A Teenage Girl’s Guide for an Excellent High School Experience
Looking through an old photo album, I had to smile at all of the fond memories. A photograph of a big group of amazing girlfriends during our senior year stared up at me; our smiling and laughing faces frolicking through a field over a cliff above the Pacific Ocean… adorned in our graduation gowns and caps while a stunning sunset faded into shades of orange and purple behind us…
High school is a pivotal time in a teenage girl’s life. There seems to be two answers whenever I ask someone what they thought of those few years. Either, “it was miserable,” or “they were some of the best days of my life.” This little list of things that I, with the help of a few others, put together was made after we complied the top pieces of advice we either implemented or wish we had heard when we were in high school. I hope you enjoy and pass along to a young lady in your life making her way through high school!
1. Think before you speak.
Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? These are the three essential questions you must pose to yourself before you speak the words into oblivion. I’m all about speaking your mind… when it’s kind. The derogatory stereotype of ‘catty young women’ is perpetuated a general lack of control over our words. Take a breath and give yourself an attitude check.
2. Have a girlfriend who has your best interest at heart and become accountability partners.
True sisterhood is what I’ve found to be one of the most rewarding parts of being a girl! When it works, it truly works. Having someone who loves you and is experiencing a similar walk of life is a blessing. Be willing to share everything with each other.
3. Protect and guard your heart.
It is precious. YOU are precious. Your high school years are not a free ride… in fact it may be a time in your life where your heart is most vulnerable. Your heart belongs to you and Lord; no boy should or could replace that pure love.
4. Do not be afraid to say NO.
No means no. If you’re not happy, comfortable, or willing… SAY NO. I would rather be labeled a chicken than violated, hurt, or dead.
5. Stop saying ‘sorry’ for everything.
I’m all about making a point of apologizing first when we’re in the wrong but all too often is the word ‘sorry’ used incorrectly. Here is a great ad that illustrates the best example of this that I’ve seen and I encourage you to take a quick watch:
6. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and lift you up.
Making acquaintance with people who tear you down is a recipe for disaster. Our self-talk and the way we think of ourselves needs constant vigilance on our part. Having a strong support group whom you can support in turn will improve your teenage years tremendously.
7. Journal your thoughts.
Keep a diary of what is going on in your life and what your feelings are. It is so much fun a few years down the road to take a peek at the past and revel in what God has done with your life.
8. Be selective and careful about who you date. Seriously.
Your standards should be high as the sky and don’t let anyone tell you differently. In my opinion, education, your fellowship with your peers, and most importantly, your relationship with your father in Heaven should be the primary focus. But nevertheless, the realm of relationships is not an simple place to be and you need to protect yourself with precision and care.
9. Set boundaries and STICK TO THEM.
Do not compromise your morals. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right or safe.
10. When the times get rough, get tough.
Sometimes God brings us to our breaking point only to prove that we are capable turning things around. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, put on a beaming smile, and keep moving forward!
11. Don’t judge others – even when you don’t agree with what they’re doing. Be loving.
God asks that we love one another as He loves us. Be the example. People do things for all sorts of reasons and reasons only they know.
12. Respect your parents – even when your disagree with them.
Teenage angst seems to be a right-of-passage. Just know that your parents love you. They may not be perfect, but they are typically a lot smarter than you. They were teenagers once too, you know. Be nice to them. Later on, you will thank yourself for having a good-hearted relationship with them. They do want the best for you.
13. If you find yourself wondering if you should break up with him… break up with him.
what I mean by this is if someone is asking you disregard your morals or beliefs. Otherwise, there will always be rough patches that will take commitment and work to resolve. Refer above to #3, #4, #6, #8, & #9. Bad company ruins good morals.
14. It always pays to be classy and take the high road.
Always. Your character and your reputation go hand-in-hand. You are responsible. In the modeling industry, I was always reminded to ‘find my best angle in the right light’. The way we present ourselves depends on the light we cast. It’s always best to stand in His.
15. Pray. Pray, pray, pray.
Thank God for your blessings. Ask for strength and wisdom regarding your troubles. Ask for guidance after any shortcomings. The world shouldn’t mold you – you mold your world. Never forget how much you need God. Stay close to Him. He will ALWAYS have your back.