Notes From the Field: Wisdom to Rising Freshmen

I had a rare and priceless moment this summer when I took my daughters and their friends, affectionately known as the Big Girls and the Little Girls, to our favorite mountain spot. We braved the cold river and splashed around in age appropriate ways, middle school, college and motherly. Wink. I loved watching them challenge and tease each other all the way from prissy hair tips to braving the rapids.

Then we hit a Mexican restaurant on the way home. In the awkward waiting for our food, munching on chips time it occurred to me that the Big Girls survived high school together and just completed their freshman year at different colleges.

The Little Girls both completed 8th grade at different middle schools and were now nervously looking toward the wild world of two different high schools. I had overheard enough of the “what ifs” and “what abouts” to know they were scared. Excited, but scared.

With a prod of divine brilliance from the Lord, I asked the BGs what they had learned that they could pass on. These little women had grown and changed so much through high school and even more through their first year of college. So  what advice would they would give to the LGs as they were entering high school.

I was blown away by this gift of perspective. Hope you enjoy it and will share it with your upcoming highschoolers too.

• Don’t dismiss people by their appearance. Clothes are misleading.

• Take action and actually say hello to people.

• Do sports and clubs, even if you don’t want to.

• After high school you can handpick your friends. But in high school you learn what kind of friend you want to be and what kind you want to have.

• Never be in the car with someone under any influence (drugs or alcohol, even anger.)

• Drive if you can and don’t take people with you so you have the freedom to leave a bad situation or party.

• Grades are not your identity. They matter but they are not everything.

• Don’t worry about your looks or what others think.

• Every “A”  you get is money in your pocket.

• Build relationships with your teachers. They matter.

• Take hard classes.

• Go to tutoring.

• Be nice to yourself. Every year brought a drastic change as a person.

Thanks for the insight and courage Salem Spicka and Andy Gil.




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