Some Lessons And Highlights from a High School Graduate

As the year comes to an end, I can’t help but think of all that has changed since I graduated from high school last year. All throughout my teenage years, I was required to write an essay—reflecting on on the ways I’ve learned and grown throughout that year.

Now, even though I’m no longer in high school, I’ve decided to bullet point some of my biggest lessons and highlights from my first year as a college student. Hopefully, with any luck, this will provide inspiration to graduates who are reading this, and nostalgia to those looking back.

Thus, without further ado, here is a reflection of my year!

  • Friendship 

Throughout this year, I have been reminded more than ever of the importance of true friends in our lives. I have written in the past about the closeness of my friend-group and this year, I believe I’ve grown to appreciate my friends on a whole other level.

As I went through some of the more difficult parts of this year, they have been my anchor, as they listened to me vent about everything from crazy professors to my endless job hunt. I have also learned what it means to stay in contact with friends in the midst of ever changing schedules and paths. One of my biggest fears this year was that I’d loose contact with the people who have been like a second family to me all through high school. Nonetheless, I’ve found that with a little effort, a little scheduling, and a lot of texting and phone conversations, it’s not as hard as it seems to remain in touch with high school friends.

Especially if everyone makes an effort. 

  • Faith

I believe that my faith has grown immeasurably this year, as it has faced tremendous pressure like never before from outside forces. It was one of the few things I could hold onto as I made my way through a local college and struggled with more personal issues than I’d care to admit. Before this year, I was used to being in the majority as a Christian. After this year, I realized for the first time the stress of being one of the only Christians in my school open about my faith. Nonetheless, I believe that through it all, I’ve grown closer to God and learned to trust Him more in the process. Life doesn’t always make sense in the moment, but through it all, we can always trust that God has plans for us bigger than any of our wildest dreams. 

  • School

Though I’ve maintained high grades throughout my year, school has been one of my most difficult challenges this year. On top of the frightening realization that I’m officially out of high school and an “adult”, I changed my major, changed my career field, and changed to a school better fit for my career aspirations. I have also faced the struggle of shifting through various ideologies and world views at the local college I attended during the fall semester—deciding for myself what I agreed and disagreed with. Nonetheless, as I’ve begun my first semester with Liberty University online, I have regained a love for learning and feel content with my decision for college.

  • Work 

In addition to the excitement of starting at a new school, I have recently started my first real part time job in retail. So far, this has been an excellent experience and I have found it very empowering to have an official job in the workforce. It took a while to find a job, but now that I have one, I believe that the search has been worth it. In the end, I believe that all of my time spent sending in resumes and applying at various stores in the area has been worth it, as I enjoy both my job and working with fellow employees/managers.

  • Responsibility 

Lastly, I have begun to take on more responsibility. Between working, going to school, and driving more, I finally feel that I’m on my way towards successful “adulting”. I have also begun to make more decisions for myself and take on more responsibility—which I believe has been incredibly rewarding.

All and all, as awkward as this year has been at times, I wouldn’t change a thing, as each step helped me grow to trust God more and become a stronger person. We all face trials in our lives, but the important thing is not our struggles—it’s how we handle them. We each go through different seasons, but the important thing is that God is still God in the midst of every season of life, and He has our lives in the very palm of His hand.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 

How about you? How do you believe you’ve grown this year? And if you’ve graduated from high school or college, how did that season of life shape you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

8 thoughts on “Some Lessons And Highlights from a High School Graduate

  1. Thanks for sharing these highlights Courtney! It’s sure encouraging. There are seasons in our lives when we feel like God isn’t working ’cause nothing big seems to be happening. But this piece reminds us that through it all, God is working in us, teaching us how to trust in Him completely. I think that’s been the hardest lesson for me so far. But thank God for grace!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember feeling lost the day after I graduated high school. I spent 12 years in the same Christian School. I knew that I would be moving 4 1/2 hours away and leaving behind everything I knew. I struggled through the first semester as I was trying to figure out what my new life would look like. I figured out that each year would bring new change, and those years were extremely formative. I got married during my junior year of college, and that brought about a totally different level of change. I finally graduated college, went into full time ministry, and furthered my education. It reminds me of how Paul said we are “changed from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). My life since then has been a series of changes, and the only way to weather the storms is the cling to the One who walked on top of the water and told the storm, “Peace! Be still!” Sorry for the sermon, but it does me well to type out this reminder for myself.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You really put your heart out there with this post. That is very commendable. I’m glad you make time for your friends. In my case many have come and gone but I’ve learned to change with the times.

    I also find it encouraging how your faith has anchored you in life. Sometimes I wonder if other people feel that way. Good to know there’s more!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great way to look back on life and see how far you have come and how much you’ve grown. We focus so much on what’s ahead that we fail to see our progress so far…..I also love the fact that God’s plans are the best for us. We only need to trust Him and move ahead without fear.

    Liked by 1 person

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