Dear High School Girl

I saw a post that was making its rounds on social media, and I couldn’t help but feel a strong pull to write to you, too. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing advice from everyone, but give me a chance, will you?

It’s been 10 years since I was in High School, long enough that I feel I’m finally in a place to give you advice, but still recent enough that I remember how much it HURT to go through what you’re probably going through right now.

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High School really DOESN’T last forever. I know that you know this. And I knew this, too. It’s just that it’s hard to separate feelings from the facts… but you need to know that this feeling and this period of your life WILL NOT last forever. I remember that something about the entire experience felt eternal, and I swear I would have sold my soul to the Devil at the time if it meant I wouldn’t have been so miserable, depressed and lonely.

The #1 thing that I wish you would know and believe is that NO GUY IS WORTH YOUR VIRGINITY IN HIGH SCHOOL. TRUST ME. Hold onto that and wait for someone amazing (preferably when you’re married).

My High School experience can best be described as a combination of “Easy A” meets “Juno”… I thought sex would make guys like me. (I know it’s dumb.. but I also know you’ve thought this, too.) So, I started telling people I’d had sex and done things that I hadn’t actually done. Not so shockingly this resulted in me having quite the reputation. Even though it wasn’t true, it was a reputation that lasted “forever.”

After realizing that this reputation wasn’t going to go away, and with my history of being sexually abused, I decided to Hell with everything! I was going to have sex then! It gave ME control, it temporarily made me feel wanted, and it is what everyone THOUGHT I was already doing anyways. So I did it.

It didn’t take very long before this mindset came to a screeching halt. I got pregnant. As I scrambled to make sense of it all in my 16-year-old mind, I couldn’t believe I’d gotten myself into this mess. What in the WORLD was I thinking?

(To make that long story short, I had my daughter when I was 17 and was a single mother. My parents helped me raise her while I went to school (until High School got so bad that I stopped going), then I got my GED just to be done, met my now-husband, started college and then got married to my husband who adopted our little girl.

Since getting married, my husband and I have had 3 more children, had one of our children die when he was 4 months old, moved three times, bought a farm, started our own businesses, and have generally gained a LOT of life experience.)

Again, let me repeat… SAVE SEX FOR SOMEONE WHO IS WORTH IT!! Do you know what it felt like when I met my husband and had to tell him that I’d had sex with other people when he’d WAITED to have sex? It was so embarrassing. It was humiliating. It was devastating to him. I was ASHAMED of how stupid I’d been.

And you know those guys you think are “so hot” and so amazing right now? The ones you would literally kill someone if it meant you could date them? They aren’t going to be hot in 10 years. I know I sound old when I say this, but the guys that I thought were “so hot” are bald, fat and mostly unhappy almost 30-somethings that didn’t amount to much of anything. And I let THOSE guys determine my self worth.

Also, Your BFF will probably not really end up being your Best Friend Forever.

I know that you think all of your best friends from High School are going to be your bridesmaids and your best friends for life…. But that’s probably not true either. The thing is… college changes things. So does growing up. You move to different states, discover passions you didn’t even know you had, start pursuing your dreams and look back and realize you’ve outgrown a lot of your friendships.

It’s okay, though. Because I really do believe that every single friend or enemy, every person that’s been on your path in your life, was there for a reason and a season that you wont fully understand until it’s over.

Only SOMETIMES do those friends truly stay around for a lifetime.

BE NICE TO EVERYONE YOU MEET. You honestly have NO IDEA when you are going to run into people from High School and possibly be at their mercy. This isn’t the only reason to be nice to people, but seriously, BE NICE TO PEOPLE.

Do you really want to rekindle some HS bullshit in the Emergency Room one night 10 years from now when you’re kid is really sick and your enemy from High School turns out to be your ER physician? Awkward…

I’ve also heard many stories over the years about students who were so depressed they were considering taking their own lives… but then someone was nice to them. You have no idea whose life you might be saving when you make the choice to be nice instead of “cool”. (When “cool” means insulting people, gossiping and hurting people on purpose then I PROMISE that you do NOT want to be “cool.” That person doesn’t go anywhere once they grow up.)

You have no idea who you will reconnect with later. Some of my CLOSEST friends are people I either didn’t know well in High School, OR who I actually HATED (and who HATED me!) Life works in the strangest ways, and you NEVER can tell who you will cross paths with again.

There are a million other things I’d like to tell you not to do—don’t drink, don’t do drugs, if you do drink don’t DRIVE, call for help when you need it, tell the truth, don’t cheat, respect your parents, appreciate your parents, tell your best teachers that they’ve made a difference in your life, believe in yourself, etc.

But today, I just want you to remember to be nice to everyone you meet and respect yourself enough not to have sex with people you think are so wonderful in High School. Dedicate your time to figuring out your passions, your dreams and your goals. And then go out there and make it happen!

Trust me… 10 years goes faster than you think! And you won’t believe what can change in those 10 years 😉

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