Looking Back, Looking Forward

Dear Megan,
This letter is for you. I will offer advice, that you don’t have to listen to. Tell you lessons I have learned, that you don’t have to learn from. And offer some encouragement as you continue your high school career.

The first thing I want to share with you is a lesson I learned. I think the most important thing high school can teach you is that the people you like will change. This has two parts. One, the people who you consider your friends will change. Your first two years, you might be friends with someone and then one day, you just aren’t that close anymore. And two, the people who are your friends change. They might change in a way that breaks up your relationship. High school is an environment that enacts change so your friends might change in ways that can tear you apart.
Don’t be too upset. It is something that happens as each of your peers and yourself figure out your different paths.

Remember the good moments you had and find comfort in the fact that you were friends.
High school also helps manage your expectations. You have probably already experienced this. The first few days of high school, I imagined homecoming as this grand thing. I even thought lunch was going to be something more than what it was in middle school. Don’t get me wrong, homecoming was great and lunch can be fun with your friends. I just dreamed up something that could not be fulfilled. I have learned to manage my expectations so I don’t disappoint myself.
To get through the rough times, talk to someone. Take deep breaths and tell whatever is happening to mom. She will understand and listen. But if you don’t feel like you can talk to her, you can always call one of your sisters. Just talking to you and our other sisters helped me get through the little struggles that came up in high school.
During struggles, I would put a bible verse where I could see it every day. Some bible verses would help me realize that this struggle was nothing compared to the bigger picture and I shouldn’t worry about it. Others would remind me that I am not alone even when I feel at my loneliest. One that is always on mind is Psalm 46:1-3.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Even though my worries are nothing compared to the earth giving way and mountains being moved to the sea, God is still with me. This verse also helps remind me that most of my struggles are fall things that I won’t worry about tomorrow.
I want you to remember, especially when I am not constantly by your side any more, that you should not compare yourself to others. Nothing good can come from that habit. Also dress up for the themes that come up throughout the year. It is a blast and the pictures that come from those days will always bring a smile to your face. Enjoy as much time with your friends that you can because who knows what the future will bring for each one of you.
I am not so far away that I can’t be reached by a phone call either. If you ever want to talk about high (and all the things that come with it), or you need to forget about high school, I’ll be ready to listen.
Your Sister,                                                                                          Rachel

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