Going from being a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a big pond is a humbling experience. This fish soon realized how much she took for granted in the little pond known as Lakeland Christian School.
As I finished my first year at the University of Florida, I have had time to reflect on all of the things I learned as a college freshman. I also took the time to reflect on my high school experience and the role that played in my transition to college life. Looking back, there are five things I would say to my high school self.
1. Your parents are right
When you are living under your parents' roof, it seems like they are dictating every aspect of your life just for the fun of it. It is not until you move out that you realize the role their “stupid” rules played in keeping you safe and shaping you into a person you can be proud of. So when your parents preach that “nothing good happens past midnight” and set a 10 o' clock curfew, or they don't allow you to hang out with that cute boy because he’s “nothing but trouble,” or they take your phone away because “zeroes on assignments are unacceptable,” rather than argue about how they are “ruining your life,” take them at their word and trust that they know what is best for you.
2. Appreciate your teachers
Your teachers care about you so much! Do not take that for granted because college professors will not even take the time to remember your name. LCS faculty members go beyond their job description by investing in students’ lives everyday. This is something to be extremely thankful for, so remind your teachers how much you appreciate them.
3. Pain is temporary
You know the type of pain I am talking about: the pain of realizing you have procrastinated too long, and you are going to be up all night writing a paper or finishing a project. It is very tempting, when put in this situation, to throw in the towel and say to yourself “I’ll just take a bad grade so I can go to bed.” Don’t. All you have to do is power through to the end to get a good grade, and I guarantee you will not remember how stressed you are in this moment a week from now.
4. Stay involved
The best relationships made in high school are with those you interact with outside of school in addition to within the walls of the classroom. There is no better way to make the most of your high school career than to fill it with activities that allow you to make friends you would not have otherwise met, learn new skills, and use your talents to glorify God. Whether it be in the form of sports, clubs, academic teams, or music groups, get involved and make the most of every opportunity given to you.
5. Lean on God
The trials and difficult situations encountered every day in the life of a high school student is the perfect place to learn to lean on God. From toxic relationships ending in broken hearts, to friends turning their backs on one another, there is no better time in your life to realize that Jesus Christ is the only one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Carly Knox is a 2015 graduate of Lakeland Christian School. She just finished her freshman year at the University of Florida. You can read more of Carly's writing by visiting https://www.theodysseyonline.com/@carlyknox.