Dear Kids, Please Don’t Peak in High School

My Dearest Children,

I know high school seems like a long way off but you’ll be hating on your schedule, drooling over cheerleaders, and begging to borrow the car before you know it. And while it’s still too early to tell where you’ll land on the popularity scale, as your mother I beg you not to peak in high school.

I speak from gobs of adolescent experience when I tell you there’s a lot to be said for flying under the radar. Just as you don’t want to be popular for the wrong reasons, there’s a case for not being popular for the “right” reasons as well.

I always knew I didn’t know my whole self, even in high school. I looked at the popular crowd who seemed to know way more than I did. What they “knew” were probably things that robbed them of their adolescence, if only a little.

As your mom I believe that there’s a time and place for everything. High school is not the time you’re supposed to know yourself or where you’re going. Knowing as much all but ruins the surprise. A vague and humble idea of what your future holds is a good enough place to start. While I’m sure you’re grappling with surging hormones, feelings of supremacy, and ironic insecurities, this is exactly how you’re supposed to feel. Exactly.

You don’t need to have the perfect girlfriend, the perfect car, know everything about sex, or what it means to take care of yourself. You don’t. You’re not supposed to.

Life will teach you these lessons in due time. As you navigate your way through high school and beyond, you’ll notice far too often those who peaked in high school simply stopped trying thereafter. They figured it all out too soon and were satisfied.

Never be satisfied, especially at 17.

I can’t ask you to slow down any more than you can ask me to understand, but I do know this: You’re about a billion times more clever than high school will allow you to be. Time will reveal your hand, in time.

You are far more than your level of popularity in high school and far more than you even know right now. Dammit if that’s not exciting.

Hold out for better than high school. Hold out for finding your way. Hold out for knowing yourself.

There’s a whole wide world outside of sixth period just waiting to show off for you.

Please don’t miss it.


Your nerdy mom (who obviously didn’t peak in high school)

What do you wish to tell your future high schooler?

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