by Sandra Stanley
A few nights ago I had an encounter with my 18-year-old daughter that will be imprinted on my heart forever. I walked into her room; she was sitting on the floor with her laptop. Immediately obvious was her determined focus on something she was typing. While I made a mental note of the messy room and intended to revisit it momentarily, I asked what she was working on so seriously. She looked up and said, “Mom, tell me what you think of this. These are Allie’s High School Rules. I’m giving them to my ninth graders.”
To give you a little context, Allie served as a small group leader to middle school girls on Sunday mornings at our church. That group is entering Milton High School as freshmen in a couple weeks. Allie has poured lots of time and energy into these girls over the past few years, and loves them so much. Having just graduated from Milton herself, she has a fresh perspective on exactly what they’ll be encountering over the next four years. She decided to put together a list of “guidelines” that she’s hoping will help them navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of high school.
As Allie began reading her list to me, I found myself crumbling (in a good way) on the inside. By the time she reached the end of her list, I was sitting on the floor with eyes flooded. I was overwhelmed and amazed at her maturity and strength. I knew she had made good choices throughout high school, and had traversed some hard things in ways that demonstrated her love for Christ and desire to obey Him. But to hear the “rubber meets the road” advice she put on paper was incredible. In that moment, I LOVED her messy room too!
So, I’m going to share 20 of “Allie’s Rules for High School” with you! Some of them are inside jokes she has with her girls, but you’ll get them anyway. Pass on to any rising high schoolers you might know!
- Surround yourself with people who build you up, not people who tear you down.
- Treat your kisses like you have a limited supply.
- Guard your heart. Seriously… your heart is precious.
- Stay vertical/no buttons and zippers (or Velcro). In other words, set your boundaries and stick to them.
- Have an accountability partner and be willing to tell HER everything.
- Be so so so so so so so SO SO SO SO careful who you date.
- If you’re wondering if you should break up with him, break up with him.
- If your girl gets broken up with, go buy her a stuffed animal, a blanket, candy, and lots and lots of ice cream. (Other gifts are acceptable.)
- Pray, PRAY, PRAY! Don’t ever forget how much you need God.
- Have a quiet time. It may seem like a hassle, but it will help you stay close to God.
- Be nice to your parents. They love you and want the best for you, so if you disagree with them, just realize that they are a lot smarter than you…sorry about it.
- If you find yourself lying to your parents/other adults in your life, backtrack and get out of that situation IMMEDIATELY. You are somewhere you do not want to be.
- Never be afraid to say no. It’s better to be a wimp than dead.
- When you fall on your face, get back up and keep moving (literally and figuratively).
- Journal so you can look back and see what God has done in your life.
- Even when you don’t want to, GO TO CHURCH!
- If it’s not classy, don’t do it.
- Don’t judge. Even when people are doing things you don’t agree with, show them love.
- Pause before you speak… this will prevent a lot of problems.
- Selfies are for faces.
If you have a teenage girl in your life, and she has a good high school rule to add, let us hear from you/her!