An Open Letter to my Sister as she Starts High School

Looking back on high school, they were definitely some of the best and most fun years of my life, but they were also some of the hardest. Dealing with finding out who your true friends are, body image, the pressure to do well in school and to be a good kid, and even relationships with boys can be tough. As you are about to start high school it has made me start to think about the things I wish I would've had an older sister tell me before I embarked on those crazy four years.

One of the most important things I can tell you is to stay true to yourself. It might sound cheesy, but there will be times in the future where people might make you feel like you need to change to fit in, or that something you're doing or wearing is weird. Embrace who you are and your true identity in Christ. Regardless of how others might make you feel or things they might say, you are a daughter of the one true king, and He made you uniquely you for a reason. It can be hard, but do your best not to let what others say affect your worth because your worth is not found in things of this world, but in Jesus. Hold tight to that truth.

Invest in friendships and love your friends well. High school is hard, and you're going to need people that you can count on and have support you when things are tough. You already are so good at caring for others, but sometimes going that extra mile to make a friend feel encouraged before an important test or a big game can really go a long way, and people will remember that.

Don't put so much pressure on yourself to be involved and be the president of every single club. While being involved in a lot of things in school is great and looks awesome on a college resume, it's not what will make or break you when applying to schools. If I could go back I would pick just 3-4 clubs or hobbies I was really interested in and put more focus and energy into those instead of spreading myself so thin.

You might get your heart broken and you might break some hearts. High school is a time when so many people are trying to figure out who they are and doing a lot of self discovery, and along the way you might fall for someone. He might like you back, or maybe he won't. It might feel like the end of the world if he doesn't, but I promise it will get better and that there are bigger and better things ahead of you. You have the rest of your life to be in a relationship, one heart break in high school does not mean you are going to be single forever. Your person is out there and you might find him in high school or you might not, but don't get discouraged. God's plan is always better than what we think is best.

It can be hard not to compare yourself to your friends and other girls. Know that everyone is beautiful in their own different ways, and celebrate that in one another. Spend time with people who are intentional about bringing one another up instead of tearing each other down to feel better about themselves. If you see someone putting someone down because they are different, say something. No one ever deserves to feel like they are less.

Go out of your way to get to know your teachers. Most of them will really care about you, and they will want to see you succeed. Don't be afraid to ask them for help or for a recommendation for a tutor. They will be there for you and want to see you do amazing!

Along with asking for help, it's not the end of the world if you don't get straight A's or aren't taking a lot of honors classes. As long as you are doing your best and working as hard as you can, that's all you can ask of yourself. It's way more important to build a good work ethic and strong study habits in high school than to fret over all A's.

Don't be afraid to smile and say hi to people in the hallway. You never know when simply smiling and giving a quick hello to that girl in your 4th period could entirely turn her bad day around. People like to be acknowledged, and a smile can really go a long way.

Find an adult that you can trust to be able to open up to and go to for advice. Mom is always going to be there and definitely has some amazing things to say, but sometimes getting an outside opinion and being able to be totally real and vulnerable with someone who has been through what you're going through can be a huge help. Shoutout to @sarm.davis for being this to me.

It is going to go FAST. People will tell you this, and you might not believe them, but looking back my four years of high school absolutely flew by. Don't wait until senior year to embrace every opportunity. Go to the games with your friends, attend the orchestra concert, stay out a little later than usual when you're having great conversations, and you can never be too cool for school dances. While it's not like prom will be the best night of your life as the movies can make it seem, those school dances are some of my favorite memories. Try not to take this precious time for granted.

Finally, I want you to know I am so proud of you and the person you are becoming. I can't believe you're already starting high school. It's crazy because I feel like you will always be my baby sister, but you seriously are so grown up now and an absolutely amazing person. I wish I could be there at home for you during these years but I hope you know that if you ever need me, I'm just a phone call away. Love you so big Lucy Goose.

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