Dear High School Self

Written by Dave Leake

I know that this might sound like a weird thought, but have you ever wished you could go back in time and talk to yourself when you were younger? Before you made your major life decisions? Back when everything was simpler? Yeah? Me too! That’s why I decided to write this letter to my high school self. It’s got five pieces of advice that I wish I could send back in time — five important things that have come to shape my life over the course of time. If you’re in high school now, or even if you have kids or grandkids in that phase, my hope is that some of these thoughts may have a positive impact on you/your family’s lives.

Dear high school self,

I’m twenty-five years old now. I understand that to you that might sound like an eternity away, but trust me, the years will fly quicker than you imagined possible. I’m writing to you because high school will be a crazy time in your life. You’ll experience some of the best and worst moments in your life up to this point and many of the decisions you make now will have ramifications that last for years. For this reason I’ve decided to give you five pieces of advice that you may need. I will try my best not to give away any spoilers and hopefully these five things will help you on your journey!

  • Take advantage of “normal opportunities…” – Like joining sports teams, getting braces, or taking piano lessons. They may not seem glamorous to you now, but if you miss your opportunities you may never get another shot!
  • Save your money! – I know there’s a lot of stuff you would like to spend it on — movies, video games, food, etc. But you will need that dough WAY more in a few years when you start taking out college loans! Trust me – save your money!
  • Don’t take the good times for granted. The Steelers were good in high school — like REALLY good! You never know when or if you’ll get another chance to see the Steelers in a super bowl, so enjoy the good moments while they last!
  • Pick your friends intentionally. Good friends last a lifetime. Think hard on who you spend your time with because your friends could make or break your future.
  • Don’t torture yourself for not being perfect. God doesn’t expect it out of you, and you shouldn’t either. You weren’t made to be perfect, so you shouldn’t hold yourself to that standard. Take a deep breath, release yourself from your failures, choose to smile, and keep moving forward!

From what I’ve seen, easy seasons in life only exist in retrospect so don’t anticipate them coming around very often. You’ll also probably never feel that you’ve “arrived.” But don’t worry because God really does have a plan for your life — even when it’s tough! Stay strong in the low moments, revel in the high moments and be everything that you can be as you continue your journey through this season of life called high school.

See you soon,

Your future self,

Dave Leake


12474013_1567101066946655_6124925627570272524_oDave Leake grew up in the Pittsburgh area and attended APC all through his childhood and teenage years. After high school, Dave got his bachelor’s degree from Central Bible College and has served as the high school youth pastor at Allison Park Church’s Hampton Campus for the past three years. Dave’s hobbies include watching his favorite sports teams (the Steelers, Chelsea FC, etc.), reading good books, and playing Legend of Zelda video games.