4 Things Our High School Kids Need to Hear As They Graduate

As I watch my sweet almost grown babies, I can see my time with them growing shorter. I have so much left to say, but there are just a few things I think they need to hear as they take those first tentative steps into adulthood. The end of high school is a whole thing my friends and our voices are still important in the din. 


Here is what our kids need us to say:


You are on the edge of young adulthood and all that is safe and familiar from your childhood is now stretching behind you. And when you look ahead I’m pretty sure you see nothing but a million questions marks. 


On any given day these question marks stand for fabulous possibilities or terrifying unknowns depending on what is happening in your world. I so get this my dear one, I still feel this way too sometimes.


But with the gift of my grey hairs and wrinkles I have also gained a little wisdom. There are some things I know to be true and they are things I want you to tuck into your heart and take out on the days when the questions about what is to come are just all too much. 


If you can remember these things you will be just fine. You’ve so got this.


  1. Life is Not a Race. I swear on a million stack of Bibles it isn’t, although the world of high school seems to do every single thing it can to make you believe it is. They number you and score you and try and line you up on a path that seems it can only hold so many people. You might constantly feel like you are not keeping up or that you are one mistake away from being pushed off the path all together.


These are all lies, I promise you. 


Because you are not a number or a score. And there are about a million paths leading to any given destination. And actually life isn’t about getting somewhere anyway, it’s about enjoying the journey. Someday you will realize you never actually find you have arrived, we all just keep on traveling, so often to places we never dreamed we’d go.


So take your time and ignore the numbers anyone tries to stick on you. Instead, walk beside your friends and find a way to help them on their way. Spread kindness all around whatever path you are on. Have fun. Laugh as much as possible. Sit down on the side of the road and spend whole days not even worrying that you aren’t moving at all. Love your people and love yourself. 


There is no need to run faster or get there first my dear child, you can’t be left out of what God has planned for you. It’ll be there for those who arrive first or 101st. But He really can’t wait to hear what you did along the way. Make that count.


2.Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper.  When things feel like a race you will be tempted to pay attention to where others are on the path. You will feel like you need to measure your journey based on other people. Never do this.


When we live our lives comparing ourselves to someone else we can’t possibly make our best choices. And trust me, you can’t make a choice about the college you will attend or the career you will have based on someone being impressed when they hear about it. That is a recipe for being miserable.


Plus, no one might tell you this, but actual grown ups never talk about their GPA, ACT score or where they went to college. Seriously, no one will care about any of this the second you graduate. So you can let go of this fake competition right now…you’re welcome.


The only way to fully live is to keep your eyes on your own paper. Do your own best job. You are in the world because God thought the world needed you. So be you. Work on you. Find a way to share your gifts with the world while appreciating, not competing. You are more than enough just as you are.


3.Embrace Failure. All the best learning in life comes from the struggles. Of course no humans love this truth. We want all the wisdom without any of the pain.


But it’s in the low times that we can really be open enough to learn. Your failures won’t be your most fun times, but know when you look back over them they might end up being the times you are the most proud of. Because in the space after a failure you will have a choice, you can get up and keep going or you can lie down in that failure and refuse to move forward.


The second choice will be tempting sweet one. So tempting.


But I know you, you are made for this world. Your gifts are abundant and wonderful. You are made to get back up. 


And so you will. And in getting up you will learn that failure doesn’t kill you. It might bruise your pride but those pride bruises make us humble. They make us more gentle with ourselves and others.


It’s in the steps we take after we get up we learn those lessons life can only teach us when we rise. It’s only there we can look back and say we have done something great, we have kept going even when we thought we never could. 


4.You Always Belong in Our Home. Sometimes it might seem life is taking you away from all you know and love so much faster than you ever thought it would. Please know, we are so excited for you to begin this next chapter. We can’t wait for you to try your wings.


But also remember wherever we are will always be your home. We will forever be happy to see you, we are here as long as you need us to be. Even if your bedroom is someday my yoga studio, we will have a place for your to lay your head. 


You’ve got this my sweet, almost grown up baby. I can’t wait to watch you fly.


Originally published on Her View From Home.


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