“Write it in your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A large portion of my time is spent with high school aged kids. Because they’re fairly self-sufficient and continually developing maturity, we expect a lot from them. We forget regularly the emotional aspects of what it means to be a teen.
These are truly formative years for these kids, and while it’s easy for adults to downplay the difficulty of this period, the struggles of the average teenager shouldn’t be overlooked. My capacity as a high school baseball coach allows me to see a lot.
I see the good days and the bad. I see the insecurity that sometimes plays out in being a complete jerk to others. I hear the gossip, knowing full well it would never be repeated to the “offending”party. I see a bunch of kids trying to find out where they fit while trying to make sense of it all. I see kids getting pushed to the side in an arms race for popularity and coolness. I see the compassion of other kids pulling those tossed aside back in. I see the heartbreak from those first serious relationships. I see disappointment in school, friends, family, and life in general. I see it blasted on social media like a weird badge of honor that my generation never had access to.
For those downtrodden, take hope: it certainly gets better. Really, it’s pretty good now if you’d take a legitimate inventory of things. When these years are long behind you and you’ve become who you’re going to become, you’ll look back and recall this time as a fleeting memory that helped form you one way or another. Some will long for it, others will be glad it’s long since passed. Either way, it’s better to spend this time living in the moment as opposed to harping on things you can’t possibly control.
Make the effort to define yourself as opposed to letting others define you. Take pride and confidence in yourself and abilities. Understand what truly matters and discard what doesn’t…and learn how to differentiate between the two. Make the effort to include as opposed to ostracizing. Make it cool to be the type of person that is friends with everyone.
Above all, enjoy this time. It won’t last.
Have an awesome Wednesday,