Saturday, September 5, 2015


    I am always on the lookout for good reading material. As a blogger, I realize that one of the many reasons people read blogs like mine is because they're looking for that life tip that will bring peace or fulfillment, or that one next bit of information that will open up a whole new world of information for them. Well, guys and girls, I have found an article that fills that bill!

    Many of us as teens walk through our teens years feeling unfulfilled, knowing there is more to life, and just not realizing what else is out there or how to get it. This article right here (Yep, right here) outlines 27 things to do as a teen that will let you leave your high school life knowing you have lived life to it's fullest possible potential! Now, let's get ready to go!

    I'll be honest, many of these I had never thought of. I have only done 10 of these 27 things, so I will have my hands full this next year of my life trying to finish up this list so that I can look back on this accomplishment. But maybe after you see the massive accomplishment this list will be and sense of fulfillment you will get after you have completed it, we can tackle it together! Let's do hard things!

    The first one grabs my attention, because I need to get this one done! Go to prom! Of course, in order to "make sure we are hitting the high notes of our existence", we need to go to prom. I had never realized the power asking a girl to a mass date and dance could have, but I stand corrected. If I really want to finish high school having done hard things and accomplished great things, I guess I need to fix this little problem.

    There's quite a little series, from "pull an all-nighter" to "sleep in a car" to "go to a football game". Again, some of these I hadn't realized really qualified as high notes of our teenage existence, but still,I guess adults do know better than we do!

    Okay, in case you hadn't guessed, that was satirical up above. Below, I'm going to examine these 27 "hard things" and discuss a little bit. My comments will be in italics. This article got me just a bit worked up, so pardon the sarcasm. It's simply my default methodology for dealing with stupidity. None of the things outlined below are wrong or even necessarily stupid, although I have reacted that way to all, if not most. If you have the opportunity to do any of these (except maybe #3), go for it! Considering it the high water mark of your high school life may be a stretch though! Now, let the fun begin!

    Please understand that some of what is below is, in fact, good advice. For example, taking the SAT or ACT and touring a college campus is an excellent idea. I am not saying that everything in the article is false, simply much of it is. That is the part I wish to attack.

    1.) Go to prom. Doesn't everyone know that this is the apex of your high school career? Ask a girl to go out to a mass date/dance with you, duh! If you've never done that, you got no right saying you're living life to the fullest!

    2.) Pull an all-nighter. Cause nothing demonstrates your maturity and ability to do hard things like staying up all night... not. Trying to think of a reason why this is on a list of high school "high notes"... I've pulled all nighters before. On a plane. To another country. Believe me, I would have traded your "high note" for an hour of a sleep. In a second. And I'd have tossed in a $20 bill too.

    3.) Tell someone you have a crush on them. Because it's impossible to hit the high notes of your high school life without having had at least one crush... why not tell the person? I don't see how anything could go wrong with that!

    4.) Stop caring about what other people think. Good plan. So yeah,  no need to wear clothes, cause other people's opinions don't matter, and it sure is more comfortable without those! And why not lick that ketchup container when you're out to eat? It doesn't matter what other people think... unless you're, I don't know, looking for a job. Or out on a date. Or doing anything with other people!

    5.) Clean up your Facebook. Nothing like having lived such an epic FB life through high school that there is now a need to clean up your page in order to find a job. I guess that's what happens when you apply #4. to your FB life.

    6.) Talk to someone you've never talked to before. Okay, maybe we're through the ridiculous ideas. Now we can settle down to some fairly easy, but at least common sense ones!

    7.) Sleep in a car. Or maybe not... Sleep in a car? Who came up with this? The only time I purposefully slept in a car was when I was about 9. And it was cause I was in an area with bears and I was scared out of my wits, not because I wanted the "cool" experience of a rotten night of sleep in the back of a car! That sounds like a blast! They'll probably have that at Six Flags soon. "You can either ride the Double Dutch Twister of Death or you can climb into this little tiny, thinly carpeted box, lay down in a thin sleeping bag, and try to sleep while I make crunching and snuffling noises outside." Sounds like a blast...

    8.) Go to a football game. Doesn't everyone know your high school high notes haven't been hit unless you've sat in the bleachers and watched other people play a game! You're not even playing! The high water mark of your high school experience is watching other people play while you stuff your face with nachos and hot dogs. Nice...

    9.) Go on a road trip. Not much comment here... Doesn't everybody have a couple hundred extra bucks to blow on gas to drive to another town? Shucks, yeah!

    10.) Go to a midnight movie premier. Yeah, I can just feel what a hard thing this is... nothing like encouraging teens to buckle down and do hard things as teenagers. Looking for a big accomplishment? Let's go to a midnight movie premier...

    11.) Fall asleep in class. Take it from someone who has done this. You don't wake up feeling accomplished. You wake up feeling stupid, because that's how you acted. Seriously, that's an accomplishement? What's the next one gonna be, hitting the Snooze button one more time?

    12.) Cook a complete meal for your family. Finally, something at least kinda sorta an accomplishment! Still not exactly what I would call a "high note of your existence", but still, at least it's something more than fall asleep in class!

    13.) Pull a senior prank. Lest you think the list might actually begin suggesting some actual good ideas for high school accomplishments. Cause there's nothing like that epic senior prank to tell your grandkids one day to make them proud or to teach your son what real manhood looks like!

    14.) Learn how to cook, clean, and do laundry. As a reward for making it half-way through this list, they finally decided to put in an actual accomplishment! If you find time between your sleeping in class, planning an epic prank, going to football games and movie theaters, and confessing secrets to your crush, why not learn some real life skill? Nothing like saving that for #14!

    15.) Take a college tour. Okay, now we're rolling. Finally getting to some good sound advice...

    16.) Go to San Francisco on BART with friends. Okay, spoke too soon again. But this isn't horrific. I guess this could be considered an accomplishment. Alright, new record! Three accomplishments in a row! Let's see how far we can go with this!

    17.) Create good relationships with your teachers. Wow, okay, whatever the author was drinking during the fist 10 ideas must have worn off around number 14! Now, to sit back and glean all these wonderful ideas!

    18.) Take the Sat, ACP, and AP subject tests. Hmm, getting bored over here. I think I'll shut up for a couple of ideas.

    19.) Become a leader of a team, club, or class.

    20.) Get your driver's license.

    21.) Volunteer.

    22.) Reconnect with elementary school friends.

    23.) Start a blog. I have a feeling the fun's going to start again soon...

    24.) Go to a house party. Oh, yes, do hard things! Lemme ask though, what kind of a house party are we talking for it to be so epic that it fits on the list of the top 27 things you've ever done in your life? That's some house party!

    25.) Ask a stupid question in class. Well, if you walk away from this list thinking that this is something you should actually strive for, this one shouldn't be a problem for you. In fact, most likely, you can just about ask any question, and it will still come across the same! It should come naturally!

    26.) Take a drama class. So that in 20 years when you're explaining to your kids how accomplished you were as a high schooler, you can actually make these things sound impressive. But you better be faithful to coming to class and practicing, cause you're gonna have to be one whale of an actor to pull that off!

    27.) Get a part time job. Alrighty, way to end with some actual sound advice! Eureka, I have found a system for fulfillment! Now, where's the next midnight movie viewing near me...

    Alright, fellow teens, this is the world you live in. A world where adults think the most you're capable of is asking stupid questions and falling asleep in class, taking a road trip, and pulling an epic prank, and of teens who believe fulfillment can be found in a list of ridiculous life goals. And sadly, with what I see around me, we're not showing them any different.

    1 Timothy 4:12 shows that Paul held the standard for young people just a tad higher. Listen to what he says to young Timothy in this verse, "Let no man despise thy youth,but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 

    Look, guys and gals, we get to choose which we aim for. We can choose for a mediocre teenage life, one of limping by with an active social life and a dead spiritual one. Or we can choose to forget the lukewarmness that is categorizing our generation and aim for higher things, harder things, and nobler things. Paul apparently thought it was completely possible for young people to be an example of the believer, in all these different areas. It is entirely possible to develop this Christian character as a teen.

    Forget the low expectations that the rest of the world is throwing at you. Kick them out of your path and get going for some real accomplishment, some real dirt under your fingernails and some real meat for you spiritual life rather than this watered down substitute.

    P.S. If you wan to read a passionate, strong post on this same topic, minus the immense amount of blindingly intense sarcasm, check out Lauren S.'s excellent post on the subject over at Defying Depravity. She hits the nail on the head.




  1. Bravo, Taylor! Excellent, serious point with humorous, sarcastic commentary! Good for you for rebelling against low expectations! :)

  2. Haha! Very funny! Except you didn't give #12 the credit it really deserves. Being able to cook a full meal for your family by yourself while still a teen is an accomplishment because many parents (homeschooled or not) are not teaching their children how to do that and most people don't just automatically know how to cook. Furthermore, it really does take skill because not everyone has the gift of cooking. Being able to plan, write out a menu, and cook a full meal (with vegetables, meat, protein, nutrients, etc.) is really not that easy. Also it can make your mom really happy and bless her and your whole family a lot, but it also takes time away from your own day, too. I know from experience because I would plan and cook dinner for a few weeks in a row when I was still at home and my mom loved it. Its such a relief for her to relax and know that dinner is taken care of. So yeah, give more credit to number 12. ;)
    Ok, sorry, its kind of one of my pet peeves that teens don't learn to cook and parents don't teach them. ;)

    1. I'm more with you on that one - at least, for this generation of teens. My mom wasn't raised like me, and she didn't know how to cook even when she got married. I cook full meals for my family a lot, and am still in semi-shock when I see that other kids my age can't cook at all. :)

    2. Yes! I am so glad you are with me on this one. I was afraid I was getting a little too excited for nothing (I probably was). Haha! My mom taught all 9 kids how to cook and I am so thankful to have that skill, especially being in a college now where I don't live in a dorm or on campus. But, yeah, many people don't learn until college or marriage or may not ever.

    3. Ha, ha, point taken. I agree completely that that is a great thing to do and an awesome skill to learn. But I would not really rank doing it once as one of the greatest 27 things you've ever done. :)

      I realize the difficulty people who make awesome, epicly planned meals face, because I usually survive when I'm by myself by the skin of my teeth. :) While I wholeheartedly agree it's a great skill, I can hardly say that doing it once is one of the 27 hardest, greatest, or best accomplishments. But hey, it's better than 24 of the other 27! :)

    4. Ok, point made! I semi-agree! Haha! So people really shouldn't do it just once (because that really isn't much), but rather hundreds of times. ;) Does that sound better?! ;)

      Secondly, I really wish I could teach you how to cook because its a wonderful skill to have and I hate that you sometimes have to live off the skin of your teeth. That really sounds awful! :) I also wrote a whole blog post a while ago about why men should learn to cook if you are wondering what your purpose would be in learning. ;)

    5. If they had said learn to cook, I would have agreed whole-heartedly! That sounds much better!

      Well, I can follow a recipe. And I can make pancakes and hamburgers, but that's about it. See I'm perfectly fine taking care of myself for meals. I don't mind just making up a pound of hamburger (or a packet of Ramen noodles. :P). It's when I would be cooking for my family that I get all "wait", I don't really know how to cook..." :) I think I understand most of the reasons why we should learn to cook: so we can eat! :)

    6. Ok, so just read this post:

      It was written forever ago, so it is probably awful, but still... ;)

      Hamburgers and pancakes is a good start. ;)

    7. Umm! That turned out really weird. I don't know if that link will work or not, but anywho!

  3. So, a couple of practical questions here. How do us homeschoolers make prom work? Being homeschooled and all... And to fall asleep in class, do I have to do it in a real class or can I do that at home?
    You got your time of fun, that was mine. :p
    But for real, this guy is so wrong! However, a lot of those would be part of my teenaged friends' list of things to do before graduation...

    1. I don't dance, so I can't help you in regard to prom. I can offer recommendations about sleeping in class. Find a particularly old or boring subject; algebra is perfect for this. Set your book in your lap, then sit somewhere you can lie back just a little bit. Turn on soft, instrumental music... and nature should take care of the rest. The least I can do is help you accomplish this life goal!

    2. I had friends growing up who would go to homeschool proms. And something else that another homeschool group did each year was an English Country Dance, which is much more conservative and less scandalous and can actually be a lot of innocent fun. ;)

    3. I mean, there are find homeschooling dance groups around. If you're interested, you can find them. That's just never, NEVER been my thing. :) So (though I know you were joking, Laura) if you really wanted prom, you can probably find some sort of conservative counterpart.

    4. Well, I'll try the Algebra idea next time I'm studying. Maybe somewhere out of sight of my teacher... I wouldn't want to get in trouble, would I? Thank you for the assistance in accomplishing this monumental goal!
      Hannah, there's a country-dance thingamabobby around where I live too... I've thought that maybe it could be fun to go to, but it's never happened.
      Back to you, Taylor -- I think I'll pass on prom. Just not my thing...

    5. Oh yes. Taylor, how do you have experience on falling asleep in class??

    6. Turning on my video, then laying my head back, and falling right asleep. Three times. In one morning. :) Yeah, I was tired!

      (Yes, dad, if you're reading this, I went back and watched it again. :)

    7. I see! I suppose that works. :) I did that when I was traveling to my sister's house this last time...