1. Never be the girl who can’t go to the bathroom by herself. (Girls feel stronger together. You must be strong alone.)
2. Boyfriends are temporary. Your future is not. Dare to dream big. Pediatrician. Absolutely! Find out what you must do to be one and make that the primary focus.
3. Stay in the Arts (Band/Chorus/Drama). As a high school student I feared dropping out of band due to the fact that every girlfriend I had attached herself to a boy, got into drugs, or just got lazy. Seriously, stay in the arts. It will keep you focused and grounded. It’s also all-year round allowing you to build and maintain friendships that will last a lifetime.
4. It’s okay to put your needs ahead of others in certain circumstances. Not all “friends” have your best interest at heart. Be self-aware and know when to step away.
5. Go with your “gut”. Have you ever come up to a group of people and something felt odd? Did you get a weird feeling in your stomach? That is your gut telling you to run. And when you run, who is the first person you should call? Mom or Dad. Strong parents know that bad situations happen, and they will always be there as a support.
6. Work Hard and Be Accountable for Your Actions. No one is looking out for you and your success. That’s a hard truth to understand, but it’s best to learn it young. Your parents can’t rescue you in a job situation or college class. You’re on your own. It’s all you, baby. Do the right thing.
7. Never think any job is beneath you. I got my first job at fifteen, and I’ve worked in some capacity ever since. I’ve cleaned houses, waited tables in restaurants, cleaned bathrooms, lawn jobs, freelance writing, secretary–all these positions helped me graduate debt free from college and stay at home with you both as babies.
8. Never take on debt. It’s a heavy load to carry, a lot of hard work to make it work–but the wise pay cash and live within their means. No one really cares what car you drive, how big your house is, or what clothes sit on your back. Also–there are ways around this,too. Look great for less!
9. Never start at the high dollar stores when you shop. With almost everything start at Good Will, then Big Lots, Wal-Mart, and then Target. That about covers it.
10. Always look clean and look your best. My great grandmother said, “Love, there’s no sin against being poor, but there is sin in being unclean.” Always bath twice a day, wash hair once a day, brush your teeth,iron your clothes, etc. Do what it takes to look your best! People respect those who respect themselves.
11. Always date a gentleman: Never settle. A man may have all the riches and material wealth in the world, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good man or one you should date. There is no such thing as playing the field. As they say, “Keep your head, heels, and standards high.”
12. Always go above and beyond the expectations of others: as an employee don’t just wipe the tables of the restaurant–make them shine. Don’t just take a customer’s order, think ahead and bring them essentials they may not have thought of yet. As a friend, take time to ask about their day and their trials–never get a “what’s in it for me” attitude. You are there to be their friend.
13. Be servant-minded: Always strive to put the needs of others ahead of your own needs. That doesn’t mean putting your own needs on back-burner. Stay strong and create boundaries–just know it’s not all about you. Really- remember you’re not that awesome. Stay humble.
14. Begin with the End in Mind: How do you want to be remembered? Life on this planet is short. Invest your days on things that create true memories and bring meaning to your life. It seems that we all live in sound bites and news clips. One day here living the good life, and the next we’re only a brief news bit on Facebook, soon to be forgotten as other more entertaining feeds occur. Expand beyond this and live your life to its fullest capacity. Write those dreams down now and live them out. You can do it!
15. So, what’s it all about? Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. This will take love, forgiveness, acts of kindness, understanding, and servitude. This is the highest calling of all.