Thinking about the future has never been more prominent in my mind than it has been in the last couple months. It feels as if it were yesterday that I walked into high school with my sparkly silver Toms, flower crown on my head, and backpack filled to the brim with every colored highlighter, Flair pen and mechanical pencil ready to start my freshman year. I remember walking into what felt like a sea of adults, people who had their life together. They walked with purpose, didn’t seem as though they were nervous or had anything to hide. That day I thought, as I got my 4’11 self lost in the crowd of senior basketball players, will I one day feel as confident and powerful as they do? Will I be able to walk around this campus with the pressure that every other grade below me will look try to follow my lead?As I look back on that day now, my first response is to laugh. How did I ever think I would have it all together by senior year? Don’t get me wrong, throughout the last three years of my life I have learned more about my identity, the importance of choosing the right friends, and about handwork and dedication than I have in my entire life. However, as I look at myself in the mirror and think that I’m supposed to be a well-functioning, tax-paying, adult in a matter of 1o months scares me down deep to the core. Those kids that I saw, walking with their head up high and chests out in front, weren’t ready for the real world, they just barely made it seem like it. Yes, they might know how to drive themselves to school and on dates with their girlfriends. Or maybe even know how to check how much money is in their bank account and recite their social security number. But they sure as heck weren’t ready to be thrown out into the open waters because they’re still just kids.We’re often told that a lot in our childhood, “You’re just a kid.” But what if the word “kid”, didn’t mean childish, ignorant, and irresponsible. What if it meant, full of creativity, confident, light-hearted, and loving. Growing up, we often put ourselves down because we think we’re too young and no one will take us seriously. In my opinion, that is one of the greatest forces stopping us from moving on and succeeding. In movies, and by our parents, being a teenager is getting caught smoking in the ditch behind the playground, tailgate parties that get taken a little bit too far, and even breaking hearts and stealing firsts. But we underestimate ourselves. Teenagers have so much potential and use it so little that if we actually all made the effort to go out and change the world it would be simpler than we thought.1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Even about 3,000 years ago there was still this image, this perception, that because you were young, you would be looked down upon, and Paul knew that. The Bible encourages us to go out and to set an example despite our age, maturity, and life-long experiences.Something I have learned in the last couple years of my life is that you don’t need depressing or life-changing experiences to be a good example of love, compassion and faithfulness. Instead of going right along with the trend and proving the world time and time again that we are stupid, reckless, inconsiderate snobs, we should strive to change that norm and push away the titles and identity given to our age.I have spent the last three years of my adolescence trying to prove to myself that being an obnoxious teen is part of “the process.” Blaming the fact that I can’t make a difference because I’m not even old enough to buy cigarettes and that I’m just a kid. But, going into senior year, I’ll walk into school with my head held up high and chest out front because, I know that all eyes will be on me. How I act, the way I talk to people, the decisions I make on a daily basis will be used as a guide line for the future generation of seniors of Liberty High School. This year will be the biggest opportunity for me to be an example of what a Christ follower should be and that makes my heart so so happy!So now what’s your excuse? What’s holding you back?