Progress Update on My Goals for The 2017-2018 School Year

     At the beginning of the school year, I wrote a blog post about my goals fro the 2017-2018 school year.  I began the year with attempting to keep an optimistic mindset, despite hearing the common opinion “junior year is the hardest” about a million times.  Today I’m sharing a progress update to show y’all how I’m doing and hold myself accountable for the areas in which I’ve been slacking, that way I feel more motivated to get to work when I begin second semester on Monday!  If you’re interested in reading the original goals post from September you can find it here!  If you have yet to create goals for your school year, it’s not too late!  You’re more than welcome to use today’s post as inspiration for your own goals for second semester.  The original goals are in italics under their categories and my post-first semester responses regarding my progress follow each one in plain print.  Enjoy!

Academic Goals

  1. Complete the school year with all A’s and B’s. – So far I’ve had all A’s and two B’s!  My two B’s at the end of first semester were both within two points of being A’s, which are better number grades than my B’s sophomore year!
  2. Be somewhat successful in A.P. Environmental Science (Science isn’t really my best subject.  It’s not that I’m really bad at it, I just typically don’t perform as well in that subject as I do in my other classes). – My final grade in A.P. Environmental Science for first semester was an 88, which still isn’t quite as high as I’d like it to be, but it’s honestly higher than I expected it to be!  My second quarter grade was actually an A, but unfortunately my first quarter grade was an 87 and my midterm exam wasn’t quite high enough to bring my average up to an A.
  3. Get a 100 on a test. – I have yet to get a 100 on a test, but I’ve had several A’s and even had a 99 on an essay!
  4. Make 4’s and 5’s on my three A.P. exams at the end of the year. – I haven’t taken the official A.P. exams yet, so I’m unable to gauge my success in this goal so far.  However, I finished the semester with two A’s and one B in my A.P. classes!

Athletic Goals

  1. Attend as many preseason lacrosse practices as possible. – I attended all of the preseason lacrosse practices and conditioning workouts offered!
  2. Work out more. – I’m not even going to lie, I’ve done very little to work out outside of lacrosse conditioning and preseason practices.  However, I’ve worked out a few times since the new year began and I plan on becoming more active in 2018!
  3. Play more in lacrosse games than I did last year. – The lacrosse season hasn’t begun yet so I’m currently unable to gauge my success in this goal.
  4. Make the varsity lacrosse team again. – The lacrosse season hasn’t begun yet so I’m currently unable to gauge my success in this goal.
  5. Score a goal during a varsity lacrosse game. – The lacrosse season hasn’t begun yet so I’m currently unable to gauge my success in this goal.

Spiritual Goals

  1. Make lots of new middle school friends as a WyldLife leader. – Check!  I’ve loved leading WyldLife thus far and have made a ton of middle school friends!
  2. Go to YoungLife club every week that I possibly can. – I haven’t missed a YoungLife club yet!  Am I really surprised by this though?  Nah.
  3. Feel refreshed after fall weekend at Windy Gap (a YoungLife camp in North Carolina). – This one was easy.  I loved every second of fall weekend at Windy Gap (read my Windy Gap travel diary here), as I always do, and I can’t wait to return next fall!
  4. Read the Bible daily. – I hate to admit this but I really didn’t do a good job of keeping up with my Bible reading during first semester.  However, this semester is off to a promising start as I’ve read at least a chapter everyday since January 1st!  I definitely plan on making this goal last through second semester.
  5. Pray more often. – I’ve begun praying constantly.  I talk to God all the time now and I think it has improved several areas of my life.
  6. Use my devotional daily. – I haven’t been using my devotional daily, but I hope to start doing that once second semester begins (here’s to getting up earlier and having extra time before school).
  7. Go to winter weekend with WyldLife campers as a leader. – Winter weekend hasn’t happened yet, but I’m hoping to earn a spot leading in a cabin in February!
  8. Apply for YoungLife camp summer work crew. – I have yet to apply for YoungLife camp summer work crew, but I have been in discussion with my YoungLife leaders about doing so and they’re going to guide me through the process this semester!

Social Goals

  1. Make five new friends (or at least acquaintances). – Thanks to my chatty A.P. U.S. History class and lovely yearbook staff members this goal has been accomplished and surpassed!
  2. Do something really fun one weekend with a friend(s). – I attended Music Midtown (read the recap post here) in September with a couple of my friends and we had so much fun.  I will also be traveling to Charleston with a couple close friends in a couple weeks for a girls weekend to celebrate one of my best friends’ birthday!

Blog Goals

  1. Post at least twice a week every week. – With the exception of two weeks, I have kept this goal up pretty well!  I always posted at least once each week, but there were those two weeks that I just felt overwhelmed by writing another post along with my schoolwork and extracurriculars.
  2. Reach 20,000 total site views for 2017. – This goal was reached and surpassed, thanks to you all!
  3. Collaborate with a big brand. – Since the beginning of the school year I’ve collaborated with several small brands and spent another semester as a Jadelynn Brooke high school ambassador, but have yet to collaborate with another big brand.
  4. Host at least three giveaways. – So far I’ve already hosted two giveaways over on my Instagram, so I’d say this goal is going pretty well!  Stay tuned for another exciting giveaway coming soon!

Thanks for reading!  Here’s to accomplishing more goals in second semester.

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New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 Collab

     Happy New Year!  Today is a fresh start.  As cliché as it sounds and as hard as I might laugh at myself for saying this by May, I’m going to make some positive changes in my life in 2018.  This time next year, I hope to be accepted to college(s) and be far along (if not done) with my college decision making process.  I’m going to make the most out of my last three semesters of high school, and the time is now.  Today I’m joining tons and tons of people around the world, including my friend Cayleigh from CNPrepster, in making resolutions for 2018.  These resolutions will push me towards my ultimate goals for 2018 and serve as reminders of what I’m really trying to do this year.  I’m sharing these resolutions with y’all not only to hopefully inspire your own resolutions, but also to hold myself somewhat accountable for fulfilling them.  I wrote a post on my resolutions last year (read it here) in collaboration with Cayleigh, so we thought it’d be fun to collaborate on the post again this year!  I absolutely adore Cayleigh’s blog and I’m so excited to see what she has in store for 2018!  Be sure to read her post on her resolutions for 2018 here.  Without further adieu, here are my resolutions for 2018!

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Thanks for reading!  I hope you’ve had a fabulous time celebrating New Year’s Day and that 2018 is oh so good to you!  Don’t forget to check out Cayleigh’s post here.

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My Year in Review 2017

     Since I began high school I’ve begun trying to savor every moment.  I am suddenly able to appreciate each year for all that it has given me and end it thinking about how truly blessed I’ve been.  I want to say 2017 has been one of the best years of my life, but as I say that I realize I said the same exact phrase last year and the year before.  If you’ve seen the movie Soul Surfer or just enjoy the band Two Door Cinema Club, you’ve heard their simple 2010 hit “This is the Life.”  That song has come to serve as my life’s theme.  I by no means think I have a perfect life, but it’s exactly the life God wanted me to live.  I’ve decided to make the most of every moment and attempt to see life for all it’s worth.  Today I can see how that mindset has begun to shape my life as I write this post reviewing my year.  I hope you enjoy this post even half as much as I’ve enjoyed life this year!

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     I began the year alongside a few of my friends in our YoungLife club room, where we drank sparkling grape juice, sang some karaoke, and took a ton of pictures.  When we returned to school for second semester, my schedule completely shifted and I had to adapt to a new set of teachers.  A couple weeks later we had our first snow of the year, and I invited one of my best friends, Cammie, over to spend the night and soak up the snow day!  Clemson, a South Carolinian college less than two hours away from me, won the College Football National Championship and my friend Scout and I drove to Clemson to welcome the players home and congratulate them!  The 21st was Cammie’s sixteenth birthday, we celebrated with bunch of our friends at a local pizzeria.  The following week was drenched in the stress of lacrosse tryouts.  After three years playing JV lacrosse, I finally made varsity!

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     The month of February was relatively uneventful.  At the beginning of the month, I had a photoshoot with a couple friends at a local abandoned mill.  The day was full of laughs and resulted in a ton of cute photos!  Lacrosse practice dominated my time after school as we prepared for the season.  We played in a tournament before our games began the next week.  Towards the end of the month, I spent a Sunday downtown with my friends Cammie and Liza and our YoungLife leader, Anne.  We got ice cream and went to the top of the parking garage to look out at the city.

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     At the beginning of the month, several of my friends got together to throw a surprise party for my friend Emma’s sixteenth birthday.  She was so genuinely shocked, it was the best!  Lacrosse season was in full swing and I had at least one game each week along with practice after school each day.  Anne, Cammie, and Liza consistently came to support me at our home games and it was the sweetest thing!  In the middle of the month our school choir took a short trip to Orlando (read my travel diary here) in which we went to Universal Studios.  It was such a fun trip and it was so great to get away from everyday life for a few days!  When I returned from the trip, I found out that my father had purchased a used car for the children of the family, specifically me at this point in time, to drive.

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     April began with spring break, which my family spent the beginning of in the Bahamas at Atlantis (read my travel diary here)!  We had an amazing time swimming, snorkeling, exploring, and riding every single slide.  When we returned from spring break I began my job working at a local shoe boutique.  I still work there now and I absolutely love the job!  A week after spring break Anne, Cammie, and I went to our local theatre to see Liza perform in a production of James and the Giant Peach.  Liza was amazing and we celebrated the performance with Pelican’s sno-balls afterwards.  The next day we got up bright and early to run in the YoungLife 5k Color Run, which was super fun and also helped us fundraise for YoungLife summer camp!  After the 5k I rushed home to shower the dye off then hopped in the car with my friend Scout to attend The Chainsmokers’ concert in Charleston (read my recap of the concert here).  The show was amazing and ended with us meeting the opener, Kiiara.  We also ended up on The Chainsmokers’ Instagram and Snapchat stories the next morning!  The following Monday was Tacky Prom Club at YoungLife, which gave me a fun opportunity to dress up in an ugly dress.  Our town’s Spring Fling was at the end of the month, and I attended the downtown event with Cammie.  Within the month of April, our lacrosse season came to an end.  We made it to the second round of playoffs, farther than any of our school’s previous girls lacrosse teams has ever made it, and had a record breaking season.

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     May was equal parts stressful and exciting.  I went to Carolina Point, a YoungLife camp, with my local YoungLife group at the beginning of the month to serve during family weekend (read “5 Things I Learned During Work Crew Weekend at Carolina Point” here).  I found out I was accepted to join my school’s yearbook staff, which I was (and still am) so psyched about.  After celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom, I finally bought my own blog domain and changed my blog’s name from A Pocketful of Prep to A Pocketful of Faith, and I couldn’t possibly be happier that I made that decision.  A week later we had our lacrosse banquet, where I received my varsity letter and a plate award made by a teammate for “Most Likely to Bring Snacks.”  After an overwhelming exam week, I finished the school year with all As and Bs.  The Sunday following the last day of school, I left with my local YoungLife group for Frontier Ranch, a YoungLife camp in Buena Vista, Colorado (watch my travel diary video here).  In the section of the week contained by May, I rappelled down a cliff, road a horse, and square danced with a stranger on Western Night.

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     June picked up where May left off in the middle of our time at Frontier Ranch.  In our remaining time, we hiked Mount Princeton, drove dune buggies, and celebrated Christmas “the Frontier way.”  Frontier Ranch was truly one of the best weeks of my life, and I’d recommend going over and over.  A few days after we got home, Scout invited me to hang out at her house before going to dinner the night before my birthday.  As her dad was driving us to the restaurant, he stopped “to show us a local botanical garden” which turned out to be my surprise sweet sixteen!  It was super fun and my friends made me feel so loved!  I asked to switch beds with my willing little sister (she had one queen bed and I had two queen beds) and make some minor changes to my room for my birthday, and I’m very content with the way it turned out!  At the end of the month, I went to a four day lacrosse camp at Limestone College.  The weather was crazy hot and the camp itself was a lot of hard work, but I earned the Gatorade G award for heart and hustle!

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     I celebrated the Fourth of July with a couple friends at a local Craig Campbell concert.  I didn’t know many of the words to his songs but it was still fun!  A few days later I hopped on a plane and went to Washington D.C. for the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (read my recaps on the conference here).  I learned so much that week and made so many good friends that I still talk to daily!  If you ever have the opportunity to attend the conference you most definitely should.  A week after returning from WJMC, my sister and I flew to Texas to spend some time with our extended family.  Our two week visit began with our dad’s side of the family.  With our dad’s parents and a few of our cousins, we spent a couple days at the JW Marriot San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa then returned to their home in Bandera (read my “Texas Travel Diary 2017: Week 1” post and watch the corresponding video here).  A week later, we switched over to our mom’s side of the family and joined our grandmother in San Antonio.

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     I began August with my first official college visit at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.  I absolutely fell in love with the campus and could totally see myself attending in the future!  After the tour we came back to San Antonio to spend a little more time with my mom’s side of the family before our grandma took us to the beach at Rockport, Texas.  There we stayed a few more days, concluding our time in Texas.  My family has gone to Rockport since my mom was a little girl and I’m so glad we got to go this year, little did we know Hurricane Harvey would terrorize our beloved beach town just a few weeks later (read my “Texas Travel Diary 2017: Week 2” post and watch the corresponding video here).  I went back to school on August 17th and junior year had begun all too early.

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     September has to be one of my favorite months of the year due to the sudden wave of activities.  It began with our first home football games, which I spent in the stands with my closest friends.  My cousin Reagan came all the way from Texas to a nearby equestrian center, Tryon, to ride in an eventing competition and we got to go see her!  This was the second year we got to watch her and it’s so fun to see her do what she loves.  Mid-September was Music Midtown, a music festival held in Atlanta, Georgia.  I attended the festival with my friends Patty and Scout, and while we were there we got to see AJR, Tove Lo, Big Sean, Bruno Mars, Judah and the Lion, Zara Larsson, Lizzo, Russ, and Future play live, it was amazing (read my recap of the festival here).  The weekend following Music Midtown was my local YoungLife group’s fall weekend at Windy Gap.  I absolutely loved every second of Windy Gap (just as I did freshman and sophomore year) and definitely felt as though the weekend brought me closer to God.

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     The school year was in full swing as tests and essays started picking up in October.  The 20th was a teacher work day, so my family made a long weekend out of it and spent some time in Montreat, North Carolina (read my travel diary here).  We came home early Sunday morning so I could be confirmed into the Episcopal church!  Being confirmed was such a neat experience and reward for the year of studies and prayer that I had put into the process.  The following Friday my sister, brother, father, and I went to one of Duke’s exhibition basketball games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.  My dad graduated from Duke and loves watching basketball, so we went to a lot of games growing up.  I haven’t been able to come along since middle school due to school work and conflicting plans, so going this year was a real treat!  Halloween came around and Cammie and I dressed up as pigs in blankets together for YoungLife Halloween club.  Everyone thought the pig in a blanket costume was adorable and it worked in our favor to have blankets because it was really cold that night!

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     After three years of waiting, I finally got to purchase Taylor Swift’s new album reputation on November 10th.  The album surpassed my expectations and was definitely worth the wait (read my post about reputation here)!  We celebrated my little sister’s birthday on the 12th with her favorite meal at home.  Thanksgiving break came just in time on the 22nd.  I had my friends Cammie, Evan, and Sarah Grace over the night we got out for break to have a little “Friendsgiving” gathering.  We ate some delicious desserts, took tons of pictures, and had lots of good conversation, it was so fun!  I volunteered at our local Turkey Day 8k at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving day then celebrated Thanksgiving with my family over some delicious home cooked food (props to stepmom).  I worked my first Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday sales at the shoe boutique and while it could be overwhelming it was also really fun!  I checked my Instagram stories one night over Thanksgiving break to find that a set of twin girls my age I met while waiting for Big Sean’s set at Music Midtown was in town visiting relatives, so I messaged them and we ended up having dinner together at a local restaurant!  It was so cool getting to know them, we now keep in touch via Snapchat streaks and are planning on meeting up again!

Gold Metallic Texture copy 8.jpg     December always my personal favorite month of the year due to the joyful anticipation of Christmas.  The 2nd marked my first high school attempt at the SAT, and as much as I dreaded it, it really wasn’t that bad.  I got my scores back a couple weeks later and ended up getting what I needed for my current top college (however I’m going to continue retaking it until I reach a higher score or finish junior year, whichever comes first)!  A week or so later our town got its first snow of the season, and my yearbook teacher let us go outside and enjoy it during school!  After a week of stressful exams (which I managed to get all As and Bs on, by the way) we got out of school on the 21st.  Immediately after getting out of school Cammie and I went ice skating at our local rink that opens annually downtown.  That night, Cammie, Evan, Sarah Grace, and I got together at Evan’s house to decorate cookies, exchange gifts, and celebrate Christmas together.  I was so happy all of my friends loved their gifts this year! Given my income from work I was able to choose gifts I really thought fit my friends’ individual styles and personalities.  My family went to the Christmas Eve service at church and all my siblings and I participated in our church’s Christmas pageant.  My sister and I were angels because our church was short on willing youth and my little brother was the cutest little sheep!  We celebrated Christmas morning with gift opening (I received a record player!) and yummy cinnamon roll bread for breakfast.  My mom and stepfather came in town form Georgia to spend the day with my sister and I, so we went to a local Thai restaurant (one of maybe five restaurants that were open) then saw Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (which is absolutely hilarious by the way).  We celebrated my little brother’s birthday on the 29th with a special dinner.  So far I’ve spent winter break working on blog posts, working, and traveling to Lynchburg, Virgina, where I’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with my stepmother’s family.

Thank you for not only reading this post, but for following along this year.  I love and appreciate all of y’all so much and I’m so glad this blog is part of my life.  I wish you the happiest celebrations both today and New Year’s Day and a 2018 full of personal success, contentment, and blessings.

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My Goals for the 2017-2018 School Year

     Happy Tuesday!  Today, as I have been every Tuesday since the beginning of August, I’m sharing another Back to School post!  If you haven’t read my other Back to School posts, you can read them all, from this year and years’ past, here!  This post is all about my goals for this school year, my junior year of high school; academically, athletically, spiritually, socially, and for my blog.  I personally find making goals to be very beneficial because even if they aren’t accomplished, they give me something to work towards.  Posting them here will somewhat hold me accountable for them, so I’ll try to share my progress after first semester and at the end of the school year!  I hope reading my goals will inspire you to come up with a few for yourself.  Enjoy!

Academic Goals

  1. Complete the school year with all A’s and B’s.
  2. Be somewhat successful in A.P. Environmental Science (Science isn’t really my best subject.  It’s not that I’m really bad at it, I just typically don’t perform as well in that subject as I do in my other classes).
  3. Get a 100 on a test.
  4. Make 4’s and 5’s on my three A.P. exams at the end of the year.

Athletic Goals

  1. Attend as many preseason lacrosse practices as possible.
  2. Work out more.
  3. Play more in lacrosse games than I did last year.
  4. Make the varsity lacrosse team again.
  5. Score a goal during a varsity lacrosse game.

Spiritual Goals

  1. Make lots of new middle school friends as a WyldLife leader.
  2. Go to YoungLife club every week that I possibly can.
  3. Feel refreshed after fall weekend at Windy Gap (a YoungLife camp in North Carolina).
  4. Read the Bible daily.
  5. Pray more often.
  6. Use my devotional daily.
  7. Go to winter weekend with WyldLife campers as a leader.
  8. Apply for YoungLife camp summer work crew.

Social Goals

  1. Make five new friends (or at least acquaintances).
  2. Do something really fun one weekend with a friend(s).

Blog Goals

  1. Post at least twice a week every week.
  2. Reach 20,000 total site views for 2017.
  3. Collaborate with a big brand.
  4. Host at least three giveaways.

Thanks for reading!  If my post inspires you to write your own blog post about your goals for the school year, I’d love it if you’d link my blog so I’ll get notified and can go check it out!

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10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before Sophomore Year of High School

     About a year ago, I shared my advice for high school freshmen (read the post here) and I got a ton of positive feedback on it.  You all also seemed to love my “Sixteen Things I’ve Learned by 16” post, so today I thought I’d share something that’s a bit of a combination of the two; “10 Things I Wish I’d Realized Before Sophomore Year of High School.”  If you ask me, sophomore year of high school is one of the most crucial when it comes to finding and accepting yourself.  You’ll start to see friendships unravel more so than freshman year and you’ll face a lot of tough decisions socially.  This is my first post in this year’s Back to School series and I’m honestly really excited to start this yearly series up again!  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly love the fact that summer’s ending, but back to school themed posts are so fun to write for y’all!  Find all of my Back to School posts from years past here.  I truly hope you get something out of this post and can use this knowledge this school year, whether you’re a high school sophomore or not.  Let’s get into the post!

  1. If you truly love doing something, it’s worth fighting for.  No matter what other people think. – Maybe you have a blog that you’re passionate about, maybe you’re really into theatre, maybe you go to a ton of concerts because it’s where you feel the happiest.  Don’t let anyone take any of that away from you.  Just because someone else doesn’t like what you’re doing or expresses their disapproval of it doesn’t mean it’s bad for you.
  2. You can’t always expect people to return the friendship you give them. – Sometimes it won’t matter how many things you invite someone to, how many hard things you’re there for them through, or how little you judge them when you feel like you completely had the right to, they might not return the favor.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let this hurt me and I wish I’d known to lessen my investments in certain friendships earlier.
  3. It’s okay to miss a social event simply because you don’t want to go. – There will probably be Friday nights when you don’t feel like staying out late for the football game and that’s okay!  Your real friends won’t judge you for choosing to spend the night in hanging out with your family or just catching up on sleep.  Plus, there will be many, many social events in high school so you shouldn’t feel pressured to attend every single one if you don’t want to.
  4. Own it.  Always. – Own your personality.  Own your appearance.  Own your hobbies.  Own your school work.  Take pride in everything you do and you’ll never have anything to be embarrassed of.
  5. Ten years from now, most of your peers’ opinions of you won’t matter. – I’m not saying you should go wild because it doesn’t matter in the long run, you should keep in mind that you still have to live with the reputation you create for the next however many years.  However, you shouldn’t let the fact that a few of your peers think you’re “uptight” or “not cool enough” hurt your confidence.
  6. If all you can talk about is grades and other people, you should get new friends. – Seriously, if you find yourself sitting at your lunch table and the only conversation you and your friends can hold is filled with complaints about grades and gossip of what so and so did over the weekend, you should start to get the idea that these aren’t good relationships.  Try to change the subject, but if it drifts back every time you might want to find some new friends because there should be far more positive and interesting things to talk about!
  7. Wherever you are, be all there. – Think about it.  How much better of a friend would you be if you focused solely on listening, supporting, loving, and being there in the moment with your friends whenever you’re with them?  How much better would you be at chemistry if you only thought about chemistry as soon as you entered the classroom?  Be mindful of these things and start channeling your energy into whatever you’re there to do.
  8. You get out whatever you put in. – This one feeds off of the last point a bit, but it’s such an important thing to remember.  Yes, there are people that can breeze through courses successfully without studying, but in most cases you’ll get the grade you work for.  This isn’t just true for grades either, it’s true in all aspects of life.  If you never hang out with a friend or aren’t there for them in times of need, you can’t expect them to have a clear schedule for you or to be there when you need them to be.  You can’t not read the Bible or go to church and expect to feel a remarkably close relationship with God.  It’s just not how life generally works.  I don’t know where I heard the quote “life doesn’t work unless you do,” but I’ve found that it’s so true.
  9. At the end of the day, there’s going to be a God shaped hole.  You decide how you fill it. – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home feeling unsatisfied even though I got the grade, made the team, and hung out with so and so.  There’s always going to be this God shaped hole in our hearts, but we get to decide how we try to fill it.  You might stuff the space with extracurriculars, an AP course load, or a cute boyfriend, but nothing will fit quite right.  Only a close relationship with God will.
  10. You need more than one best friend. – If your only best friend gets grounded for a month, who are you going to hang out with?  If you two get into a big fight, who will you talk to at school?  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, make a few close gal pals that you know you can always count on individually.  I went through a bit of a dark time a while back because my closest friend was grounded for a couple months and I hardly had any plans the whole time.  Learn from me and don’t let that happen to you!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you’re able to take something away from this post!

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Sixteen Things I’ve Learned by 16

     Good morning!  Today is my sixteenth birthday, so I thought I would do a fun post in honor of that; “Sixteen Things I’ve Learned by 16.”  I’m sharing sixteen things, including life lessons and little pieces of day to day knowledge, that I think are important that I’ve learned in my sixteen years of life.  I like to think I’m more or less wise, so hopefully this post will give you some useful information.  Enjoy!

  1. You will meet people you don’t like, and that’s okay, but that doesn’t give you the right to be mean to them. – Sometimes you just flat out won’t like someone.  Maybe they act in a way that you don’t agree with or they’re mean to someone you care about.  It’s perfectly fine to dislike people, but this isn’t an excuse to be rude to them.  I’m not saying you’re expected to constantly walk up to them and spark positive conversations, but smile at them every once in a while and try to avoid talking negatively about them.  This can definitely be hard, I know, but you and those around you will be better for it.
  2. Never dry any piece of clothing you like.  Ever. – I wouldn’t exactly call myself a laundry pro, but I’ve been doing my own laundry for the past two years and I have yet to ruin, shrink, or dye anything.  One thing I absolutely live by when it comes to laundry is never drying anything I like.  I hang dry all of my favorite big tee shirts, nicer tops, cute shorts, dresses, the list goes on.  Drying is most often what shrinks your clothing and I like most of my things to fit a little looser than normal, so this is a good tactic for someone like me.
  3. If an insult regarding your appearance or being “annoying” is the worst thing someone can say about you, it says more about them than it does about you. – I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told that someone said I was annoying.  It used to really hurt me, but now I just brush it off.  If someone feels the need to take time out of their day to make a negative comment about your appearance or to call you “annoying” rather than comment on your personality or heart, it truly speaks more about their heart than about you.
  4. Always try/offer to do the dishes at your friends’ house after a meal their parents have prepared/bought for you. – This is something my grandmother taught me when I was about eight years old.  She did this as a teenager and said she was always invited back because everyone’s parents loved her.  Little acts like these are things that show your respect, gratitude, and kindness towards the family that is hosting you and that’s something that they won’t forget.
  5. Don’t quit being a friend when things get tough for them. – People will go through hard things, that’s life.  Sometimes these events will cause your friends to take out anger on you, and while that can be tough, they still need you, now more than ever.  Even when it’s hard to be a friend, be one.  You’d want a friend to be there when your life gets hard no matter how much you push them away, right?
  6. Best friends can make anything fun. – Need to go grocery shopping for your parents? Pick up your best friend on the way.  Want to start working out?  Take your friend with you to Zumba class.  Have a (your sport here) game you’re nervous about?  Make your friend come.  Best friends make everything better.  I speak from experience.
  7. Always tell your teachers to have a good day/afternoon/weekend when you leave their classroom. – Yes, there will be kids who think you’re a suck-up or whatever, but this could very possibly be the nicest thing this teacher hears from a student all day.  A little kindness goes a long way, you never know what this teacher might be going through.
  8. Sometimes people will dislike you for no reason at all, but if they can’t see your value they’re not worth your time right now. – There’s a quote I read a few years ago that said something along the lines of “You could be the sweetest, ripest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches.”  I especially love this quote because I don’t even like peaches.  You can’t please everyone, so I think the best thing to do is just be so undeniably you that anyone who just doesn’t like your personality will flake off before you get hurt by them leaving.
  9. You are entitled to your emotions. – Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not telling you that you should be overdramatic about every single thing that happens to you.  However, if someone does something that hurts you, don’t think you have to get over it immediately just because they don’t think it’s a big deal.  I hate that the word “petty” has gotten so big over the past couple of years because I think it frowns upon people who take the hurtful actions and words of others seriously.  You get to choose how long it takes you to get over something and you have every right to be upset about what others do or say to you.  Don’t forget that.
  10. Money spent on a concert or trip is never money wasted. – Over the past couple years I have realized that I will eventually get bored of almost every material item.  I will wear out (and grow out of) my clothes, I will eventually want a new phone, and I will lose plenty of other things over time.  Some things I don’t tire of are the memories of a concert I went to as my birthday present last year, going on my school’s trip to New York City as my only Christmas present in eighth grade, and attending Music Midtown after working off my ticket.  I love these types of experiences and I have yet to regret spending money on a trip or concert.
  11. It’s more important to be happy than it is to be right. – I can think of so many petty arguments I’ve taken part in that didn’t even need to take place.  Think about how much your accuracy will matter ten days from now, or even ten minutes from now. If its only effect will be your friend being irritated with you, it’s probably best to just let them be right.
  12. You have time for whatever you make time for. – No, “I don’t have time” is not a good excuse for not reading the Bible, reading in general, doing your homework, or calling your grandmother.  Something that I’ve learned over the past year or so is that you most definitely have time for whatever you choose to make time for.  Since this time last year, I’ve chosen to make reading the Bible and my Book of Common Prayer a priority of mine, I’ve chosen to be sure I write at least one blog post every week, and I’ve chosen to call my Grandma at least one Sunday every month.
  13. God will always love you more than anyone else ever will. – Seriously, God loves you more than that boy could, more than your best friend could, more than even your parents could.  That being said, don’t let a breakup or fight with a friend rule your life, you are always going to be loved more by someone much greater.
  14. Good things are worth waiting for. – This proves true for an infinite number of instances.  True love.  Splurging on a super nice bag.  Watching a raved about PG-13 movie when you’re finally old enough.  A senior trip.  Heaven.  “Good things come to those who wait” is annoyingly true.
  15. Pictures are great, but don’t forget to live in the moment too. – Almost a year ago, I was given my first DSLR camera.  I love my camera.  I take it everywhere, from high school football games to music festivals to the Bahamas.  I love taking pictures and remembering those moments, but I’ve realized that actually living that moment is far more important.  One of the instances that comes to mind when writing this one is Music Midtown.  My friend, Scout, and I had made our way to front row for G-Eazy’s set.  I had my camera on and was ecstatically taking pictures throughout the set, but then there was a time that G-Eazy was literally right in front of me on stage.  I finally put my camera down and just had a “Wow.  I’m here and G-Eazy’s right in front of me” moment.  While I don’t have a ton of pictures of him as close as he was at that moment, I have vivid memories of eye contact and screaming the lyrics with him.  That’s something I’m glad I didn’t miss.
  16. Never let someone that you love think that you don’t love them. – Nope, I don’t care how mad at them you are or how big of a point you’re trying to make.  How much would you hate if they got in their car, got into an accident and died?  What if they had an unexpected stroke while at work or school?  I’ve seen and heard of these kinds of things happening everywhere; at my school, on television, from family members.  I would be devastated if I found out a loved one had died and I thought our last conversation left them feeling unloved.  Always say I love you.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this post made you think through some things, realize some things, or even gave you some kind of good advice.  Have a great day!

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