I grew up in a small town and I still live outside that small town. My high school was not huge, so everyone knew everybody. Everyone knew almost everything about everybody. And like almost every other high school out there, we had our groups, our cliques.

You know what I’m talking about. The popular kids, the nerds, the weird kids, the sports kids, the troublemakers, the mean girls, the fake kids, etc.

It sounds horrid to me to list that out now. To label people as if that is exactly what they are. To label people as if that is all they will ever be. But that is what high school becomes, a bunch of labeling.

Sadly, when you’re in high school you learn very quickly where you stand. You are labeled and get put into a group and there you are. And it’s really hard to jump groups.

RELATED: Dear Daughter, The Truth is Not Everyone is Going To Like You (and That’s OK)

I always felt like I was in the middle somewhere. I wasn’t super popular but I wasn’t unpopular. I could and would talk to almost everyone. I never really felt like I was in a certain group, though I’m sure others put me in one on their own.

High school wasn’t terrible for me but if I had the choice, I most definitely would NOT return to those days. No thanks! Thanks for some of the memories, but I’m glad to be out of there.

I saw a lot of people who struggled in high school. Ones who never really fit in. Some who were made fun of all four years. Ones who couldn’t wait to be done with high school. To get the heck out of there and away from everyone.

And it seems kids are struggling even more with school these days. Social media adds to the problem. It is tacked on to the experience, so you are constantly tied to school even outside of it. You can’t get away from your label, your social status.

The thing I wish I could let high schoolers know is that your high school social status does not define the person you truly are. That label does not define the person you will be. It defines nothing. Don’t let high school be a discouragement to your life, to the rest of your life.

High school is temporary. This short season of your life is just the stepping stone to the rest of your life. You have much better things awaiting you. Life gets soooo much better when you get out of there.

And the people who make your life difficult there? Don’t change for them. Don’t change to fit in. Don’t try to be more like them just to make it through. Don’t let them stifle you. Don’t let them hold you back. Don’t let them break you, don’t give them the power.

Be who you are, who you were always meant to be. Be the person God made you to be.

You are so much more than who they say you are. You are on a different level than them, you always were. One much higher than them. They are just too stuck on themselves to see it or notice.

The good news: you’ll never see most of those people ever again once you leave.

“Hallelujah!” I know.

You’ll soon move on to the rest of your life. And it will be something great, something special. 

You may also like:

Finding True Friendships in High School

To the Average Kid: One Day You’ll Realize You’ve Always Been Exceptional

I Wouldn’t Want to Switch Places with My Teenagers

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Melinda Tietsort

Melinda is a married, mother of three girls. She works as a Physical Therapist Assistant, lives in rural Northwest Iowa and enjoys the farm life. She is a Christian and is trying to live the life God intends for her. She offers Christian encouragement and inspiration to others on her blog, "Pursuing a Christ-Centered Life." Follow it at: achristcenteredlife.blogspot.com

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

Sweet Commercial About A Dad and Daughter Reconnecting Over Taylor Swift Has Us Teary

In: Motherhood, News, Teen, Tween
father and daughter cuddled up on the couch watching football

It’s hard for any girl dad to imagine a time when his daughter will stop wanting to spend time with him. But seemingly overnight, she can go from a devoted daddy’s girl to a prickly, detached teen who is much more interested in what’s happening on her phone than hanging out with her old man. Suddenly it can feel like there is no common ground between them, and shared interests are few and far between. But this NFL season has been different for football-loving dads and their Swiftie daughters. A heartwarming commercial from Cetaphil with the tagline, “A New Sports...

Keep Reading

Watching Your Big Kids Blossom is a Blessing

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Tween and mother preparing food

A little over a week ago, I received a call from my dad, and over the next 12 hours regarding my mom, I heard words and phrases like bad fall, ambulance, ER, something on the CT scan, and broken arm. By the next morning, I told my husband I wanted to take our two oldest children, 12 and 14, and make the four-hour trip to my parents’ house. He didn’t hesitate to agree to take care of the four youngest, and my oldest two agreed to quickly pack a suitcase and hop in the truck with me. As we headed...

Keep Reading

In These Teen Years, I Wonder If I’m Doing Enough

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Boy walking in the ocean surf

It’s a strange feeling to look back at all the years as a parent and wonder if I am doing enough. My boys are teens. One of them has just a few baby steps left until he heads into life after living under our roof. He is fiercely independent. One of those kids who I have for my whole life mistaken for being years older than he actually is. The kind of kid who can hold a conversation that reminds you of when you are out with your friends enjoying a bottle of wine at a restaurant made for middle-aged...

Keep Reading

I’m the Parent on the Sidelines and It’s Where I Belong

In: Motherhood, Teen
Sports parents walk across field carrying chair

“I know what I’m doing. This is my tryout—let me do it my way,” my freshman daughter told me. I shut my mouth, knowing as much as I didn’t want to hear it, she was right. This was my daughter’s time, not mine. My role wasn’t to make the choices on what position to try out for or even what opportunities and activities to dedicate her time to in high school. I watched her do her thing on the soccer field that first season. That first day of tryouts when she pretty much told me to shut it and let her...

Keep Reading

18 Years Went by In a Flash

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Girl walking into college dorm

If I close my eyes, I can conjure the feather-light weight of my newborn daughter. At under five pounds, my tiny bundle of love looked up at me with eyes so big and bright I swore they could discern my soul. No one warned me then of the chaotic parenthood journey ahead. So many firsts and lasts would pepper our paths. Her first word, steps, and school day flew by amongst a whirlwind of activities designed to keep us both occupied—park play dates, music classes, and mom and baby yoga occupied much of our early days. I recorded everything in...

Keep Reading

To My Bonus Daughters, I Love You Like My Own

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Teen girls walking to school with backpacks

To my daughter’s best friend who we have known and loved since preschool, I love you like my own. To my neighbor’s daughter who I carpool to and from school, volleyball games, birthday celebrations, and Chick-fil-A runs, I love you like my own. To the teenage girls in my car who vent to me about impossible algebra tests, difficult teachers, and boy crushes, I love you like my own. To the new friendships my girls build year after year, welcome, I love you like my own. To my daughter’s girlfriends who don’t start unnecessary drama, I love you like my...

Keep Reading

God Is There for Middle School Mistakes

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Teen with head in hands

No one prepared me for the troubles of having two children going through middle school. I seemed to have forgotten about the hormones, the normalcy of friendship break-ups, and the learning curve that comes with the freedom from being connected to one teacher all day. The first two weeks of the start of any new school year have always been tough on my kids. The adjustment from doing what we like in the summer months to buckling back down to becoming their best academic warrior selves. It was of no surprise when I got a call from the principal two...

Keep Reading

Kids Remember the Simple Things Done With Love

In: Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Christmas lights on a string hanging on a wall

My tween boy said he wanted to decorate his room for Christmas. He said, “You know how you used to hang the ornaments in the window?” “Yes,” I said. “Like a long time ago. You probably were in kindergarten.” Actually, I was surprised. I haven’t done it in years. But he remembered. I used to stand up on a chair in our sunroom and use silver fishing line to connect the ornaments so it would almost be invisible from far away. Then, I would tie them in the window blinds. It was a pain, but it looked pretty when the...

Keep Reading

The Proverbs 31 Woman for Teens

In: Faith, Teen, Tween
Teen girl smiling outside

A girl with a noble character is hard to find. Her family can trust her. She sees things to be done and does them without being told. She has a good attitude when asked to do something. She makes wise decisions about her friends. She tries to put others first even when she doesn’t want to. She stands up for herself and the underdog who is being bullied. RELATED: A Prayer For Daughters She tells the truth—even if she is going to get in trouble. She is strong physically and not lazy. She is a problem solver in all situations. She...

Keep Reading