Before You Start High School

You start high school in 16 days. I am excited and worried and happy and scared for you. I know you’re worried about where your classes are and which staircase to take and if you youll remember your books and teachers’ names. I’ll probably look at you and smile that wistful smile as my eyes gets misty. And I’ll probably take a stupid amount of pictures of you with your new supplies, new outfits, and just because. Before your eyes roll all the way into the back of your head, let me tell you some things.

Find your courage and don’t be afraid to roar. Don’t be afraid to show off your name or stripes. Be you to full because you are beautiful. You’ve got this. You’re the total package: smart, funny, beautiful, and talented.

But don’t just be brave for you. Be the voice for the kid who’s afraid to speak up. Be the shield for the kid getting beaten up. Be the friend for the friendless. Be the person you needed before it went bad.

Make good choices.

It’s hard. You know the difference between right and popular. And popular is so shiny and attractive and fun. But remember what we say about people whose glory days are high school? It’s sad that some people peak at 17 or 18. Don’t be that person.

This is where brave comes in. It’s hard to be the one not doing what “everyone else is doing.” Do what you’ve always done and stand out. Be you. The real you. The true you. You know what’s right and and what’s just for right now.

Failure is totally an option. True story. You’re not always going to have the best grade, the best drawing, the best outfit. You won’t always win the competitions or talent shows or be the soloist or lead. Go for it anyway. Make mistakes. Take chances. Go big. Because nothing is worth it without the work. If you always succeeded the first time, there would be no room for growth. No reason to move on. It would get boring. Always grow. Always try.

High school is serious. But, not as serious as everyone wants you to think. You will hear about a thing called the permanent record. I am 40 years old and have never seen such a thing. No one cares I graduated 8th out of 64 kids. No one cares I had a 3.6 GPA out of high school. No one cares about that one time I got detention because I refused to eat in a lunch room with roaches crawling on the tables. I’d like to think people know me for my writing and personality. Two things that came after high school.

That all being said, do the work. Study. Finish projects. On time. Don’t wait till the last minutes. Don’t write papers on the school bus. Don’t cheat. And don’t let people cheat off you. Look at your dad (aka the King) and what he’s going through right now with his school and math. Learn from others’ experiences. Do the work to the best of your abilities.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask other kids. Ask your teacher. Ask me or your dad. Ask Google. But ask. Ask the questions you think are stupid. Ask questions you don’t think there are answers to. Ask questions for clarity. But ask.

College is creeping up. Don’t worry about that just yet. Yes, we’ve been looking at art schools. Yes, we have one picked out because of its reputation and location. But, we have some time. Which is good because I don’t have anything saved still. The future will be the present will be the past. Take each day by the day. And when that’s hard take it in 5 minute steps.

How many times has the doctor remarked about our relationship? We’re not normal, kid. I’ve never harmfully lied or hidden anything from you. It’s you and me. It’s always been you and me. Other players may enter the stage but in the end, it’s you and me. And we have our fights and moments. But I hope you know there is nothing I won’t do for you. I love you. You are the best parts of me. You are my love, my life, my heart, my soul. You are the best parts of me. And whenever, whatever you need to talk about, I’m here. I may make that face I make like I’m constipated. But, I will listen. And I will try to temper my judgement and reaction with love and understanding.

Be kind but don’t be afraid to say no. It’s ok to want to do things and help people. But, you need to be the number priority in your life. So, help ypur friend with algebra. Go out for the school play. But remember to make time for you. And if you don’t want to do something or you just don’t have the time or ability, say no. It may piss someone off. Oh well. Set your boundaries now so they are set before your 40s.

I will leave you on this. I love you. I’m proud of you. You have come so far already and risen above so much. I am so proud to be your mom. And I love the person you are and are becoming.

Let’s take on high school.



Click here for a pencil sharpener. Because your kids shouldn’t be the only sharp things in school.


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