#HowISurvivedHighSchool Part 5: Building the Foundation of Good Repuation

June 13, 2019

Hello and welcome back!

            I’m so happy that you’re here to join me for part 5 of the #HowISurvivedHighSchool series.  If you missed out on any of the previous parts, you can catch up here:

            First and foremost, before I get started with today’s post I want to take a minute to say thank you for all the support I’ve received on my last post.  It was not an easy thing for me to put out there, but I really believe God wanted me to share that message because I think it’s a message that’s important for the young people to hear in the midst of a world where everything is sexualized and there’s so much peer pressure.  So I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the support and encouraging messages I received after last week’s post.

            Today I want to talk about something that’s not only important in high school; but is something that will follow you for the rest of your life: your social reputation.  Now I want to stress that this is not about caring what people think of you- that’s not it at all.  What I mean is building a good reputation so you can earn respect from people around you.  I’ve spent the last 4 years working on this particular aspect of life and let me tell you, having a good reputation will serve you very well in years to come.  Basically you’re just doing yourself a favor now.

            So what exactly does it mean to have a good reputation?  Everyone has different definitions for what a good reputation is, but to me someone with a good reputation exhibits the following characteristics: holds themselves well in bad situations, has good time management skills, and acts maturely.  You want to be known for having good characteristics, not bad ones.   I can think of a few people I know who are just outstanding at what they do and people know them and love them for the good things they’ve done and their kindness.  That is a good reputation.  I also know a few people who fall into the opposite category.  These people do not have the characteristics of a good reputation and are known only for the bad choices they’ve unfortunately made.  That is not a good reputation.

            Why then is it important to build your reputation in high school?  As I mentioned before, starting now will benefit you later, especially when it comes to getting decent jobs, applying for colleges, etc.  People who start to drift off to the wrong direction in high school are more likely to have difficulty with those things down the road.  I see this all the time in society and I’m sure you have too.  People who are getting out of jail really struggle with getting back on their feet and living a decent life because their crimes are now glued to their name.

            I did a blog post awhile back on temptation.  Let me tell you, temptation is a devil in high school.  However, if you can fight it then, it will be much easier to fight it in the future.  I think the reason temptation is so present in high school in particular is because everyone is so easily influenced and it’s easy to give into peer pressure.  I remember one time a few years ago I took a character development class and we had to fill out this paper and on it was a list of questions and we had to answer how likely we were to give into bad situations.  I remember filling out that paper and checking all the boxes that said “not very likely to” and afterwards thinking “would I actually be able to say no?”  I think sometimes we can be so naïve and think “if it’s just this one time it won’t hurt me.”  I’ve learned over and over that no matter how big or small it may seem there’s always going to be consequences.

            There will always be consequences to every action.  No one likes to hear that and I’m sorry I had to be the one to tell you, but hear me out because I’m trying to save you now.  The worst part about being a good kid is watching others make the wrong choices and trying to be the one to tell them they don’t have to or shouldn’t do it.  I’m tired of being the bystander to bad situations, witnessing things I wish I hadn’t seen, and hearing things I wish I had never heard.  It’s hard.  Especially when people are telling you “you’re so pure and boring, you don’t know how to have any fun.”  But to me, five minutes of “fun” isn’t worth a lifetime of consequences.  It just isn’t.

            I’ve had people tell me before “it’s okay, sure I messed up but Jesus forgives me and still loves me.”  As true as that statement is, it’s not a free pass to do stuff you know is wrong.   We are lucky to serve a merciful, forgiving God but that is not an excuse to do whatever we want.  Forgiveness does not erase the weight of our sin.  Furthermore, we must confess and acknowledge our mistakes before we can even be forgiven.  In Acts 3:19 it says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

            If you gathered anything from this short message, I hope it will encourage you to stray from the temptations of high school and to not conform to the ways of this modern world.  Sometimes it feels like you’re missing out on the fun you could be having now, but I promise in the long run you will be successful and the people who made the wrong choices will be the ones missing out on greater opportunities.  It’s very rewarding, I promise you. 

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