Going back to school

(Originally published as a commentary in the local newspaper)

It's that time of year again. Registration is over and now everyone is waiting for Monday, Aug. 24--the first day of school.

I remember those days. I used to get so nervous, especially when I entered a new school in which I didn't know anyone.

Most kids around here are going to the school they have attended since kindergarten, but what I write is for them too. It's for everyone attending school, especially teenagers. As one who has lived 22 years past high school and 18 years past my undergraduate years (yikes), here is some advice (Don't worry, no one's parents suggested this!).

Study hard (2 Timothy 2:15): This is your last chance at free education before college or vocational school. Don't blow it off. Even if you never plan to go to college, earning a high school diploma will put you one step ahead of those who don't have one. Believe me, in every career or job, being able to read and write adequately are a must. Learn it now while you can, while it's still easy.

Be wise (Proverbs 7: 1-27): Just because you are young and think that you are indestructible, don't use your junior high and high school years to experiment with drugs, start smoking, or see how many conquests you can make among the young men and ladies. Remember, you have a future. Having a baby, messing around and getting a disease or scrambling your brains on some drug will affect you for the rest of your life.Ê As one who has known people affected by lung cancer, I can't stress enough how harmful smoking is. Think about this stuff before you regret making foolish decisions.

Stay in shape (I Corinthians 9: 24 -26): Do this on a physical, spiritual and emotional level. All of these levels go along with being wise. Making poor decisions will affect you physically, spiritually and emotionally. Also, don't give up exercise just because you hate P.E. You will be thankful for it later (especially when you can outrun one of your own kids!).

Be content (Philippians 4: 11-13): Life is exciting right now. That's great, be excited and look forward to the new privileges and responsibilities that lie ahead, but don't forget to be grateful right now.

Remember God (Ecclesiastes 12:1): I have never heard anyone say that they wished that they had not remembered God in their youth. It's usually the opposite. Remembering God means following God and this will lead to a better life. There are many times during my high school years when I wished that I had followed God more closely. That's why I'm writing this to you.

We here at Blogger central wish all students a safe and happy school year. You students are our future, make it count!