You are almost done. You are almost there. You might be ready and you might not be. You might feel both emotions. You probably feel a lot of emotions. Whether you are scared out of your mind or you’re counting down the days, you are right where you need to be. 

Senior year was a good year for me, but not in a typical way. I had about 2 friends at school my senior year of high school. I was at school for only a few hours then was gone onto what I was doing next. I had more free periods than actual classes so I was never at school. I would go to school from 6:30am and leave before lunch. I would then go directly to work, then soccer practice, then church. I would get home at around 9pm-11pm every night and was constantly busy. I learned a lot of real life things like time and money management, how to juggle multiple responsibilities, and a busy schedule.

Here’s some things I learned my senior year:

  • Create good habits with the Lord. This is your top priority, friend. What you learn and how you train yourself to be this year, will help you when you go to college next year or whatever you choose to do! Nobody is going to tell you to believe in God. Nobody is going to keep you accountable for going to church or youth group anymore. Your relationship with Christ is up to you! So create good habits and protect this relationship. This is what will propel you into every fruitful thing of your life. This will also keep you sane and grounded in who you are.

  • If you find yourself busy beyond your capacity and anxiously trying to fit everything, you probably have something on your plate that doesn’t need to be there. For me, it was soccer. I wanted to do it so badly, but the Lord did not want me to be playing anymore. So I quit halfway through the season (it was hard to let my team and coaches down, but afterwards, a HUGE weight had been lifted off of me.) Don’t stay somewhere where you aren’t called just because you feel bad. Put yourself and your calling above what others will think.

  • Make time for what is important. This is a big year for you! Not just with decisions you make but it’s incredibly foundational. Time management is important as you are getting older and you need to learn how to manage your priorities. Make time for the friends you value. Make time for studying. Make time for your family. Most importantly, make time for the Lord. 1 Corinthians 10:23, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,”but not all things build up.” Before doing something that is trivial, ask yourself if it’s going to be fruitful or not. Don’t waste your time on things that won’t benefit you or where the Lord is taking you.

I also want to touch on the subject of the plans for next year! You are having to make big decisions and what seems to be life altering decisions. I want to encourage you with some truth:

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" Colossians 1:17

God is sovereign, friend. There is nothing that you can do to mess up your life. God works ALL things for His glory (Romans 8:28) and that means that He will use whatever situation to be glorified. Of course we should desire His will and His plan, but we shouldn’t kill ourselves and be anxious about the outcome if we “pick the wrong choice.” 

Tangible tips to stay close with the Lord this year: 

  • Spend time daily with Him! Find a devotional and be consistent. When you fixate your eyes on Him, you will see your anxious thoughts vanish and your “big” problems become more trivial when your eyes are on the creator of the universe. 

  • Find something that relieves stress! Find something that helps you release the stress that society, school, parents, and friends naturally will put on you. Go on a run, take 2 minutes a day to breathe, go on a walk, go to the gym, paint, do sit ups in your room, go on a weekly walk with a friend, journal, write, blog, jump around, whatever it is- DO IT! Don’t allow stress to overcome you, you have authority over it. (Luke 10:19, Colossians 1:12-13, Mark 16:17)

  • Weekly Reviews! If you are a goal person, do goals! But do a review of the week every sunday! Evaluate how you did within different categories of your life. For example, journal through how School went, how time with Jesus went, how relationships went, and so on. See what needs to change, what needs to improve, what needs to happen in order for those specific things to improve, etc. Ask yourself questions and start getting in the habit of keeping yourself accountable for your life! Involve a friend and go through your reviews/ goals weekly so it’s even more accountability! 

Friend, don’t be stressed. Don’t be fearful. Lean into the Lord daily and remind yourselves of the truth that He promises. This is a fun time of your life, enjoy it! Enjoy your friends. Enjoy being in a youth group. Enjoy having limited responsibilities while you can. Enjoy God. <3