Here’s to you, freshman class.

For starters, I’d like to give a shoutout to Sandra Stanley, a Christian blogger, for giving me inspiration for this post. You can check out her blog post by clicking here.

It’s crazy to think that I’m entering my senior year. Cliche, but it seems like I just started my freshman year a couple of months ago. Actually, I can remember what I wore the first day of my freshman year. Now days and crushes and friends and several of failed tests have passed, and I start my senior year in two weeks.  It’s wild to think about, but the end of one chapter of my life, nevertheless. And I’m not scared, I’m ready. At least I think I’m ready. Can you ever be ready for a new chapter of your life?

Entering my freshman year, I had very little idea of what to expect. Was I going to get bullied? Stuffed in a trashcan? Were my teachers going to love me? Or hate me? Was I going to struggle in class? Or pass with flying colors? Honestly, I can’t give the Class of 2018 the answers to those now, it really just depends on what you make of your high school career. But what I can tell the Class of 2018 is some sage advice I wish I would’ve known.

Don’t give up yourself for others. 
A motif of freshman year is trying to fit in. You’re entering a new building with new people and funny smells and funny faces. You want to fit in. And a lot of times, you’ll do whatever you think necessary to fit in. Don’t lose your creation in Christ. He has a purpose for you, and it doesn’t always involve fitting in with the crowd because in high school you’ll soon find out that “the crowd” often isn’t a very Godly one.

Have that person. 
All those who have passed through the labyrinth of high school will tell you that you struggle and lose friends in the process. They’ll tell you that you lose contact with the majority of your friends when you graduate. I hope that’s not true, I love my friends. But if that does happen, I know I’ll always have that one person. The person who is there for you through thick and thin. You may fight with them, too, but they’re always there for you. They’ll help you get through your day and next couple of years. Find that person, love them and let them love you.

Listen to your parents. 
Wow, did I actually just type that? I would have considered myself insane had I thought that my freshman year. But it’s true. They know best. They raised you and have watched you grow. They know how you’ll react and respond. They know which situations are good for you to be in and which situations are bad for you to be in.

Don’t be afraid to not be okay. 
I found myself too often trying to be the one to handle everything my freshman year. Trying to handle upset friends. Trying to handle new opportunities. I thought I had to be the one who solved everyone’s problems and I thought I had to be the strong one in times of hardships. You will have your own times of hardships in high school, no doubt. And you don’t always have to be the one to be strong. You don’t have to be okay. Cry and let it out. Talk to someone who cares and understands.

Let go and Let God. 
There will be days you don’t think you can make it anymore – either from being super tired or super upset and depressed. You’ll question why you try so hard. You’ll question why things happen the way they do. You’ll run into unfair situations and wonder why you were put there. But the one stronghold that will anchor you in times of choppy waters is your ability to give it all to Jesus. Let Him take your sins and struggles to the grave. When Jesus died on the cross, He took our sins with Him. And when He rose, He left our sins in the grave. Let Him do that.

I’ve never really understood why everyone says high school is the best days of your life. If the best days of my life are nasty lunchroom food and obnoxious drama, then I must be doing something wrong. I won’t promise that high school will be perfect, because it won’t be. But it will be fun and it will be a learning experience. Trust in God and you’ll graduate stronger than when you entered.

Until next time, keep smiling.

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