the last years you will be living under their roof.

I know you may be ready for time to speed up, but slow down. These four years of high school will fly by and then you'll be a senior in college wondering how to next four years flew by even quicker. God is placing opportunities for you to grow during this season of your life. Say yes to these opportunities when they come. Step out of your comfort zone and you will experience things that you would've never believed you would. Keep working hard, but give yourself a break sometimes. These are all things I'm still reminding myself of today. I could go on and on, but I'll end this letter to you, high school me, with some lyrics from MercyMe:

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be

Dear High School Me.