To The Class of 2014: It’s Your Turn

I don’t know about you, but high school was not the high point of my life. Just my bangs.

I had some great friends and fun times (hours and hours spent on homecomings and proms, hours and hours in the newspaper office, hours and hours spent “studying”) mixed in with your average teenage drama (“I have nothing to wear” and “You don’t understand” were commonly heard at my home) and then a heavy dose of above-average drama (because what’s the fun in being just “average”?). It was high school, and it was all new to me and my family.

My parents never had Homecoming, Turnabout or Prom. I didn’t know how to explain to my parents why having toilet paper strewn all over the house after making the poms squad was a good thing. I didn’t know how to explain to my parents the difference between “going out” and “going out”, and I certainly didn’t know how to explain to them that a great group of friends and a stellar transcript couldn’t undo the angst of high school life (at least until I was out of high school).

So watching my daughter get ready and then leave this morning (please tell me why starting high school at 7:30 a.m. is a good idea?) for her first day of high school was bittersweet and breathtaking. She simultaneously texted and Skyped and primped, and then it was time for a few embarrassing photos, a brief embarrassing video and a too brief hug and kiss.

A few days ago I had a great conversation in the car with my daughter and her friends. They were talking about their schedules and lockers and getting lost and one of them asked me, “Were you popular in high school?”

“Well, I knew a lot of people and a lot of people knew me, but I wouldn’t say I was popular,” I answered.

“Were you as pretty as you are now?” (And I swear she used the word “pretty” and that I didn’t pay her.)

“No. At least, I didn’t think so then. I know better now, and I hope all of you do as well.”

Apparently high school girls then and now are worried about similar things.

She’ll be home in just a few hours, but I’m sitting here in the back-to-school silence wanting to fill it so I’ll invite you all to chime in with your own words of wisdom, advice, humor, etc. for my daughter and her friends.

If you could tell her and the rest of the Class of 2014 a piece of your mind and heart, what would it be??


  1. Lisa August 18, 2010

    I always hated the 7:30 AM start time. apparently public kindergarten in LA starts at 7:45 AM. why?

    i don’t have any advice having attended all girls Catholic school the issues were a bit different, but i’m looking to you guys to give me insights for what is to come all too soon.

  2. deanne August 18, 2010

    I was just thinking about this the other day after talking to my sister. My niece is in high school as well. What I wish someone had told me when I was 15 was to take the time to figure out who you are. What dreams you have, what passions are within you, what makes gets you excited that doesn’t have to do with romance. And so many times, you can go on that journey while engaging in school, participating in activities, running for student office, playing sports, joining a club, coming community work. All those avenues don’t only look good to colleges, but also help you to understand who God made you to be. Once you’ve started to figure out who you are, don’t ever forget. Remember who God made you to be. (so much easier said than done! especially when in high school)

  3. Melanie August 18, 2010

    I’ll pray for yours; please pray for mine. Mine starts next week…but as we and other new high school parents send God our best and trust that He will provide the appropriate “village” to further the dreams and goals. We hope for little ego bruising and shaping. May we know that in all that comes, atleast God knows we will be able handle with His help. Blessings to you this day in the hope of the future in your children.

  4. Hillary August 25, 2010

    The most important thing I learned in high school was to look for the “golden nugget” that can be found and appreciated in every single person no matter how annoying, intimidating, standoff-ish, popular, geeky, dorky, nerdy or whatever they seem to be.. There is something you can learn from them or connect with in everyone. It may be small, but it’s there, and being willing to look for it, recognize it, celebrate it makes all the difference for college and beyond because you’ll develop friends and community. Sadly, I didn’t learn this until senior year because there were a lot of other distracting things happening. Even worse, sometimes the busyness and fullness of life prevents me from continuing to look for the “golden nuggets” today.


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