You always hear people say things like, “if I knew then what I knew now.” Well I was thinking back to when I was in high school and wondering what I know now that I didn’t know then. Here are some things I wish I knew in high school.
I wish I knew that I didn’t have to be like everyone else. I tried so hard to be like the popular kids that I didn’t have time to get to know me. I didn’t know anything about myself in high school, but I did know what I thought everyone else wanted of me. I have found out that to be cool is to be you. God made you to be you, not the popular kid. You cannot be like everyone else. The world would be awfully boring if we were all alike. Take some time and learn about yourself, ask God what He made you to be like and go with that. God knows you better than anyone and the Creator knows what His creation is meant to do.
I wish I knew that people don’t think about you as much as you think they do. I used to walk around the halls of Plant City High with this thought in my head, “what is so and so thinking about this Wal-Mart shirt that I have on?” “He just looked at me funny, do I have something in my nose?” When thinking back, he looked past me to his buddy at the end of the hall. Other kids aren’t thinking about you! They are too busy wondering about their Wal-Mart clothes and possible buggers hanging out of their own noses. Care about what God thinks, that’s all that matters anyway. My life would have been much less stressful in high school had I realized this then. By the way, there is nothing wrong with wearing thrift store or Wal-Mart clothes. Who is going to know anyway? Think about it, if they know you bought something at a thrift store or Wal-Mart then they must have been in those stores too, right? It is more important to use God’s money wisely than it is to impress people; which leads to my next point.
I wish I knew that you don’t have to impress your true friends. Do you want a really true, be there til the end thru thick and thin friend? Find someone that you don’t have to impress. Your true friends will like you for who you are. I had several people in high school that I would have considered best friends. I’m going to use two of them as examples. One, “Jenny”, never really seemed to be happy with who I was. we listened to her music, watched her movies, ate her food. She didn’t seem to like who I was without her influence, it seemed she was trying to make me a “mini-Jenny”. She and I do not speak any more. We run into each other every now and then but since high school we’ve never had a real conversation and it’s rather awkward when we do run into each other. Jenny was not a real friend. “Sandy” was another friend. Sandy genuinely liked who I was. She did try to change me, but only when she saw I was doing something harmful to myself or unBiblical. She came to me in love and corrected, never made fun of me. Sandy and I are still friends. We lost contact with each other for many years. Last year we were able to meet up again and it was like no time had passed. We were able to connect like we did in high school. Sandy is a true friend. If they don’t like you for who you are, they are not worth it. Find your “Sandy” and make sure that person will NOT LET YOU DESTROY YOURSELF. Make sure he or she is a true God-lover and will correct you in Biblical love. The same goes for a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t let them talk you into doing something that you are uncomfortable with.
I wish I knew that all parents are weird. It’s true, they are. Nick will think it when he’s a teenager. We don’t do it on purpose, we don’t try to make lives miserable, I promise. When it comes to your parents, just remember the above thoughts; you don’t have to impress your true friends and people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think. Everyone has parents. Everyone thinks at some time or another that their parents are weirdos. You’ll age and your parent(s) will become some of your best friends.
I wish I knew that just because you aren’t invited everywhere, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you. There was a group of girls in my youth group that I desperately wanted to be accepted by. They were thin and pretty and smart and athletic and knew so much about God and the Bible. They would come to church on Sunday and talk about what they did on Friday or Saturday night together and I would be crushed. I was never invited to hang out with them so I thought they didn’t like me. Fast forward to today. There are women at my church that I genuinely love but I don’t see them socially. Just because I don’t invite them out to lunch, or to coffee doesn’t mean I don’t like them. We are all designed differently, to get along with different people. Those girls in my youth group, I never see now, we all live everywhere. I am friends with them on Facebook and I know that I can email them with a problem or prayer request and they’ll be there for me. They know they always have my ear if they need it, the same goes for the women at my church. There is one addendum to this, and it is equally important. There may be someone you know in school or your youth group that may not have any friends. Maybe he or she always sits alone. You may not click with this person, it doesn’t mean you don’t like them. Make an effort to ask them to go with you to lunch after church. Maybe your group of friends can sit at her table during lunch. And don’t worry about what your friends think, if they are true “Sandy friends”, they will go along with it. It doesn’t have to be everyday or ask her every time you go out, just once in a while. You never know what it could mean to someone.
Well, those are all the thoughts I have for now. You may think I’m a nerd. Well, go ahead and think it. I am telling you this in love. I am telling you this to hopefully keep you from the worry and stress and tears that I went thru. You have my ear, if you need it. You are in my prayers.
Samuel 16:7 “For the Lord does not see things the way man sees them. People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.”