A Few Thoughts for Christian Teens on Going Back to School
Summer is just about over and the new school year is right around the corner. A new school year is a good opportunity to set a few goals and make some life changes. It’s a great time to have some fresh starts in school and other areas of life, too. So here are a few thoughts for the young Jesus-followers out there on going back to school.
Commit to making your faith public, not private. Doing “the Christian thing” around Christian friends is easy (especially at camp all summer long), but living out your faith when you are the minority is hard. Don’t respond to the hostile, high school environment by becoming a closet Christian. Make the decision to follow Jesus and be proud of it. I’m not talking about being arrogant or rude, or shoving it in people’s places. But just like the old song says, don’t hide your light under a bushel.
Don’t get caught up in the drama. High school is a breeding ground for drama. The crazy hormones and often immature behaviour lead to all kinds of drama. Drama is tiring. It’s stupid and annoying. So be the kind of person who doesn’t get tangled up in it. Don’t gossip, and don’t make a big deal out of everything. Just keep your focus on important things and learn to walk away. PS – you don’t always have to say the last word, either! Let it go!
Be considerate to your teachers. They are people too! Teachers have personal lives that aren’t always that great, and they are expected to always keep their cool and have a positive attitude. That can be hard, especially when dealing with some of the more difficult students. Take a moment to thank a teacher for what they do. Be polite and help their classroom have a positive atmosphere.
Do your homework. I know, sometimes there is a lot of it. And sometimes it feels so incredibly pointless. The truth is that the actual homework is not the point – instead, the point is for you to develop habits of hard work and following through. Learning algebra may not make your life better, but being a hardworking and responsible person will.
Serve your school. Everyone knows that high school can be a toxic environment. Rather than just complain about how much your school sucks, make an effort to try and change things. Be a part of student’s council or other student-driven initiatives to make the school better. It will help you build character, leadership skills, and looks good on a resume.
Prioritize. School life is busy! There are tons of competing demands for your time and attention. If you are not careful, your busy life will become so overwhelming that you have no time for family or friends or even worse, Jesus. You will have to say no to things you really want to do. Don’t let your personal time with God get dropped to the bottom of your priority list (it belongs at the top!). And similarly, remember that your main purpose in school (and in life) is to honour God and be his witness – so make an effort to keep going to youth group and participate in on-campus Christian clubs.