Amy Rees Anderson

The Most Amazing Advice Ever!

A young girl just starting High School this fall emailed my daughter Ashley (19 yrs old) to ask her what advice she could give her. My daughter sent her the following letter and as soon as I read it I instantly knew I had to share it with everyone! Every single one of us needs the same advice for our lives, regardless of our age! The exact letter is pasted below. I just removed the name of the girl but the rest is my daughters exact writing (grammer and hashtags included 🙂 ). All I can say after reading it is WOW..WOW! Here is the letter:

High school will be some of the best years of your entire life!… Or the worst. It’s all about what YOU make it! And that’s the absolute beauty of it dude!! YOU decide! Literally that’s the secret to high school. YOU choose whether it’s the best or worst years! Attitude in this case is EVERYTHING! Every day you wake up to go to school, you have a choice. Either it’s gunna be the best day ever, or a dece day. But dude. Life’s WAY too short to just live a bunch of dece days! So you HAVE to wake up every morning, and before anything else, already DECIDE that it’s gunna be “the best day of your li-i-i-fe…. Your li-i-i-i-i-iiiiiife!” (And even feel free to sing that song every morning too! That’s what I’ve been doing every morning on my mission… And dude no joke. It has helped me SOOOOO much!)

Optimism is key! Nobody wants to be around someone who’s Always complaining about homework or the weather or some lame teacher… Ya know!? So instead be the guy (or beautiful daughter of God, which I know you are) who’s always changing the topic like its hot when people get all negative nelly. Obviously you don’t want to be annoying about it and make people feel stupid for complaining… But just make sure you stand firm and don’t join in… And there’s a balance ya know. Empathy is a good thing. When people know they can come to you for anything… that’s solid! So don’t make people feel dumb for being honest about what they think of something… But just always try to point out the GOOD in the situations, and help them see it too! Then that way YOU yourself will also start to naturally see the good in every situation, and be more optimistic about everything! School, friends, and just life in general! It’s a win win!!:)

Another thing that REALLY helped me was some advice that actually, funny enough, [a mutual friend] gave me!! Going into senior year I was pretty nervous too and just wanted to make sure that I was living it up to the fullest, ya know!? …He told us to not think about ourselves. Simple right? Yeah way easier said than done! One way to do it is by sitting at lunch with people who are alone! So like…. Picture your first day of high school. You’re super pumped…lookin fresh… Got your hair all did… And YOU get invited to sit at the “cool kid table”. Like…. The OBVIOUS thing to do is look for your friends, get pumped, and sit there, right!? Like… Come on!! Everyone wants to be on that table! Or even just surrounded by friends and familiar faces! It’s just the natural thing to do… To think about what WE want, right!? But dude. Then think about all those kids at school who don’t know ANYONE. Who just moved in, and are terrified for lunch to come because they don’t have ANYONE to sit with. Put yourself back in a time when you’ve felt like that before. It’s the worst. Ya know? So as much as we naturally want to sit with our friends, and be noticed by that cute boy, or the cool kids….Take a step back and think of what ACTUALLY matters. In 10 years from now you’re not gunna care about the fact that you had a dece time at lunch talking about really nothing with our friends. No man… You’re gunna want to look back and say. Man. I made a difference in that kids life that day. So my senior year every morning before I left the house I said a prayer that I would be able to find someone to sit with at lunch who needed a friend. And then, to make it more fun, we got our friends to jump on board, too! That way it was a little bit less scary… And a better experience:) and if you have solid friends, they will most likely be so down for doing something like that! And then when lunch time comes around, wait for a little bit until everyone is seated, and then look for the kid who is sitting alone, or in the halls on the floor, and sit with THEM! It’s always a bit awk at first… But just ask the classic get to know you questions! Like what classes they are taking, where they are from, what they like to do… Ya know? And then after more and more practice, it becomes the easiest most natural thing to do!! And you actually really enjoy doing it!! And you leave school that day feeling like you actually made a difference in someone’s life, and came closer to Christ that day. Dude…. THAT is what it’s all about! The bigger picture. It’s those tiny things that build who we are, and who we will be! And all it takes is a smile, a wave, a conversation with someone new at lunch, a high five to a random kid in the halls…. That’s it! (By small and simple things… GREAT things are brought to pass!!… just have a vision of who you want to be, and then every day do SOMETHING to fit that mold, and that will help you become that person! Because every single day WE DECIDE OUR DESTINY!!! Dude it’s so cool. Nothing holds us back. We really have no excuses at all… just don’t let anything get in the way of you becoming who you want to become! And by the end of the year, some of my best friends were people who i met sitting by at lunch!! So cool how the Lord does that, right!?;) #BLESSEDforserving

The last thing is just to HAVE FUN!!!! High school is the funniest time ever! Sports games, pep rallies, new friends and people, random slurpee runs, dating… it’s a BLAST! Man I’m so jealous of you right now! It’s so fun. Try to go to as many school events as you can! Especially the games! Dude and go APE at games! Start chants, cheer loud, lose your voice, wear face paint, dress up… And basically just be YOLO! Make friends everywhere you go! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there a little bit! Dude my senior year I ran for class office…. And totally lost! Haha but I regret NOTHING! Campaigning week I made more friends than my entire three years of high school cuz I just talked to EVERYONE and their dog! (Ok not their dog… No pets at school… Gosh dang it.) but really! I just had to put my awkward feelings aside and strike up conversation with people! And it really does get easier with practice and time! And the more people you meet, the more friends you have! Funny how that works, huh!? haha but nah really! Have fun! Take school seriously… School, learning, and grades are important… But don’t be afraid to huck a spit ball at your friend across the room every now and then …. (Just don’t get caught) hahaha just kidding… But you feel me!? It’s okay to have fun! It’s freakin high school! #yolo2k15 #blessed #struttindatstuff #changingtheworld!

In the end, THIS is what will help you the most…. every single day… not matter how tired you are, grumpy, sad, happy, whatever the case might be…. PUT ON YOUR ARMOR OF GOD BEFORE YOU GO TO SCHOOL! WEAR IT!! EVERY SINGLE DAY! If you’re runnin late, at least get on your knees and say a prayer! But try to get in the habit sooner than later to start every morning off with a scripture study and prayer. That will help remind you the bigger picture every day before school and center your thoughts on Christ! Ya know its funny. …At church one of the promises that we are making is that we will “always remember Him”. Simple phrase, yeah!? But then the week comes, and there is homework, school, friends, boys, food….(mmmm food), and crazy drama! And we slowly let our minds become distracted and focused on those things instead, without even realizing it! And then we aren’t “always remembering Him” anymore, but remembering ourselves. But i can PROMISE you that by reading your scriptures EVERY MORNING.. you ARE always remembering Him. And it will be so much easier to have your eye on the prize… focused on the Lords work. And in turn he will bless you SOOOOOO much! If I have any regrets in high school at all it’s THAT. That i missed my scripture study sometimes, or didn’t say my morning or nightly prayers. I let other things get in the way. And then i became too focused on myself and what I wanted to do rather than the Lord, and the bigger picture. Then THATS when life gets hard and difficult. Because we dont go to the Lord for our trials… and he cant help us when we dont do that. So if you take ANYTHING away from this email….remember that! ALWAYS put on your armor of God! One day you will be SOOOOO grateful that you did! And you will be able to tell your future kids one day that you did that! How cool! #parentgoals!

Gosh. Well I hope that email kinda helped you out a bit! I mean heck… I’m only 19! Haha I have no clue! I’m still learning as I go! Every single day! But from my experience… That’s what would have helped me the most going into high school the most!

I am so excited for you! What a fun stage in life to be at! You have your whole life ahead of ya! The possibilities are ENDLESS! Make me proud! Make your mama proud!… But most importantly, make God proud! Love you!! Xoxo

Ashley

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