September will forever remind me of school starting again, high school football games, and of course the most anticipated season of the year right around the corner: fall. Fall always comes with a bit of nostalgia for me. I feel the first breeze of crisp air and suddenly, I’m reminiscing on when I was 17 driving in my 2001 Jeep Wrangler. I was in high school in the early 2010s. This was the era of lace camis, skinny jeans, and the days when we only used the Valencia filter on Instagram. What a time!! High school is such an interesting four years where we all have unique experiences that develop us into who we are now. But there are some universal experiences or questions that we all have in high school, these are the questions in life that never leave us. Questions like, “Do I even have real friends? What is my path and purpose in life? Do people like me? Will things be better in the next phase of life?” Here are some of the lessons I learned from my high school years that still apply to my life today and address these questions that continue to stick around.
It’s okay to feel like you’re clumsily walking through life.
Ever heard of the phrase “you don’t need to see the whole staircase to take the first step”? Oftentimes we want to see the entire plan for our life, but what a boring life that would be! Take a step even if you aren’t sure if it’s right. As you make progress, the path will continue to reveal itself. Don’t forget to give yourself some grace if you feel like you’ve made a misstep, there is no good story without some struggle!
Friends are there for a season, a reason, or a lifetime.
Friendships are such an important part of our lives in high school and beyond. However, we all know that friendships change as we get older, make moves, and create families. Being fluid and flexible in the ever-changing landscape of friendship is healthy and normal. It’s okay if some relationships fade over time, you never know how the timing of life shakes out. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up to new people in the season of life you’re in at the moment and pay close attention to the friends you hope to hold onto for a lifetime.
Any situation can be turned into something you learn from and something that benefits you.
No matter how perfect your high school experience was or is, there will always be moments or situations that don’t go as we’d hoped. For me, there were many (some public!). I’ve got some bad news for ya, the not-so-perfect situations will continue to come throughout all of life but take heart, there is no situation that is so bad that you can’t learn or gain something from it.
Contentment is not something you chase, it’s something you train.
I am the youngest child in my family and I think one of the curses of being the baby is seeing your older siblings embark on exciting new things. You see them in high school, you want to be in high school. Same thing for college, and marriage, buying houses and having babies. I believed wholeheartedly that once I got to do whatever they were doing, I would be so much happier and content with my life. Don’t buy into that lie. Your joy can start right now, wherever you’re at. Make the most of this season!
Gilmore girls will stay relevant, funny, and comforting for at least the next decade and a half.
Where you lead, I will follow. Lorelai and Rory are some of the best companions as you navigate through your twenties, especially in September. Enough said.
Whether your high school experience was something you look back on fondly, or you cringe at the memories, there are lessons from those years of our lives that apply for decades to come. We hope that you can take this month to spend some time reflecting on what your high school or younger years have taught you!
–Ty Hiss, CEO