Aug 22 2011
For "Back to School": 5 Off-the-Top-of-My-Head Myths about High School that People Believe


1.  Bad grades in high school will ruin my life.
No, they won't. 
I know I'm not supposed to say this.  But you'll live, and maybe even a fully functional life.  Take it from me, a guy with ze perfect French accent... who failed French class. 

God did not abandon me. Remarkably, I still make a living. Check THIS OUT: I have a garage door that I can open WITH A REMOTE CONTROL. That, my friends, is pretty awesome.
And you know what? If you don't get into the college of your dreams, your life will not be ruined.  If you don't even get into college, your life will not be ruined.  Your life, in fact, cannot be ruined by grades.  It's NO excuse for not being disciplined, but it's true.  The weird thing is that, even in "good, Christian families", this sounds like a subversive thing to say, so brace yourself:  "Success" really isn't the highest good.  

"But what if I don't get into an elite college, and I don't get an amazing job making millions, and then I don't get to retire rich, and then I don't get to be old and wealthy, and then I can't die without a lot of money, and..."
Well, you got me there.  
2.  These people are my friends for LIFE!
No, they're not.   
They may not even be your best friends next year.  Yes, they are wonderful, and yes, it's great to have BFF's.  But the second "F" -- the "forever" part...?  It's not a lock.  Most people stay in touch with one or two people from high school, tops.  All the people around you are important, but they will not be constants in your life.  Chances are, you haven't met your true BFF's yet.  And that's not a horrible thing.
Knowing this can be a wonderful thing, when you feel like you're not at the top of whatever social heap everyone else is worried about.  It simply doesn't last.

3.  Everyone's looking at me all the time.
No, they're not.  Everyone's too busy thinking this about themselves to spend time studying you.  Seriously.  They've done research on  this.
It's called the "imaginary audience".  High school students, in particular, tend to way over-estimate the attention they're getting.  Fact is, even the "together" people are super self-conscious, and that means someone who *isn't* -- someone who's freed up to care about others -- can have an impact like an earthquake.

4.  Whatever social group I'm in now -- that's just who I am.
Nope.  It just doesn't work out that way.  This is why high school reunions and old yearbooks are so fascinating...and hilarious.
People can change.  And they do.  A lot.  Who you identify yourself as, now, does not lock you into a certain identity forever.  And it's a good thing, or a lot of people my age would still be wearing flannel-on-flannel and refusing to shower while listening strictly to Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Everyone.  Will.  Change.  

5.   My teachers/parents just don't understand.
Don't flatter yourself.  Seriously.  For all the marketing of "teenager"-hood, the concept of "teenager" has been around less than a hundred years.  You're not in a mysterious, magical soap opera that adults just can't possibly understand.  It's not a sudden period of life that's simply distinct from all others.    
This is why, in fact, your parents are bothersome: It's not that they don't understand the importance of your life, your's that they DO.  They can still relate to the issues, the temptations, the desire to run away from problems, etc.  So they won't just leave you alone. 
It's high-stakes, and they know it.  When you were three years old, your foolishness might mean a thrown toy.  Now, like an adult, your foolishness can mean years of sad regret.  Acting on your own, as a free agent, now or when you're an adult -- is a recipe for serious hurt.  The wise listen to counsel.
Mom, or Dad, or caring whoever -- they know this.  That's why they don't just shut up and "live their own lives".  And why you shouldn't, either.


Comments (16) -

8/22/2011 4:56:30 PM
Sara Beth United States
Sara Beth
So true. Told my kids these a billion times. They don't listen to me though. Frown Except for the grades... I don't like to push that one. ;) I don't tell them it will ruin their life or anything though.
8/22/2011 6:22:57 PM
Ellen Walston United States
Ellen Walston
This is awesome Brant and perfect timing for my new high schooler.  We miss you in NC on Big Fish FM.  Praying for your new role at Air 1.  You rock!
8/23/2011 6:24:53 AM
Issa Brown United States
Issa Brown
If my husband had gone to the college he had originally wanted to and not settled for the more financially available one we wouldn't have have ever met eachother I think. If I hadn't followed other people to college because I didn't know what else to do we wouldn't have met either.
8/23/2011 11:26:37 AM
MIke United States
You're not in a mysterious, magical soap opera that adults just can't possibly understand.

As a high school teacher I can see this inward dialog happening and it is so damamging.  I remember it when I was a teenager and I remember all of those thoughts too.   Honestly everyone is just so wrapped up in themselves they don't even notice you.  

Teenager: Rest in God's acceptance of you.  Follow Him and let people like or dislike you for how you are and let the chips fall where they may
8/25/2011 10:17:05 AM
Deb United States
Excellent words!  Especially since I have a son who just started high school and struggled with grades all through Jr. High.  He is under so much pressure to keep his grades up in order to be able to play basketball.  I'm glad he's trying, but I don't want him to feel like a failure if he just doesn't get it.  God has a plan for his life!
8/25/2011 10:36:18 AM
Deb United States
P.S.  I love my avatar, Brant!  Thanks!
8/26/2011 5:29:48 PM
HEy im 14 and im homeschooled just last sunday i realized God was shuting the door to one of my closest friends i really didnt hav eto make a choice she kinda ditched me for a younger guy like 3 years younger and it hurts and thats the advice my mom gave me and right now i hav eno 100% friends except God and my family but its ok what else do i need
8/26/2011 5:30:05 PM
LOL Laughing
8/28/2011 7:14:22 PM
Ive been told time and time again Christianity isnt a religion its a lifestyle
8/29/2011 6:07:27 AM
Lauren.H United States
Oh ive known that Christianity isnt a religion. It sounds better to call it a lifestyle rather than a religion Smile
8/29/2011 7:52:29 PM
I meant to post that on the last blog oooppps
8/30/2011 5:24:03 AM
Lauren.H United States
haha its cool
8/31/2011 9:21:24 PM
its kinda random it totally doesnt belong here
9/2/2011 6:50:23 PM
haha Smile its fine. Random is funny Smile
9/16/2011 9:39:51 AM
Stacie United States
I think god that I didn't believe that the people I Hung out with in high school were who I was going to be. If I did I wouldn't have been saved and married my wonderful god devoted husband. To the parents who's child is rebelling be patient talk to them even if its just asking about there day. Show that unconditional love you have for them, let them know that no matter what you are there for them. Cause let's be real high school sucks and there are just plan mean, rude and broken kids in high school.
3/27/2012 4:19:32 PM
Morgan United States
I am so glad that there is forgiveness and who I was in HS did not and does not define me. Thanks to the grace of God alone I am still alive, and now as a youth pastor's wife, with a kiddo of my own coming I really appreciate the wisdom of my parents, especially that my mom would always tell me that she loved me even when I wouldn't talk to her (didn't really talk to anybody for a while there). Praising God for His glorious grace and forgiveness!

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