10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Graduating High School

1. It’s OK to not know what you want to be when you grow up.

It’s crazy the way we expect young people at the age of 17 or 18 to know exactly what they want to do, or be, with their lives. Our experiences have a way of shaping our ideals, our worldviews, and our passions. It’s OK to not have it all figured out right now. Focus on experiencing and learning new things. Your passions will make room for themselves.

2. College isn’t for everyone.

I’m not saying that college is a bad idea. I’m not trying to discount the benefits of continued education. I’m not even suggesting that college isn’t the right choice for most students. Just keep an open mind about your education. College isn’t the only option. You might want to consider a tech school, internship, apprenticeship, or any number of other options. However, if you know that college is for you, be careful about putting it off. Once you get used to life sans college, it can be hard to get back!
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Teen Suicide, The LGBT Community, And The Church

Recently, I wrote a paper about adolescent suicide as an assignment for a counseling class. While researching this topic, I came across some startling statistics that I feel like I need to share. First, did you know that suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States?[1] In adolescents (15-24), suicide is the third leading cause of death[2]! That means that, after accidents and murder, suicide kills more of our young people than any other factor.[2] This blows my mind! Still crazier, this rate skyrockets for adolescents in the LGBT community, with suicide being the number one cause of death.[3] In fact, LGBT youths are “two or three times more likely to commit suicide” than there straight peers, typically as a result of “the debilitating effects of growing up in a homophobic society”.[3]  Some research suggests that upwards of 50% of LGBT adolescents attempt suicide.[4] I think it obviously points to a larger societal issue when nearly half of any one demographic attempts suicide.  Continue reading

People Need Other People

A few months ago a personal hero, Jamie Tworkowski (from To Write Love On Her Arms), wrote a blog post entitled, “People Need Other People”. His post helped to clarify an idea I’ve been mulling over for a long time. The idea of dependency, of belonging.  This idea:  it’s terrifying and it’s sketchy and it’s beautiful. I stole his title.  Continue reading

The World in Black and White?

If you’ve been following the news at all recently, you’re probably aware of the George Zimmerman trial that is taking place in Florida right now. Understand that I’m not writing to assert what I believe happened that night in February, 2012. I honestly don’t know what happened. And, I can’t pretend that I do. But, following the trial and tracking the public’s reaction has really got me thinking about the state of our society as it relates to race and racial identity. Continue reading