My oldest child starts high school this week. I remember those high school years all too well. She’s about to step on a roller coaster and I hope that the rides up are exhilarating and energizing and wonderful. And I hope that the rides down are as smooth as possible and don’t last too long. For Freshmen Orientation the school gave the parents cards on which to write a short message that they received at orientation. Here’s what I wrote:
Welcome to High School!
I know you’re excited and I am so excited for you! You will always remember these four years – here are a few other things to remember:
– Pick your friends wisely and always be a good friend.
– Every experience is something you can learn from.
– Savor the good moments and put the bad behind you.
– Time management is key now and always.
– Life is full of choices, try your best to make good ones.
(But it was a small card, so here are the things I’d like to add:)
– You don’t have to know what you want to be when you grow up.
– Clean your room. A clean space gives you room to think and create.
– You’re going to make mistakes, own up to them, be responsible and move on to make better choices next time.
– Don’t let those mistakes be something that put you or those around you in danger.
– I will always give you and your friends a ride home, no matter where you are, at any time of the day or night.
– Don’t compromise in a relationship. A person who loves you will respect who you are.
– Try to make your corner of the world a better place.
– Never be afraid to hug a friend.
– Surround yourself with supportive, positive people.
And most of all:
– There is nothing you could possibly do that will ever make me stop loving you.
Stay safe. Be smart. Follow the path that God has laid out for you – you might have to look hard for it sometimes, but I promise it’s there. Remember that you always have a family that is here for you. And never forget how very, very proud I am of you.