Friday, 3 November 2017

THIS is what I wrote to the younger generations about what it's really like to be in your final year of high school. 

The following is what I'm writing now - to the same generation - about what life is like a year on.

SPOILER ALERT: It all ended up being okay.

Dear Younger Generations,

You've finally graduated. It was exciting, nerve-wrecking and sad all wrapped up into one. On one hand you felt like high school was going by so fast that you couldn't even take a moment to blink or you'd miss it all and on the other, you felt like it was never going to end and you weren't ever going to get out of that place. Your final week of school was just a funny mix of emotions, really. Now yes, graduation is bittersweet. I told you that last time. Don't get me wrong, it definitely is but it's not the end of everything.

Yes, it's the end of a HUGE chapter of your life BUT its also just the beginning of an even bigger one.

You keep trying to remind yourself of that and convince yourself it's all going to be fine but it's hard to do because even though you've graduated you still haven't fully stepped into the role of someone who is immersed in life outside of high school.

Let me tell you how it all ends up being okay.

Your first summer break with PROPER freedom. You can finally get around without having to depend on your parents, singing songs at the top of your lungs the whole way over to those places you have yet to explore and afternoons in other towns no longer have to be spent with supervision. Midnight Macca's runs with your closest friends after hours of playing hostage, laughing at the adrenalin rush of racing to come first, 3am parked car conversations at your local lookout, having fireworks shot at your car and mentally preparing yourself for the fact that your parents are probably going to be picking you up from the emergency room until you find out it's just the boys being idiots. Realising that being scared that you were going to be left without friends after graduation was a stupid thing to worry about - you have better friends now than you ever did in high school.

It all ended up being okay.

Early morning wake ups and weekly routine. You thought your life was going to be a mismatch of days rather than a regular routine like you had when you were at school, turns out you still have a routine... it's just a different one than before. You are now immersed in uni life, assignments, church, work and Saturday's spent with your friends. Everyone's moved away, your free time doesn't line up - exactly what you feared would happen, yet instead of drifting apart like you thought you would you seem to see those friends you spent your summer with even more than you did before. You hang out at youth on Friday nights, you see each other on a Saturday and after church hangs on a Sunday night are just as fun as ever. You're all at different stages of your life, you're all doing different things but it doesn't seem to matter. Turn's out God had it under control the whole time. 

You've settled in to a new normal and it's ended up being more than just okay.

Your Friday nights are still filled with youth events. Not only did you not have to give up Friday night events but you now get to serve alongside your friends and leaders you attended with throughout all of those years of school. You still get the encounters with God, the laughs, the jokes and now you also get the after youth hangs. Dinner at 10pm, late nights at Maccas, trips to the driving range, endless games of pool, buying 8000 post-it notes from Kmart and only ending up needing 4000 of them to cover your youth pastors car, prank wars, iPhone quality spur of the moment photos - memories that will last a life time.

It's like it never changed, it ended up being okay.

You realise now that you had it all wrong. You aren't alone in this world, you never have been. God's been by your side walking through it with you all along. He had a plan set out that you never gave Him the chance to show you. Yes, you have a student loan and a job and one day you're going to have to learn how to make a mortgage work but you still have time. You figured all of this out already, you've spent this past year walking through a bunch of firsts, what's another thing to add to the list? Yes, everyone set apart and moved into different seasons of their lives but you have now got better people around you, God's got it all under control - He always has. It's crazy because you still feel like you graduated like a week ago but it also feels like it's been a lifetime since you were still in school.

And now, this is your life.

So before you convince yourself that your life will all be over after high school, remember.

This is the end of a chapter but it's also the beginning of a better one.

It will all be okay.

XO, Danielle


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