Count your blessings
Have you stopped to think about how blessed you are? Has the thought ever crossed your mind? Let me tell you — for me, these thoughts have been consuming my mind.
Coming into the second semester and thinking of how different my life will be within the next couples months has definitely got me thinking, as well as probably every other student who's about to walk the stage for high school graduation.
"I can't believe I'm about to be in high school!" exclaimed New Life Christian School eighth-grader Mariah Glasclow.
If there is anything I would try to convey to eighth-graders who are about to step into high school, which is completely different from elementary school, it would be these three things: 1. Be a high-schooler; 2. Take advantage of high school opportunities; and 3. Be thankful.
First of all, let yourself be a high-schooler, a teenager. I realize that the high school years are supposed to be the time that helps you mature, but remember: You're not 13 going on 30.
"I can't wait until I finally get to be older, so I can drive and have a job!" exclaimed Jordan Tracey, a freshman at NLCS.
Having a car is great, and being able to work is a blessing — but speaking from personal experience, there's a lot you sacrifice to do both of those things.
Secondly, take advantage of what your school has to offer.
I remember coming out of the eighth grade. I was an immature person who couldn't stand the thought of spending my high school years at a Christian private school.
But something happened along the way that changed who I was and how I thought forever. I began to take advantage of everything the staff here was willing to give me, and I ran with it.
Take advantage of the education, of building lasting relationships with teachers, of getting plugged in and involved with everything. Even playing a sport that sometimes takes you out of class isn't a bad thing. These experiences will help you grow and are times that you'll never forget.
Social science teacher James Vieira told our senior class: "You guys are getting senioritis!" By that, he meant we are getting lazy and are taking advantage of our privileges as seniors.
Mr. V, I would just like to tell you on behalf of the senior class that, yes, we are taking advantage of everything we can get out of our last year here with you. Words cannot express how thankful we are.
Which brings me to my final point. Here at NLCS, we are honored and blessed to have the most amazing staff that you could ever ask for. We're blessed to be in their care, and we're more than lucky to be able to have a chance to learn and grow from such great leaders.
I am so thankful for having the opportunity to go to a school that shows me how to love and live for God, that places influences in my life who care about more than just seeing me get through high school.
So to every person who's either entering or graduating from high school — don't forget to say thanks. Let's take advantage of the time we have left.
Leanna Whiteley is a senior at New Life Christian High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.