Tomorrow, I officially start my senior year. In elementary and middle school, I would always dream about how my life would be in high school. What I would be doing, who my friends would be, what I would look like. It all seemed like such a distant fantasy back then. Yet, here I am. It seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. Summer ends tonight, and although I didn’t have a whole lot of fun this summer, I did something even better-I changed.
This summer I went through many experiences and learned many valuable lessons. I learned to not spend unnecessary time focusing on the negative things in my past. These things do not matter anymore! By giving too much attention to things that should no longer have a hold on your life, you are affecting your future decisions and even relationships with others. If you live your life this way, it is impossible to be happy. For so long, I have struggled with negativity. For some reason, nothing ever made me happy. Although I still have to fight for happiness, I know I have made progress and am on the right path now. I realized I was caring too much about things that didn’t have a place in my life any longer. I let it go and a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.
I learned that you do not have to do what other people, or what society, is telling you to do. Constantly, on social media, we have posts screaming at us to only live for ourselves. Of course, personal health should always be a priority, but what about JOY? That little phrase we learn at school or church that simply states the order of who to put first in your life: Jesus, Others, Yourself? I have learned that if something or someone is valuable in your life, although you don’t agree with their choices, keep them. Help others. If a relationship is becoming complicated, don’t just give it up. Help them grow. Help each other grow. Be there for people. Don’t give in to something you know in your heart you do not want to do. Someone very wise once told me, “Sometimes doing what is best for you isn’t the right thing to do.” We need to learn to be more selfless in a world that’s training us to stop listening to our hearts and minds. Society is reshaping the way we think and feel and it’s time to fight back and revert to the simplest of teachings-JOY.
The last, and most important thing I learned this summer, is to never take people for granted. I don’t mean to be morbid, but everyday people are being taken from this world. Even people in my community. Appreciate the love other people have for you and love them to the fullest. Always spend time with Christ. Don’t shut people out who only care about you and want to help you. Be kind. You never know when your last moments with the people around you will be.
I am filled with regrets that some of the reasons I learned these things were because I made mistakes-ones that could have been entirely avoided. Either way, I know I am in this place in my life because God wants me to be here. He wants me to grow and to become a better person. Goodnight everyone, and for those that start school in the morning, have a good day (: