Dear Daughter: Let's Talk About High School

Just so you know, it isn’t about learning stuff. It isn’t about getting good grades or how many friends you have.

I want to talk to you about high school. Just so you know, it isn’t about learning stuff. It isn’t about getting good grades or how many friends you have. It’s not about remembering a locker combination. School is about learning to deal with the ups and downs of life, with disappointment, with heartache.

It’s about learning to cope when everything sucks and you can’t find an ounce of motivation to write one more useless essay on a subject you don’t care about and will never use. It’s about learning not to give all your time to the whiners that just want to suck your energy, the bullies who only care to make other people react or the creeps who think they will be better people by being their worst selves around you. 

It’s about practicing sticking to your commitments, getting up on time, interacting with figures of authority, and making good choices. 

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
– Charles R. Swindoll

You need to look ahead of where you are and understand that this isn’t your whole life but it is a necessary part of life in our world today. Build a thicker skin or learn ways to avoid getting into situations that will hurt you. Avoid the people who don’t want to see the best of you and don’t give in to the easy temptation to go down to their level of negativity.

Experiment with positivity and see how others react to you when you are nice to them. Above all, use your manners and if your manners suck then learn what good manners are and use them.

Look at your time in school as a social experiment.

Learn from it. Learn how to learn. Never stop learning. Don’t let your dislike of school smother your love of learning. 

Teach yourself. 

Be your own best advocate. 

Make decisions that are healthy for you.

You have to get used to parts of life not being to your complete satisfaction. Other parts of it will be exactly how you want them to be and THAT’S LIFE. Know the difference.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
-Reinhold Niebuhr

Much of the online world you are focused on right now is fake. It’s entertainment. Strip away all things that are not good for you. You are addicted to many false beliefs and you need to release it all cold turkey. Focus on getting to your next goal.

Make goals! Even if it is just to get through the next five minutes. Then make another goal. Little steps are how you get through ‘overwhelm.’ 

Be that person you like to speak to who shows genuine interest in what you have to say. Don’t interrupt – trust me on this. It’s a skill you have to work on to get good at. It’s a skill I am still working on.

This, my darling, beautiful girl, is your key to happiness in your life and I would shout it from the rooftops if I believed it would help you ‘get it.’

Be true to YOU. 

Only a few months of high school to go, and I believe in you.

Previously published at Eclectric Soap Box.




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Living on the eastern edge of the GTA, Carin’s spirit animal is the Balloon Dancing Man, her passion is photography, and the rest of life is gravy. She adventures, travels, eats, hunts for beach glass, marvels at nature, loves her husband, annoys her kids. Only the Shih Tzus consistently appreciate her - as a piece of furniture. 

Her job is learning about and sharing interesting things with people on her blog Eclectic Soapbox and social media accounts.