Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

A Letter to my Daughter upon Starting High School ~ Rae

on August 21, 2013


Dear darling daughter,

                First of all,  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am so not ready for you to start this next chapter of your life. Secondly, I am super excited for you to see what life has to offer. The next four years will be challenging, life changing, fun, and emotional for us both. Before you start, I want to give you some of my thoughts on the adventures coming your way.

SCHOOL: The grades COUNT. The classes you take are important. Your future is decided by what you do in high school. I know that might seem like a lot of pressure, but I think many parents don’t tell their kids how important high school really is. I am not worried about your ability to master the world of secondary education. I am, however, a high school teacher myself and have seen many bright, capable students sucked down the path of apathy. In other words, “Don’t Stop Believing!” (Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of you for knowing all the 80s classic music? That right there tells me you are going to succeed in life.) You already amaze me with your abilities and your dedication to your work. You just need to keep your eye on the prize- your future.

YOUR TEACHERS: Welcome to my world! Teachers come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities— just like everyone else. I hope you have teachers who inspire you and teachers who push you beyond what you thought you were capable of. (You know teachers like me— stop laughing!).   Unfortunately, you may also have incompetent, worthless teachers as well. Basically, school is a game. PLAY IT. Learn the teacher. Each one has particular ways, quirks, and methods. Figure them out and win. Remember- they get paid whether you pass or not. Do not let a horrible teacher get paid while you don’t learn. If you need help ask me or another adult you trust. It’s okay to struggle in your classes because of the teacher or material. If you already knew everything, school would be pointless. But, it is not okay to not try and not okay to give up. There is always a way to win the “game”. 

FRIENDS: The people you choose to hang around matter. If you surround yourself with scholars, you are more likely to be a scholar. If you hang around mostly slackers, you are more likely to slack off. Set high standards for friends. Do not compromise. There are over 3,000 students at your new school. You can be picky. Make a list of things you won’t compromise on; things like: study habits, drug use, ethics, and morals. You do not have to be best friends with everyone you meet. You should be nice and polite, but you do not have to hang out with kids who have a different code of behavior and beliefs than you do. Bullies, gossips, cyperbullying, and mean girls are definitely a THING in high school.  Stay above it, and if you can, away from it. I have always admired how you stand up against bullies. Keep it up. Be a champion of kindness.  Surround yourself with people of character and honor.

TEMPTATIONS: I know we have talked about drugs, alcohol and smoking before. But we will discuss it now and talk about it in the future because it is a reality in high school more than any time before. You and your peers are on the brink of adulthood and often think you are ready for adult situations. (Don’t roll your eyes at me young lady! ) You know drugs and alcohol kill brain cells. You had friends DIE in a drunk-driving accident. Do not let down your guard. Do not let yourself be talked into behaviors you know are dangerous. Do not go anywhere with anyone who is under the influence. If you do find yourself in that type of situation, call your father or me at ANY time day or night.  We will come and get you and any of your friends. I know that peer pressure if a strong beast, so if you ever do make a poor decision, know that we will love you and help you no matter what.

BOYS: Did you know there are going to be boys at the high school? YIKES! You are about to begin one of the scariest times in your life- DATING. Oh, I know you are not scared, but I am!!! (Boys have cooties remember?) Just like when choosing friends, choose your potential boyfriends wisely. Make a list of non-negotiable standards for dating. A mistake many grown women make is they think they can change men into the person they want to be with. That is NEVER going to happen. Think of dating like buying a car with no warranty- the deal is AS IS. What you see is what you get. Likewise, do not try to change to fit a boy’s ideal of a girlfriend. Be who you are and find someone who likes you that way. Isn’t there a One Direction song about that? Please, please know this without a doubt- any heterosexual teenage boy given half a chance will try to get in your pants. It is the way they are hormonally wired.  Do not take your purity and body lightly. Do not throw it away. Try not to allow situations where you and/or the boy will be tempted. Treat your body like the temple of God it is. Yet, heaven forbid, if ever a boy does not take no for an answer, use your second-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt to make him hear you.

I hope you realize just how much your father and I love you, how proud we are of you, and how excited we are to see the wonderful young woman you will become. It is a very scary time for us because you now control most of your future. When you were little we could guide you more directly, but now you have the power to choose what you do. We are confident that you will make sound decisions, but we are not naïve to think you will not face temptation and trials the next few years. This will be a time in your life you will never forget. You can be anything you want if you are willing to put the work in to make it happen.

Become the woman you are meant to be. Fulfill the purpose that God has for you.  Make us proud- but more importantly make yourself proud.

We love you forever,

Mom and Dad

(P.S. Did you know there were going to be boys in high school? Yuck…  Right?  Right?)

One response to “A Letter to my Daughter upon Starting High School ~ Rae

  1. Stacy Dedeaux says:

    Some of the best and most practical advice for a young woman going into high school. Great blog!!


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