Life Lessons I Learned my Senior Year

Tonight I’m heartbroken. This is not how I would have ever imagined my senior year ending. I knew there would be pain and tears but not in this way. As my time in high school comes to a close, and I prepare to start my next chapter, I can’t help but to reflect on my time at Madison Central and all that I’ve learned. Gosh, I love this school and all it has given me.

“I’m grateful for this quarantined time that has taught me more than a classroom ever could.”

On my 17th birthday, one of my best friends and biggest role models sent me a link to a list of 75 lessons she learned in high school. She shared them with me to encourage and guide me through my last year of high school. Her actions challenged and inspired me to write a list of my own. We never imagined a global pandemic allowing only three quarters in the school building as part of my senior year, but tonight as I finished this list by adding my last few truths, I’m grateful for this quarantined time that has taught me more than a classroom ever could.

I’m for sure not the wisest person, and I still don’t quite have this whole “life” thing figured out. However, I’m so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. While I know they may not fully apply to you because these are my personal truths, but I felt compelled to share.

“Soak in the sight of your favorite teacher standing outside of her classroom waving and smiling at you.”

To the underclassmen, the next time you walk into the doors of your school, please soak it in. Soak in the smell of the freshly cleaned floors. Soak in the sound of a thousand teenagers talking and laughing. Soak in the sight of your favorite teacher standing outside of her classroom waving and smiling at you. Soak in the touch of receiving a hard-earned “A” on an assignment. Soak in the taste of that same boring school lunch your mom keeps making you. You never know when the last time you see her packing it will be. Lastly, soak in these months of seeing everyone of your friends all in one place. Soon enough you will part ways. Take all the pictures and videos possible, write down some of your best days, and don’t let anyone stop you from having a good time!!

80 Life Lessons from a High School Senior

1. The cream always rises to the top.
2. It’s not awkward if you don’t make it awkward.
3. Always have an “It is well” mindset. “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well with my soul.”
4. God’s love is better than all the others. He is a love like no other.
5. Joy is a choice. You have to make an effort to be joyful sometimes.
6. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
7. Numbers don’t define you. Grades don’t define you. Votes don’t define you. God defines you. Until you learn this truth, high school will be a struggle.
8. You reap what you sow. AKA: you get out whatever you put in. This applies to any situation.
9. When it comes to boys and relationships, trust your worth for someone worth your trust.

10. You may not have what you have right now tomorrow. Cherish it.

11. If you don’t know what to do, pull into the church parking lot and pray at the foot of the cross.
12. There are people you haven’t met yet who will love you.
13. Trust God always. In every season. In every moment. Don’t doubt his power. Don’t doubt his love. Don’t doubt his faithfulness.
14. Your parents are and will always be your biggest fans. They always believe in you.

15. Your siblings are and will always be your best advocates. They always support you.
16. Bad moments don’t make a bad day, and bad days don’t make a bad week. Get past it and move on.
17. Find your girl gang and stick to them. Make time for them. Be there for them. They will be bridesmaids in your wedding one day.
18. But friend groups will change, and that’s okay.
19. Mood swings are normal. Hormones are normal. You’re not crazy, I swear.

20. Do what you want always. Don’t fear judgement. Be unapologetically yourself.

21. From Maggie McKinnis: “People will make fun of you for it, but stay innocent and naive. There are some things you just don’t need to know.” Be proud and be you!
22. Take pictures and videos any place, any time. Always capture moments to make them memories.
23. Don’t put people on a pedestal- EVER! People will always disappoint you.
24. Do what glorifies God. Walk worthy!
25. It’s okay to be scared, but do it anyway. Take risks and be bold.
26. Be spontaneous! Whether that’s going to the beach with your best friend on a whim or just an impromptu girls’ movie night on the couch, don’t think fun moments always have to be planned.
27. Life’s not fair. It just isn’t. The quicker you learn this, the better off you’ll be.
28. The valley teaches you a LOT more than the mountaintop does. As hard as it is, be grateful for the hard and disappointing seasons.
29. Be the girl who always goes the extra mile. Whether you are recognized for it or not, it means more.

30. Challenge yourself! Stretch yourself. Don’t take the easy way out. The hardest things are always the most rewarding.

31. Cliché but true: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
32. The sooner you learn how to handle peer pressure, the better off you’ll be.
33. Always put yourself in the best situation to succeed.
34. Stick to your gut. It‘s pretty much always right.
35. Always smile and say hey. A simple hello could be all someone needs to turn their day around.
36. Coffee is a lifesaver!!!

37. Don’t be surprised when girls flock to your ex the day after y’all break up. It’s normal. It’s life. Let them have your leftovers. 
38. There is strength in vulnerability. (Took me a while to learn this one, but I’m so grateful I did.)
39. It’s totally okay to not have senioritis. It’s totally okay to love high school and never want to leave. You’ll be grateful you didn’t wish it away when so many others did.

40. You’re not perfect, and you never will be. You’ll make mistakes. The important thing is that you learn from them.

41. Speak your mind. Stand up for yourself. Tell someone how you feel. If you don’t, nothing will change. You’ll never get what you want if you don’t say something.
42. Laugh at yourself. If you think Geronimo and Yosemite are hard to pronounce, you’re not alone. (Ask me about this one day)
43. Social media is a highlight reel. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
44. Be the girl your younger self looked up to. Be the girl you want your future daughters to look up to.
45. Relationships can be great. Junior Year Homecoming date may turn into many dates over a year later. However, do NOT sacrifice friendships for a relationship. Boys come and go, but girls last forever.
46. With that said, if he’s the right boy, he won’t make you sacrifice those friendships anyway.
47. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
48. When you get knocked down, get back up.
49. You are the sum of your 5 closest friends. Choose wisely.

50. Prayer works. Seriously don’t underestimate its power.

51. Don’t settle for anything less than the best. DO THE EXTRA CREDIT!!!
52. Compliment people! It makes you feel better than them.
53. Pick people who pick you. Don’t continue chasing someone who doesn’t want you.
54. The little things can bring you so much happiness. A new outfit. The dollar you find in your pocket. No homework! Find joy in the mundane.
55. Sometimes all you need to find is a heads up penny.
56. Your mom is your girl. No matter how annoying or mean or irrational you think she is sometimes, she is the realest one on your team.

57. Kill them with kindness.
58. Hug your grandparents every chance you get.
59. Your dad knows if the guy isn’t the one for you. Trust him.

60. See the good in all things. Cling to what is good.

61. Home is where the heart is.
62. It’s okay to not know what comes next.
63. Intentionally goes a long way in everything: relationships, friendships, academics, etc.!
64. God never gets tired of you! No matter how far you’ve gone. He never gets frustrated or annoyed.
65. Stop rushing life!!!!! Just enjoy the here and now.
66. Don’t be embarrassed if your parents still act like honeymooners! Be thankful they love each other as fiercely as they do, make them your role models, and pray that one day you can have a love like that.
67. Be the first to congratulate someone (and really mean it) when they get what you wanted. Your time will come.
68. Guard your heart from the people that only love you in the shallow end. You can still be kind, but remember their loyalty to you ends when the benefits they receive from you stop.
69. It’s okay to cry. I do it on the daily. I love a good car cry. Crying to Jesus music is very therapeutic. Sometimes it’s all that works.

70. Dance like nobody is watching!!!! ALWAYS

71. Don’t let anyone with bad eyebrows tell you anything about life!
72. Everything is temporary. This world is not our home. We have a hope and an eternity with Jesus waiting for us. Keep that mindset.
73. Love people how you know you should: Unconditionally just as Jesus does.
74. Don’t be opposed to befriending girls in different grades and groups. 75. Believe in yourself when nobody else does. Prove everyone wrong.
76. People will always talk bad about you. Accept it and remember that there are others who love you.
77. “Nice guys finish last” may feel true sometimes, but don’t stop being good.
78. Stick up for the person being talked bad about in the group.
79. Always let your younger sibling crawl into your bed at 3 AM and fall asleep watching “Dance Moms” with you. Those opportunities are fleeting.

80. If Coronavirus hijacks your senior year and forces you to miss out on those special “lasts,” remind yourself of what it cannot take from you – your JOY! See Truth #5

The Magnolia Moms Team would like to thank Allie Grace Bell for being so brave to allow us to share her words with the world (or at least the group of moms that read our blog!) And to the Class of 2020, we are heartbroken for the loss and grief you must be feeling at this time. We wish you the very, very best in the year to come. May God bless you and hold you close as you move on to the next chapter of your life.

Allie Grace Bell

Allie Grace Bell is a high school senior living in Madison, MS. She is National Merit Finalist, Captain of the Madison Central dance team, MC Student Government Executive Secretary, and National Honor Society Secretary. She will be attending Mississippi State University in the fall. She is the daughter of Chad and Melissa Bell. We appreciate Allie Grace sharing her words and heart with the Magnolia Moms' readers.

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