To be honest, there are way more than ten things that I wish I had known going into high school. But the whole point of a "Top 10" list is to narrow out the not so important ones. So, without further ado, here's my High School Edition of The Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started.
1. Use your words. Now that's something that I think I learned how to do at a young age. But high school requires an entirely different vocabulary with new, varying, and hidden meanings. I wish I had known going into high school that words have different meanings for different people. Words are a standard of communication. If you don't use them to your advantage, let alone use them at all, you won't find yourself in a very comforting place.
2. Patience is a virtue. For all the running between classes, unlocking and locking of padlocks, sorting and stashing of text books, and all of the homework assignments and lectures that never made any sense to me at all; I wish I had known how to be patient. My sophomore year of high school I learned how to be patient through trail and error, but I did it with the Lord's help and guidance.
3. Second chances aren't always appreciated. Don't get me wrong here, I greatly appreciate second chances because I am a fallen human being who makes mistakes more than I would like to admit. But my junior year of high school taught me something interesting and that is this: not everyone sees the value of a second chance, nor do they want it. It is for those people that one must remember to pray.
4. Elementary and Middle School grades and lessons DO matter! Going into high school I had a very unhealthy perspective on this. Not that I didn't try to do well, but rather I thought that it didn't matter how hard I worked because I thought colleges wouldn't even see it. Truth of the matter is, the grades matter for your own health and growth. High school just builds on to what you already know. Schooling is like Legos, you need a foundation in order to grow. Forget what the colleges will think, YOU need it.
5. Stability is key. Yes, high school is never going to be easy but you can grow more if you are stable.
6. Make friends. Going into high school I tried relying on friendships from younger years and it was a recipe for disaster. I had to learn to invest into new relationships and make new friends in addition to the older ones.
7. You've been given a locker, use it. I tried to keep everything in my backpack and that didn't work.
8. It is going to be hard. Not just junior year, everything about it is hard. Continually seek the Lord, he will walk with you in the hills and valleys.
9. Transitions can be good things. Use them to your advantage.
10. Make Jesus the center of your life and read his word daily. Adolescent years are when emotions rage the most. Jesus is an excellent anchor. I can imagine how much better my freshman year would have been if I had done this seriously, but hey, speaking of second chances...
The pictures in this post feature the city of Dakar, and the Dakar Academy Campus. For more information about my high school, visit:
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