Now Or Never

Even though we don’t want to admit it, the beginning of the school year is right around the corner. And you know what that mean…The times of back to school clothes shopping, buying overpriced planners and comparing class schedules are all too close by.

But over the last decade or so of the same ol’ routine, I’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to save some time, money, and sanity for when the dreaded first day comes along.

  1. Especially if you’re in high school, don’t buy school supplies until you’ve been to the first day of all your classes. – Your teachers will more than likely have a syllabus with all their required materials and more often than not, you probably didn’t pick up 90% of those items when you went shopping the week before.
  2. Don’t stress about finding your classes. – If you’re an incoming freshman freaking out if you’ll be able to find all your classes in your huge, new school, don’t! There are teachers all over the hallways pointing kids to the right direction. Also, if you’re worried about racking up tardies on the first week, don’t fret. Teachers don’t start counting tardies till the second week of school or so.
  3. Get a planner! – You’re human. You forget things! So better to be safe than sorry and get yourself a planner. Get one with a calendar to write down all of your homework assignments, test/quiz dates and birthdays (you don’t want to be that friend that forgets your bestie’s birthday).
  4. Take your freshman year seriously! – But for real, guys!  Slack off on your freshman year and your GPA is ruined forever. Yeah, you’re world shouldn’t revolve around your GPA but still, its a pretty important piece of that whole college thing. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll regret taking it easy.
  5. Make friends – And stick with them! High school changes people, and if you’re not surrounded by the right people, with the right intentions, and share the same core beliefs, things can go downhill very easily. For me, the most upsetting part of the last couple years of my life was looking back and seeing all the people that I hung out with and loved on in middle school, only to see them tear themselves down and get themselves into waters too treacherous to come out of.
  6. Stay true to yourself – This kinda goes with the last one but… don’t lose yourself in the mess that high school is. You’ll be invited to do things you’ve never done before, things that you told yourself you would never get yourself into. So make sure to stand your ground and stand up for what you believe in so that you don’t lose your identity in the temporary pleasures of high school.

 

There’s Something Holding You Back

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?