Here’s to the Class of 2023 . . . And All Those Trailing Behind

As hard as it is to believe, we’re on the downhill side of May. School is wrapping up, high school and college graduations are upon us, and time seems to be passing at warp speed. My oldest is finishing his first year in high school, and what a fantastic year it has been. My youngest will be entering upper elementary next year, and it’s amazing how much growth we see with each passing year.

As we enter what is a huge transition time for so many, I find myself thinking once again about all I didn’t know as navigated those brief high school years and jumped right into college . . . all the things I wish I understood then. But as they say hindsight and all that . . . so here’s what I want to say to all the teenagers right now.

  • You’re amazing. You’re a gift from God. You’re talented and smart and blessed. AND the world does not revolve around you. Sorry. The sooner you realize that the better.
  • High school can be fun and miserable all at once. It is a time of rapid growth and change, and I think it’s so important to remember, it’s not the pinnacle of your life. You have not peaked in high school or at your high school graduation . . . you’re just getting started. You have so much life left to live.
  • Having said that, be present. Live today fully. As cliché as it sounds, you’ll never get this day back, and maybe you don’t want to. But you should neither spend your life longing for the next big thing nor should you waste your time wishing for what has already passed. Embrace today.
  • But also . . . be wise and make plans. Just don’t hold those plans with a clenched fist. Flexibility. Flexibility. Flexibility.
  • Your path is your path. We’re not all the same, but we’re all fearfully and wonderfully made. Maybe your path will lead you to college or the workforce or trade school or the military . . . maybe it will be some combination of the above. Whatever it is do it with all your heart. Work hard, be kind, treat others with respect . . . you’re not owed anything.
  • Sometimes debt is inevitable but try not to bury yourself in it at a young age. Choose wisely. Spend wisely. Save for a rainy day. God gave you a brain for a reason.
  • Dating is all well and good, but you don’t need another person to complete you. You don’t have to have a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy, and it’s worth it to wait for the person that truly loves you for who you are.
  • Eat right and exercise. I promise you won’t regret it.
  • Sleep . . . it’s so important.
  • Put God first . . . always. Pray. Read your bible. Most importantly, no matter what . . . no matter how many mistakes you make . . . no matter what comes at you . . . remember Jesus loves you more than you can even imagine.

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