High school can be a time for new friends, lasting memories, and exciting experiences. But it can also be a time of confusion, turmoil, and sadness.
Bullying in high school has become far too common.
Instead of looking forward to school, many kids dread their morning alarms and daily classroom experiences.
I know what it is like to be bullied, and the lasting impression it leaves on a developing adolescent.
My message to our youth is that it will get better.
High school does not define who you are nor does it decide your future.
There are an infinite number of possibilities waiting for you, and you cannot let your time in high school deter you from everything you have the ability to do and achieve.
When you are in high school, it may seem all-consuming. But it does not determine your path in life.
While high school is four important years, it is really only a small fraction of your existence -- you may live to be 100!
The world is much bigger than the narrow halls of high school and the things you will see and the people you will meet far outweigh and surpass the daily interactions and encounters of high school.
There are two crowds of people in high school: the "cool" crowd and the "struggling" crowd.
Those in the "struggling" crowd should not lose faith in themselves or the world as high school does not govern your capacity to become a productive and influential member of society. Those that belong to the "cool" crowd should look at their position as an opportunity to change someone's life and to become a role model and constructive leader.
Extend an invitation to a get-together or to your lunch table. Be inclusive and expand your social circle.
Create the world you wish to live in and be the change in the world you wish to see.
Who knows, if you make a positive mark on someone's life in high school it just may translate to a business deal or collaboration down the road.
High school should never be looked at as the end-all-be-all, but rather as an opportunity to make your first positive impacts on the world and to start to be the individual you want to remain your entire life.
The memories of high school's four years will quickly be replaced by the college you attend, the person you marry, the children you cherish, and the success you achieve.
Do not let high school take away your optimism. Instead, remain confident and claim the future for yourself and your children.