High School. Two words that could either make you shudder with disgust or shout out with joy. I’m not sure which one I want to do when I hear those words. I guess it depends, really.
My high school experience has been on that has been extremely different. I’ve gone from having a giant group of friends, to chillin with just myself and Brittany. I’ve had classes filled with wonderful people who I befriended quickly, and some where I sat all alone by myself. Although some days in high school were not the most pleasant, I truly believe it was a wonderful, growing experience. It’s definitely a place to learn lessons! I can’t imagine making it through high school with out good friends that keep you on the right path. Like seriously, how do y’all do it? My other half, Brittany, was and has been the biggest blessing in my life throughout as long as I can remember. If it weren’t for her and her ridiculously rock-solid testimony (like seriously, where does she come from?), I’m not sure I would be the person that I am today.
Alright, enough with the mushy stuff.
I can honestly say that senior year has been my favorite. It wasn’t until recently that I realized you don’t have to worry what people think about you. I’ve been blessed to meet people this year who love me for me. (Isn’t that wonderful?) I personally believe that’s hard to find in high school. So I remember going into high school and hearing a lot of adults saying things like, “make sure you stay strong… high school is to difficult and tempting and this and that and this and that and blah blah blah….” I didn’t believe them until I got there and saw exactly what they were talking about. The first week of my freshman year came and marijuana was thrown in my face. The boy told me I was stupid for not trying it and he literally was convinced that I was crazy. (Really? He was the crazy one!) Sophomore year a group of boys sat in the back of class and begged my to say the F word… just once. I didn’t budge. They moved seats and made fun of me for not doing it. Junior year came around and a group of teenagers laughed in confusion as I told them I have never been to a high school party or tasted alcohol before. Then Senior year arrived and I had to bite my lip as so many around me talked so meanly about others. These example highlight very few of some of the experiences I had throughout school. High school can certainly be hard… but only if you let it be that way.
Here is my advice on how to make it through high school smoke-drug-alcohol-swearing-gossip-party-bullying-and-all-other-bad-things- free.
1) GO TO SEMINARY. (You don’t have to be Mormon to go!) I could seriously go on for days and days about how amazing seminary is. I know without a doubt that you receive such strong, spiritual protection when you go there each morning! It also increases your knowledge and testimony of the gospel and scriptures SO much stronger if you let it. Seminary allows you to go throughout the day so that you have the Spirit with you to protect you from all of those high school temptations.
2) FRIENDS. They pretty much determine everything. Always make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who are making you a better person. The second that they bring you down or try to make you do something that you know is not right… leave. You may lose one friend, but that’s better than loosing your happiness and safety.
3) BE A MISSIONARY. Some of my greatest joys in high school have been when I was able to share the gospel with classmates. Some people received it in a terrible, argumentative way but that was, thankfully, very uncommon. So many received it with acceptance and understanding, and that truly did shock me. I would get comments like, “Your gospel is beautiful!” or “I love that you can go on missions. Your church truly prepares you to become closer to God!” and “Oh! That makes so much sense!” Those missionary experiences that I had throughout high school were some of my favorites of all. I’ll admit it.. sometimes it is very hard because you’re afraid of what people will think… but you know what? It’s worth it. I know you will all be blessed for your missionary efforts.
If you’re having trouble with missionary work, think of it like this. Let’s say that you found the cure for cancer, and there were so many people around you who had cancer and you saw them struggling and even some almost dieing. Would you not tell them what the cure is and let them continue to suffer? I sure hope you wouldn’t. You would share with them the cure because it is LIFE SAVING. That’s how we should look at the gospel! So many around us are struggling and drowning in their problems, but we have the cure to help them. The gospel of Jesus Christ is that cure and it is LIFE SAVING. Share it.
4) BE PREPARED. I guess this ties into having a strong testimony. If you don’t have one, it’s so much easier to fall! People will rely on your testimony, as well, when they are struggling. It is so easy to fall in high school. From my experience of what I’ve witnessed, it’s just one seemingly minor decision at a time until they fall completely. BE STRONG.
I think that’s about all I can think of. Be kind, respect others, share your light and knowledge of the Savior with those around you, and be a friend. So many people are desperately wanting the happiness and joy that you have, and live in a way that you will be guided to give it to them. One of my favorite quotes is, “Don’t shine so others can see you; shine so that others can see Him.”