What I Would Tell My High School Self

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Drama, good friends, not so good friends, boys, maybe questioning your faith, homework, fitting in, rumors, insecurities, getting involved – sound familiar? Like your present or past? Or maybe you’re only 14 and reading this and these are what your worries are that lie ahead as you enter your new school’s walls this upcoming year? This post is going to be really honest and raw. With that may come judgement, but please remember and respect that it is challenging to write about topics online and in front of the world before you comment. Despite potential judgement though, these are the types of things that need to be talked about and used to inspire.

These past few weeks have been ROUGH in my community with two teens at my little brother’s school taking their own lives. Not getting into detail here but wow was it eye opening and did it stir up a lot in my heart. This post has been weighing heavy on me for while. I remember I got a DM probably 6 months ago from a follower on Instagram who is in high school asking me to write posts with topics such as this for her and for other girls who may be going through similar stages or struggles. Ever since that day it has been on my list of things I want to write about. Then a couple of weeks ago, those of you who follow along on Instagram stories may remember me addressing that I’ll be writing this post and asking what you’d want to be included and the response was amazing. I took notes there then left for a few weeks to travel. Once back home is when the events mentioned above took place and the pull on my heart became so apparent and I knew it was time to finally sit down and dig in. I already know this post might be crazy crazy long, so grab yourself some coffee, tea, wine, whatever it may be.

For the times you don’t feel like you measure up, you look at the person that seems to ‘have it all’, your self confidence just doesn’t seem to be there – First off, you ARE enough. I always go on Pinterest and look at quotes along the lines of ‘no one is exactly like you and that is your power’ and other quotes along those lines. And as cheesy as it may sound…it is true! Another thing to remember is no one is perfect and neither is their life. The people you are looking at are also looking at other people wishing their lives were more like their’s. We are humans and it’s something we ALL struggle with, no matter how ‘great’ we seem to have it. You are going to be different and that is what you should find about yourself and be confident in.

For the times you worry about the ‘cliques’ in school or get sucked into them – These types of groups are inevitable unfortunately. People seems to befriend people who are similar to them naturally and I see it happen in adulthood too, not just in school. But, there are ways to be confident about where you are AND on the other hand to also not let these groups become judgmental, hateful, or determine who you are nice to or friends with. If I’m honest, there were many times in my life I got sucked into this drama and mindset. Hanging out with the ‘coolest’ people that would up my personal status, judging others that were different, worrying about being cheer captain or on homecoming court, all these things that ultimately had to do with my status and gave me that ‘justification’ that I was good enough, or wanted, or ‘cool’. There are SO MANY things like this that I look back on now and want to kick myself for caring so much about, letting it define me, or the way I think of other people. With all of this to say, I have also been on the other side of things. I don’t think I was a bad kid or a mean girl growing up. But I know that a lot of people placed me in these categories and made a whole lot of assumptions about me and my character without even knowing me. I vividly remember some of my best friends standing up for me on several occasions over tweets about me, rumors, etc. all from people who did not know me. Not to say I’m innocent, but I had my fair share of times on this side of teen judgement as well.

For the time that rumor spreads – Girl have I been here! I remember rumors going around about me and me thinking this is going to define me for the rest of my life. I’m here to let you know that that is 100% NOT the case. The things you are losing sleep over right now, are not going to affect your life in just a short time. I know it’s hurtful and I know it might seem like this time is never going to end, but it does. People will remember you for so many other things, this is not one of them. It will pass!

For the time of your high school relationship(s) – This is hard because I personally have a ton of friends in my life who are married and started dating in high school, so of course I believe it and have seen it! I myself met Al when I was a senior in high school although he wasn’t my ‘high school sweetheart’ and he actually didn’t even go to my school. A few of you wanted me to touch on dating and relationships but this is a huge topic on it’s own and really does vary from relationship to relationship. I will say to enjoy the years of high school and to not take it so seriously! Adult life brings so many things, these years are to have fun! Yes you can do it in a relationship, or you can do it on your own.

For the time of your big break-up(s) – This is another one of those “I’ve been there paragraphs”. I had a long relationship in high school and a long, hard breakup. I’ve also helped many girls through their really hard high school break ups. I know it’s hard and it’s normal to question what’s next. Know that every person you date is a stepping stone that gets you to where you’re meant to be. There’s a purpose behind it all. You learn things about yourself, about how to love, the things it takes to communicate, and what to bring into your next relationship and eventually into your marriage. Just remember the good times and memories and carry them with you! As well as the things you learned. Something to remember if the relationship you’re in is one that you thought would be the one and is appearing to go in a different direction…God has a plan. Trust it. If you would have asked me at 17 where I saw my life the next 6-7 years from then, it would be nothing the way it is right now. But I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

For the times you question what you believe – I remember being in high school and having a couple awkward times with my faith. Sometimes I’d try to piece things we know together with the unknown and just think how does this all make sense? I remember vivid conversations with someone who’s opinion I cared about and the way they would try to convince me otherwise. This was HARD. I also remember prioritizing so many other things in my life before church, my time with God, and feeling disconnected. I feel like there are stages of life where it’s natural to question everything. I’m so happy that in the long run I stayed true to my faith and built my life and relationship around it, it’s made the biggest difference. Just remember that what you are going through is normal, and not to care about the opinions of others that believe something different than you.

For the times of a rough friendship – What has been so crazy to me is how much your circle of friends changes after just being out of high school a few short years. Luckily, there’s no big fall out or reasoning for most, just stages of life and directions we all go. But something I wish I had known is that it’s okay to let go of the toxic in your life and move forward. It’s hard in high school when you see people every day, but the day you graduate, you mostly only see the ones you put effort into seeing. So when that day comes, stick with the people who give you life! Not suck it out of you.

For the times you’re too kool for skool – Lighter topic BUT one of the best things I did for my high school self was getting involved. I tell younger kids this all the time! I feel like at some schools it’s cool and other schools it’s not. But I loved being as involved as possible. To give you an idea, I was in leadership for 3 years , a cheerleader for 2.5 years, on ASB for a year, etc. I feel like because of this I have so many positive memories and got to meet and become friends with new people that I may have not gotten the opportunity to get to know in my big school otherwise!

 

High school is a long 4 years but is only 4 of your 100 years. I look back on so many of the things that I thought were big deals during those years and think about how small and how they don’t have an affect on my life AT ALL anymore. So try your best to not sweat the small things and to soak in every fun, carefree moment. Remember to be KIND, to show love, to make NEW friends, and to be there for one other. Every one’s journeys are different and every one struggles and goes through hardships.

All my love to you all! Need an ear to listen or some girls to relate to? Comment below and let’s be rocks for each other ❤️

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Photos x Sarah Wolfe

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12 Comments

  1. Karly
    September 21, 2018 / 1:31 am

    I think this is really great! I think with your plat form and how much social media is what today’s kids are spending most of their time doing you have used it in a way that will hopefully reach out to a lot of girls who may be struggling!

    I also think we need to open the door to mental illness and spread kindness “you never know what someone else is going through” smile, say good morning it could mean changing someone’s day!

    I have a 3 month old daughter and I already worry about the people she will meet along the way; it’s something in our culture that needs to change!

    Thank you for writing this Karli! 💜

    • Karlie Rae
      October 31, 2018 / 7:14 pm

      Yes I think the same for our future kids!! I think conversation and yes being kind is what we all need to focus on! You are so welcome ❤️

  2. September 21, 2018 / 1:59 am

    Truly loved reading this post! I know I can relate to this in so many ways looking back on my high school years a couple years ago. It’s crazy to see my life now compared to how it was in high school. In high school, I was SO self-conscious and cared WAY too much about what everyone else thought of me. I feel so proud to know that my confidence is SO much higher than what it was in high school and really just enjoying life, all those little things in high school really don’t matter at all and I so wish I knew that back then.

    • Karlie Rae
      October 31, 2018 / 7:12 pm

      Yes I can relate to all of this!!!!

  3. Amanda
    September 21, 2018 / 2:06 am

    Omg you honestly couldn’t have put this better. Everything you have said is so so true! High school is always always such hard time for kids and it shouldn’t be and in this day and time I think it is getting harder. But I hope girls in HS read this and let it motivate them! You have such a wonderful heart!

    • Karlie Rae
      October 31, 2018 / 7:11 pm

      Ah thank you Amanda!! I completely agree ❤️❤️

  4. Hannah
    September 21, 2018 / 2:56 am

    I just want to say THANK YOU!!! I am 15 and a sophomore in high school and I needed this!!!🙌🏼💗

    • Karlie Rae
      October 31, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      Ah girl you are SO welcome! That is exactly why I wrote it ❤️❤️ xoxo!

  5. Mom
    September 21, 2018 / 5:05 am

    I love you and this blog post! ❤️
    #remembertobekind #lovewins

    • Karlie Rae
      October 31, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      Love you xoxo

  6. McKenna
    September 21, 2018 / 6:45 am

    This was such a great post Karlie. When I was in high school we had 2 girls take their own lives (younger than me), a couple of car crashes that took others lives from them, and most recently a 14 year old girl I knew well and worked beside in a club we were both in, took her own life as well. Dealing with anxiety and depression was a big roadblock for me during my high school years and during that time you question a lot of things in your life (as well as over think and pick at everything you could be doing wrong and if you are doing something “right”, find the wrong in it) It is so difficult to see and hear these things happen, but knowing that everyone goes through hardships and while not everyone’s story is the exact same, that there is a common factor, situation, or experience, that connects all of us as individuals. I really enjoyed reading this and I hope more people take the opportunity to read it whether it’s to put their high school self at peace, or provide support for someone else 🖤

    • Karlie Rae
      October 31, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      ❤️❤️❤️

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