One of the missions God is currently calling me to serve is working with graduating high school youths, and it has been an incredible blessing for me to closely journey with inspiring teens.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an open letter to my graduating students, and I still stand behind it. Now, I feel inclined to share some additional advice.
5 Points to Consider After Your High School Graduation
1. Go beyond the familiar
It’s easy to stick to what you know, but growth will never come if you don’t go beyond your current world. Look at many of the great prophets and saints in scripture as an example. We see that they allowed God to work best in them when they left their familiar environment. Even Jesus spent time in the desert away from His comfort zone to prepare for His mission.
The Lord has blessed us with a big and beautiful world to appreciate and love.
2. Embrace humility
I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re not all that special. Yes, you are loved and a beautiful child of God, but you still need Jesus just like everybody else. If you like to look at yourself as the exception, then there will certainly be reminders when you aren’t.
Seeing everyone as equally a child of God makes it easier to practice Christian charity and make new friends.
3. Be Grateful
None of us get to where we are by ourselves. A heart of gratitude will help you avoid negative feelings of anger and envy that sabotage peace. Most importantly, live your gratitude for your loved ones. It will also help you to forgive more easily.
In the final moments of many people’s lives, this tends to be a common regret. Your relationships with your family and friends will change as you grow, but you have opportunity to live it now.
4. Set Ambitious Goals
The years immediately after high school will set a path for the rest of your life. Wondering can have some formation benefits, but goals will help you fulfill your purpose. Don’t be intimidated or feel limited by them. You can change them as needed, but they will help you say no to the things that will distract you.
5. Don’t Coast
You were made for greatness. Complacency is easy, but you will reap the fruits of your labors. Remember the parable of the talents – the more you do with what you have, the more the Lord will bless your work. Wasting time is saying no to the great opportunities in front of you.
Congratulations on your graduation, and may the Lord bless you and keep you.