If you could have a conversation with yourself in high school, what would you say?
Hi there High School Self, hopefully Freshman Angela!
We all have mistakes, regrets and things we wish we could change, but if presented with a time machine or a do-over, we know that those mistakes and regrets have taught us life lessons that shape who we are today. So unless we’re pretty awful people, we’d pass on the do-over.
I told you that because this next part is pretty important. It’s the one thing that happened in high school that I would not pass a do-over for.
On 9/11/2001, four planes were – or will be, since I’m talking to you, circa 1999 – hijacked by terrorist passengers and they will crash in different parts of the United States from around 8:46 am to 10:30am Eastern time. That means the crashes will begin around 5:46 am, our time. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 will crash into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center in NYC (the twin towers), 8:46 am and 9:03 am. American Airlines Flight 77 will crash into the Pentagon, 9:37 am. United Airlines Flight 93 is targeted at Washington, D.C., but will crash into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 10:03 am, because of passengers in that flight that will try to overtake the terrorist hijackers.
Thousands of people will die. Wars will start. Many soldiers deployed and killed. The economy will collapse. Millions of people will be affected. Many will live in fear, in uncertainty, in poverty, without jobs, and with constant suspicion of their government, their neighbors, and other people just because of the way they look.
I don’t know if you can stop 9/11 from happening. I don’t know the consequences or the ripple effects you’d face if you tried. But you need to try to save as many people as possible. Why do you think I’m trying to be detailed about it?
Tell people until someone listens. Call in tips on police/government hotlines. Post it in as many Internet boards as you can. Put a video on YouTube. Make noise about it. People might think you’re crazy. You might get in trouble with authorities. You might not stop the attacks at all, or maybe you’d just delay it or alter the terrorists’ plans. But if lives are spared, then it’s worth it.
In my time, there are many conspiracy theories about 9/11. But if the government asks you, tell them to hold responsible a group called al-Queda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, who didn’t admit involvement until 2004.
Please stay safe.
And breathe. Now onto other things I want to talk with you about:
Own your faith. Your relationship with God comes first. It should not hinge on the actions of other people. Even if the people you trust, the people in church, or the people closest to you let you down, God loves you. God is with you. And your relationship with Him should not falter. Own. Your. Faith.
God is looking out for you. Don’t give your heart away. Protect it and wait for God to unfold the love story He wrote especially for you and your future husband. You won’t meet him while you’re in high school. Just saying.
Don’t run for class officer. It’s a popularity contest. I learned the hard way.
Take different electives, especially ones that scare you. Like drama. Don’t take Keyboarding because you know more about how to type and how to use the computer program than the teacher (he’s a P.E. teacher they stuck in that class).
You are beautiful. Don’t be so self-conscious of your weight. Your true friends love you just as you are. And God loves you even more. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
You don’t have to quit Girl Scouts just because you’re in high school.
Just because Christian Club doesn’t do many activities, doesn’t mean you stop going to meetings. Step up and help the officers coordinate events like Operation Christmas Child. Look it up on the Internet. It’s a great program.
Don’t take your piano lessons for granted. Don’t stop taking them when you go off to college. Keep playing the piano. God gave you that talent and He will present an opportunity for you to use it for His glory.
Skip the junior prom. Go to your senior prom.
In college, take Psychology as your second major and Child Development as a minor. You’ll know what major you’ll take and what college you’ll attend. Just obey God, listen to your heart, and don’t let people deter you. But don’t be so hard-headed. Listen to advice. Especially mine, since I’m you.
You can take your G.E. class in community college. There’s no shame in that at all. In fact, it’s a smart move because it saves TONS of money.
You’ve got four years of high school to go through. Love God. Love yourself. Love other people. Slow down from time to time. Don’t procrastinate on your responsibilities. Finish all the books you need to read. Think before you speak. If you can get all gussied up for church, you can do the same for school. But you’re beautiful even in pajamas, which I’m going to say you wore to school because you stayed up late and had to rush in the mornings (and sometimes you thought it was cool and aloof-like). I don’t really care I did that, but you might want to think through it first.