Six Things I Wish I Had Known in High School

Monday, May 25, 2015

High school. Two words that evoke different emotions in each individual. For some, it's the most thriving, beautiful time of their lives (though I would argue that they are delusional, haha). For others, high school represents hell-on-earth. For me, high school wasn't awful, but it wasn't great either. It was hard- and I made it harder. It was scary- and I psyched myself out. It was long- and I am right about that!

But regardless of what high school was like for you (even if you loved it), there are always things that would have been nice to know- things that would have made life much easier.

Here are a few things I wish I had known back then...

I didn't need to be friends with everyone.
There's always at least one popular student in every class that somehow has power over all the rest. Regardless of that person's character or personality, everyone still tends to feel like they need the popular kid's approval and friendship. The thing is, the popular kids aren't any different from anyone else. And honestly, as I look back, nearly every single popular student that I felt lesser than in high school, now live sad, angry, or struggle-ridden lives. And for the most part, it is because of their own poor decisions. I wish I had known then that their approval didn't make or break me, nor was I missing out on anything. The wonderful friends I had were more than enough!

That boy is not the one.
Like almost any other teenage girl, I had about a bazillion crushes through high school. I only "dated" three guys before my husband, but I had more crushes than that. I thought that I needed to find "the one" immediately. This meant that at 15 years old, I was looking for a husband...and I didn't understand that it was very unlikely that I'd find him so young. Every boy I settled for, crushed on, and flirted with was a potential husband, at least in my very young, naive eyes. I wish I had realized in high school that there was no rush and that God would lead me to the right guy in His timing. Maybe then I would have had a few less worries over guys who have since become baby-daddies, drug-users, and overall bad people. My husband was worth the wait- I just wish I had been more trusting in my waiting.

C's are not always bad.
I went through nearly all of my school years with A's and B's. I didn't like getting B's, but they weren't awful. But I always assumed that if a person got a C or lower, it was because they didn't care about their school work or didn't work hard. I didn't think they were dumb, but I did think they were slackers.
But lo-and-behold, my senior year of high school I received a C in math class- and the world didn't end, to my surprise!
I received two more C's in college. I still cried, and I still felt like a failure, but I have since learned that the point of school is not having the perfect GPA, but how hard I tried and how much knowledge I was able to practically apply to my life.
My last C in college was entirely my fault. That is something to be slightly ashamed over. But if a person is doing their best and working hard, C's are totally acceptable. I wish I had understood that in high school.

Thin me

I was not fat.
I was an athlete in high school. I was semi-stylish and I was thin. I didn't have abs or anything like that, but I was lean and thin. But when I looked in the mirror, I typically saw a lot of fat, a lot of acne, and a lot of not-so-pretty-ness. Sometimes I felt pretty, but usually I felt silly, clumsy, and heavy. If only I had realized I was thin...

Most teachers do the best they can.
When you are a teenager, it never really crosses your mind that teachers aren't out to get you. Even though I was one of the more respectful students in my classes, I still cringe when I think about how much more respect my teachers deserved, and how hard they worked on my behalf. Even the teachers who weren't very good at their jobs were still working a lot harder than I ever knew.

Things don't always go as planned.
From 7th grade until 11th grade I was determined to play college basketball. I wanted it so badly and I put almost all of my emphasis on that goal. I would beat myself up if I didn't score at least 20 points a game. I certainly focused on other things too, but I always assumed that I'd play basketball at the college level, and maybe even further. But when I lost my passion for competitive sports in 11th grade, for the first time in years, I wasn't sure I wanted to play anymore. By the time I graduated high school, I didn't even seek out any collegiate opportunities for basketball. I was done. And though I never regretted my decision, I didn't really know what to do with myself for a while. For the first time ever, I had free-time, and I could pick what I did with my afternoons. I loved this freedom, but if I had not spent so much time assuming that my future was going to be in sports, I would have been a little more prepared, and better equipped to use my time wisely.

High school taught me a lot of valuable information while I was there, but I think it has taught me even more now that I am able to look back at that time in my life. I have the ability to use what I learned for good in my life. I can see the things I did right, the things I did wrong, and the things that are still baffling. But most importantly, I see that God carried me through, blessed me immensely, and used everything for my good and His glory (and He still does)!

What Joy Is Mine

Darling Downs Diaries



  1. Even in college it took a lot of self-convincing that grades aren't nearly as important as they seem at the moment!
    (And I've always been super-grateful that I wasn't interested in boys in high school. I spent most of my teen years telling anyone who nosily asked who I had a crush on: "Captain Jack Sparrow." Maybe that is a very imperfect solution, but apparently back then the only guy for me was a fictional pirate and I remained steadfastly uninterested in guys until I met mine--haha!)

    1. Gosh! That sounds wonderful! I wish my only crush had been Captain Jack Sparrow. I mean, he is a beautiful fictitious pirate ;)

  2. Hi Kristin!
    This blog is quite possibly the best one I've read about about high school, you have a gift for writing and communicating your points most eloquently. God is most certainly using you.
    Keep up the good work!
    Love & Blessings

    1. Thank you so much, Hayley! That means so much!
      And thank you for dropping by.

  3. Such good truths for seeing the bigger picture of life & not just the all-consuming nature that high school can be!

  4. Such good things to put into perspective! I will be sharing these with our girls in youth group!

    1. Oh wow! What an honor!
      Please send them to my blog! I am passionate about helping teens.

  5. I love this post! I wish I had realized those same things! I am so thankful that none of the men I dated in high school turned out to be my future husband.

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  6. You are so right, Kristin! And now I find myself trying to pass along this kind of wisdom to my tween and teen. Of course, they just bask in the glow of my maternal knowledge! (Insert eye-roll.) :)

  7. Great post and.such truths. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  8. I love this! Cheers to that boy not being "the one" and thinking you're fat and ugly (when you're absolutely thin and gorgeous) and plans not working out (I was on the lawyer track right up until first year uni)

    I think if I were to offer myself some more advice it would be to 1) get involved early and 2) take home ec the whole way through... I really wish I'd learned to sew and set household budgets because I certainly don't use my geography now...

    I wrote a similar post (letters to my past selves) yesterday, I'd love for you to check it out!
    Laura @

  9. This is so true. Especially about the boys! I think I had a different crush every other month lol, but I never really dated anyone until college. Another thing that I really wish I had known is that I am not the person my classmates might think I am. I was picked on and bullied, and when I started college I had (and still have to some extent) severe self esteem issues. I couldn't believe guys would actually be interested in me or that people genuinely wanted to be my friend (and weren't just using me to copy my homework, because I was that nerdy kid). Kids don't realize how much they hurt others, and the effects are unfortunately lasting.

    1. I'm so sorry that was your experience! That's so hard. I went through that in elementary and some of middle school, but thankfully I didn't have much of that in high school. I am so glad you have now seen that you can be cared about for the right reasons!

  10. Oh my gosh, I enjoyed reading this SO much. You are so right on so many levels- that boy is NOT the one! lol. In high school, I used to think the world was ending if a guy didn't like me back or not everybody liked me. It's amazing to think of how much I have grown since.

    1. Exactly! I mean, I think I am STILL learning all that stuff (minus the guy thing- I have an amazing husband that God has blessed me with- so that's covered :p ). But I still struggle with some of the things I struggled with in high school. It just shows how flawed we are. Thank God He is a loving God who accepts and loves us despite all our imperfections!

  11. I definitely wish I had known some of these in high school, ESPECIALLY that boy is not the one! I feel like I would have enjoyed my senior year so much more had I not let myself dwell on a broken heart.

  12. These are all so true! Especially "that boy is not the one" (AMEN) and "most teachers do the best they can." I didn't learn the second one until I was a teacher myself. Man oh man, it is a rough job!

  13. This post was really great. I'm going to try to teach my daughter these things when she gets to that age.

  14. These are so true! It's funny looking back now at all the things that seemed so big, but really are nothing in the grand scheme of things!