Most people I know would want to travel in time. The desire to take what we know now and go talk to ourselves to change our past. As a movie watcher, we are able to imagine that for three glorious films (well at least two…everyone loves Back to the Future, but most are divided on #’s 2 and 3). Back to the Future did what everyone wants to do. Go back and change history. Save a life, kiss the girl, be the hero.
There was a moment in the second film (which is my personal favorite) that will be forever etched on my brain. Old Biff Tannen goes back to Young Biff Tannen and gives him the Sports Almanac, which changes history forever. Obviously Biff uses this knowledge for evil, but what do you expect from someone who spends most of his time calling everyone a “butthead”?
Can we do the same thing for our students minus the plutonium and flux capacitor. And by the way…if you have never seen a Back to the Future movie we have a much bigger issue. You may just want to skip this blog and go watch the movies. There is a new Blu-Ray pack I want to watch for the extra stuff, including the early years of Back to the Future before Michael J. Fox WAS Marty McFly. It was Eric Stoltz and if you have not seen the lost footage it is amazing. It is a totally different film. Now that I got that out my system and if we are firing on all jigowatts (so to speak) then let’s progress.
First ask yourself the question…” What would you say to yourself if you could find yourself on the night of your high school graduation”? Hopefully you have changed your outlook a bit since that day. You have made mistakes, made fortunes, or made a mess. In all of those examples, what would you like yourself to completely avoid or head directly into? I did this and came to some of my own conclusions. I thought I would tell you what I would tell myself. In fact this is what I told myself eighteen years ago, or did I?
College is not the end result-Your higher learning will allow you to do something in life. In most cases you are not going to college to stay in college. Work hard and get good grades but do allow those four years (or more if you are the three-year freshman) suck the life out of you. Those are great years to be used for many things, not just book smarts. Oh, and by the way, you are not the first human being to attend college. You are not nearly as cool as you think you are.
What do you want to do? Who do you want to be when you grow up? Find the person in the world who is the best at whatever it is that you want to do, and then try whatever you can to position yourself in a place that is near them. Learn from them. I have man crushes of my own, and if I didn’t have a wife, child, mortgage, lawn work, a job, and trying to take a nap I would be able to pick up my life, move to different parts of the world and attempt to learn from them. At eighteen, you have the ability to do just that. You will NEVER be as free as you are as right now.
Careful with the Credit Cards!!! On any given day I will receive my weight in credit card applications in the mail. It is crazy that all these people want to offer me free money. As a High School senior, I did not understand that for every dollar they loan me they will then charge me an extra percentage of that money. The concept was foreign to me. All I heard was “fill this out and get a coffee mug”. I didn’t even drink coffee at the time, but I wanted that mug. So I lived the next three to four months on my credit card thinking I would pay it off sometime. The men and ladies on the other end of the phone from that same credit card were not nearly as nice as coffee-mug-man. They wanted their cash…now, but they want it with an extra charge for being late. I was shocked to find out how many students have no concept of what a credit card is and how it works.
Since time travel is still a few years off (at least that is what the government wants us to believe), spend the time developing your list, perhaps taking some of mine, and imparting that wisdom into the proverbial buttheads you may interact with in your ministry. Maybe they will actually hear it when you come back from 2045.
I would love to hear from you. What would you tell yourself, or share with others, of what you have learned since your time in High School?