Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Letter To My Little Sister

High school has begun and with that came a lot of unhappiness from my little sister Savanna and all of the kids around the block. No one wanted summer to end, especially the blonde haired junior living in our house.  With homework to do and little time to spare, my mother and I decided it would be nice to give Savanna something to remind her how much we love and appreciate her.  So up to the Sundance General Store we went (this is where I work), to get her a little something special.

To be honest, my high school years were the greatest school years of my life (well, so far). I was blessed with a close friend group, and good examples.  As my senior year rolled along, I tried my best to be a good example to all of the younger students around me.  I wanted to show them just how awesome they could make high school too.  After talking to my mother about Savanna's school starting, she asked me to write advice for the younger high school kids in her Sunday School class.  I've decided to share this list on my blog for two reasons, 1) so that my sister can share this with her peers, and 2) so that I can share this advice with everyone I know, whether they are young or old. A lot of these things will help people at whatever stage they are in.  

-Say hi to everyone.
-Learn people’s names and use them.
-Write thank-you notes; carry sticky notes wherever you go and put them on peoples lockers and cars.
-Be kind, especially to yourself.
-Never say no to a date, no matter what. I don’t care how awkward or weird it’s going to be.  I went with my boyfriend’s younger brother to prom, beat that, I dare you!
-Always thank the bus driver.
-Compliment a new student every day.
-Turn up the music in your car and jam out, it’s good for your soul and for the soul who is watching you at the light.
-Learn to be a good listener.
-Don’t liter.
-Buy lemonade from those cute little kids on the sidewalk.
-Make a list of the things you love; the smell of rain, walking through crunchy leaves, fry sauce, anything!
-Make a goal to know everyone in your graduating class by the end of your senior year.
-Keep your word, and keep the secrets that have been trusted with you.
-JUST DO IT, you only go through high school once, you need to be able to look back and make fun of the stupid things you did.
-Sit near the front of the class.
-Get to know your grandma and grandpa.
-Always thank the host and the host’s parents (it’s likely that they supplied the food).
-Always go out like you are going to see your worst enemy or your old boyfriend/girlfriend.
-DANCE, I don’t care if you look like an idiot, it’s better than sitting on the bench.
-Remember everyone’s birthday, ask before it comes up and put it on your calendar.
-You are never too old to need your mom, give her a call.
-Can’t decide if you should shower? Just do it. The opposite sex likes it when you shower, just trust me.
-Learn how to drive stick shift.
-Never look at your phone during dinner.
-Remember that some people are having a really bad day, try and see if you can change it for them.
-Make other people smile.
-When someone tries to gossip, just change the subject, you don’t need to be rude, that won’t help.
-Learn how to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. Play that instrument, bike down that super steep hill, learn how to make stir fry.
-Say “I love you” to your parents and grandparents, I promise you won’t regret it.
-Be cool to the young kids, they will look up to you.
-Look into people’s eyes; they are the windows to their soul.
-Always offer to help.
-Have your mom teach you how to cook your favorite meal that she makes.
-Make time for your parents on your birthday, it’s a special day for them too.
- Make a goal to eat lunch with your friends after high school, become those old people at kneaders.
-Be a proud American, this nation is truly amazing.
-If you have to fight, you’re allowed to hit back on the third punch (don’t tell your mom I told you that).
-Keep the dress code, everyone appreciates it.
-Don’t like someone’s music? Don’t say anything.
-You can’t expect a good score if you don’t study.
-Let the person with one item go in front of you at the grocery store.
-An old person once said that if we threw all of our problems into a pile with everyone else’s, we’d quickly grab ours back.  Don’t feel bad for yourself, you are strong, I promise.
-Go outside for at least an hour every day.
-Don’t act like everyone else; the cool people are the different people, you will realize this when you get out of high school, just believe me.
-Smile at yourself in the mirror every morning.
-Obey your parents, they see the big picture and they only want what is best for you (I swear they aren’t trying to ruin your life).
-Save your money.
-Be sore, it’s a good thing.
-Learn when to shut your mouth and when to speak up.
-Take a lot of pictures, not of yourself.
-If something is broke learn how to fix it.
-Go to school with a cupcake and surprise someone random (but seriously do this).
-Don’t listen to your earphones while in the halls. Talk to people, give high fives to friends, and smile at someone you’ve never seen before.
-Make a bucket list.
-Know the faces on your money.
-Hug everyone.
-By the time you are a senior you should know every face in the halls, if you don’t, introduce yourself, they might be a new frightened sophomore who needs some help, and trust me, they will feel super cool talking to you.
-Remember you are never too old to listen to Disney songs.
-Always be kind. ALWAYS.
My mom and I finally decided to get my little sister a necklace with a letter charm and a piece of turquoise. So she will always remember to be her kindhearted self.

You are the greatest little sister ever. You never cease to amaze me with your loving, thoughtful heart.  I know school is not the most enjoyable thing, but you will be such a good example to all the kids around you. I promise if you do these things you will be a light. I can see you now, sitting in your cap and gown at graduation, realizing that you learned more in high school than you ever imagined you would.

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