As much as we would all like to pretend that we were best friends with everyone in our high school, we all have that one person that makes our blood boil a little more.
Or, in my case, people. I’m convinced that beyond its valiant purpose of educating tomorrow’s leaders, high school was created by hopelessly oblivious adults who decided that combining hormonal, angsty and, for lack of a better term, crazy teenagers together in the same building for four years would build character. Thinking past the Taylor Swift playlists on loop, the angry Twitter rants and whispered words in the hallway, this person was not misguided.
If you could write one letter to anyone from high school that has ever done you wrong, what would it say? Between the accusations and expletives, would there be words of thanks between the lines? Would you thank them for your tougher skin? Your mature outlook on life? Your newfound drive to prove critics wrong?
When I’m sitting in the quad enjoying Starbucks with my new friends next year (as I imagine college should be) I don’t want to launch into an angry rant when I’m asked about what my high school was like and neither should you.
Forgive your enemies because it leaves you with a lot less stress. Holding onto anger not only wastes energy that could be spent on other, more productive things than subtweets and gossip, but it gets rid of those heated feelings deep in the pit of your stomach. This leaves room in your heart and mind for more important topics than what a witch Sheila is for stealing your boyfriend freshman year.
Forgive your enemies because doing so allows you to begin college with a clean skate as you embark on a new chapter of your life. How can you begin an exciting new journey at the school of your dreams when the last chapter of your life is stained with bad blood? Making peace with your enemies makes you feel happier, more relaxed and at ease; your focus can now be entirely on the adventure that awaits you.
Forgive your enemies because, believe it or not, they have helped shape you into the person you are today. They have made you stronger, wiser and kinder. Without enemies, we would not face the adversary that makes us better people.
Forgive your enemies because it teaches you maturity and understanding. If we were taught not to forgive someone every time they made a mistake, we would have no friends left. Forgiveness allows you to view things from different perspectives and, more importantly, to understand and respect other people’s emotions and experiences.
In college, you won’t be around perfect people. In fact, you will have to learn how to interact with difficult people for group projects, club activities and internships, amongst other things. If you practice forgiveness in high school, you’ll become a pro by the time college rolls around.
Forgiveness begins as an individual process in which you identify how others have hurt you and what it all means. Did they hurt you intentionally? Have they expressed regret for their mistakes? Did you do anything to provoke their actions? It is important to think honestly and critically about such situations. A great way to do so is asking a third, outside party for their opinion. Their suggestions may help you see the situation through a new perspective.
The next step is communicating with the person with whom you have issues. Express your feelings, recognize their point of view and maintain a calm tone. Most importantly, communicate your desire to turn over a new leaf. If the person rejects such notions, realize that you tried your best to promote forgiveness and, for this, you are still starting off college with a clean slate.
Above all, forgive your high school enemies because without forgiveness, we are stuck in the past, reluctant to move forward. Many people waste their time in bitterness without forgiveness when that time could be spent in happiness. College is all about starting fresh and, more importantly, starting happy. Forgiveness is the first step in that direction.
Lead Image Credit: The Round Peg