Things You’ll Forget in 20 Years

Last June marked 20 years since I graduated from high school.

Yes, I am THAT old.


But let me just tell you — these 20 years have gone by fast. Really fast.

Those of my generation (and older) reading this are nodding their heads in agreement. Time DOES fly by!  But you guys who are still in high school…graduation seems eons away. I get it. I teach high school students, and this time of year, especially, we teachers know that grades start dropping, students get more antsy than usual. The “drama” tends to get more pronounced. Everything seems worse. Frustrations that have gone on all year aren’t ending. Classmates who make you crazy are not stopping. Teachers who you are sure hate you make life in their classroom even more miserable. The year is going on FOREVER and you just want out! Graduation Day seems like it will never get here.

If you’re reading this and you’re there, in that “March Madness” of your academic life, take some advice from someone with two plus decades on you: some things that seem super-important, life-or-death right now, really aren’t.

Here’s what I don’t remember from 20 years ago:

  • My grade in Chemistry
  • My senior research paper topic
  • My Trigonometry teacher’s name
  • Our Homecoming theme
  • Our prom theme
  • The score of any sport played my entire senior year
  • The most popular girl/boy in school
  • How much I weighed
  • The most popular song/movie/dance of 1993
  • Reasons for getting mad at my parents/friends/teachers
  • My SAT or ACT scores

I could go on, but you get the point.  My “March Madness” issues from high school? Completely forgotten.

So today, focus on what really matters: the parts of you that reflect Christ and are being shaped into someone who resembles him more and more each day.  Do your best in school, in sports, in your extracurricular activities, but don’t let yourself be defined by any of those. As my friend Laura tells her students, “You are not the grade you receive.” You are a beloved child of God. A child of God who may struggle with math, with some extra weight, with low self-esteem, with parents who are divorcing, with friends who have hurt you…but those aren’t who you are. You are God’s precious daughter. And all that other stuff…?


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