rebelling against low expectations

Advice for High School Seniors Making Big Plans for the Future


High school senior year might be considered the climax of adolescence.

We’re teenagers, and we’re used to that now. But at this unique time in our lives, we can see a new stage of life coming at full speed: adulthood.

Maybe we have a fuzzy idea of what we want the next parts of our journeys to look like, but we wonder, Am I ready for this?

In addition to practical questions about colleges and other paths, financial aid and AP classes, we may have questions about God’s will. Questions about making these big choices versus God making them for us. Questions about what our purpose is, and how to keep it in sight as we follow our ambitions.

Hi, I’m Eliana! I have approximately one semester of experience being a senior. It’s been a whirlwind!

And though I definitely still have questions, I also have some advice to share with my fellow senior year Rebelutionaries.

These tips are made up of huge truths I’ve picked up from reading the Bible, good Christian books (like Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung), applying sermons at church to my own life, and a healthy dose of deep thinking.

I pray they will help you to face the hard things ahead of you fearlessly.

1. Dear senior, don’t overcomplicate doing God’s will and trust that He will be with you.

It makes me sad when I hear about people who live with fear and anxiety over missing God’s will and think that they need to have a revelation of God’s secret sovereign will in order to be in the will of God.

If you think there is only one college God wills for you to attend, and making any other choice is going to put you outside of His will, the process of making a decision is going to be frustrating and fruitless.

You want to know God’s will? Here it is:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

So yes—pray lots about your future! Ask God for wisdom and guidance. Ask wise people in your life for input. But mostly seek to live according to God’s revealed will in the Bible.

Don’t be so haughty as to think you can uncover all God’s secret plans for your life. I think we sometimes overcomplicate doing God’s will, when in fact He’s made it very clear to us in His Word. If God gives you a specific step to take, by all means, take it. But, if He doesn’t, don’t let the fear of missing His will paralyze you. Step out in faith and make decisions using biblical wisdom and heeding godly counsel, knowing God can and will redirect you if needed.

Don’t let the fear of missing God's will paralyze you. Step out in faith and make decisions using biblical wisdom and heeding godly counsel, knowing God can and will redirect you if needed. Click To Tweet

God is going to be with you no matter what college you go to.

And God is going to use you whether you go to college or not.

Dream big, do your research, and move ahead with confidence in your God who is so much bigger than you can imagine, my fellow senior.

My pastor preached a sermon on Genesis 29 about Jacob’s search for a wife. Jacob did a really horrible job going about his hunt, and he never sought God’s counsel—in fact, the chapter had no mention of God whatsoever.

But despite Jacob’s weaknesses and sinful nature, he was a part of God’s plans, and God was not going to let go of His promises to bless him.

I hope your search for your future is nothing like Jacob’s search for a wife but be encouraged by this: God is faithful to His people even though they mess up a lot.

And if you’re a child of God, He is going to faithfully lead and guide you too, wherever your future takes you.

2. Dear senior, weave the Great Commission into your big plans for your future.

Do you have an interest that captivates you and causes you to lose track of time? Do you have a dream which excites you to pursue?

You’re not alone, fellow Rebelutionary.

If you’re like me, there are a few things you need to be reminded of as you dream. Speaking for myself, it is so easy to let my plans for my future become self-centered.

But high school senior, remember to think of your God-given purpose as you make your plans. Think of the part God and the people around you play in your story.

Listen to the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34-37: “And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”

With those powerful words in mind, I’m going to bring up a topic that might scare a lot of us: sharing the gospel with others.

As you make your big plans to do hard things, don’t forget to think about how evangelism and discipleship will play a part in the big picture of your life.

As you make your big plans to do hard things, don’t forget to think about how evangelism and discipleship will play a part in the big picture of your life. Click To Tweet

I am hesitant to give this advice because it’s currently something I’m still figuring out how I am going to accomplish as an adult. I’m praying God will provide opportunities and help me to be faithful! Right now, I don’t have many opportunities, but I am trying to be faithful in teaching my younger siblings about the Bible.

Evangelism isn’t something we need to do to be saved. But if we believe the gospel, it should be something we want to share with others. And there should be a healthy fear in our hearts that the non-Christians around us might die without hearing the truth.

We all want to think that if we were living in the days of the apostles, we would be willing to die for our faith. But are we truly willing to count the cost if we aren’t even willing to face the embarrassment that might come with being a Christian publicly?

Make the Great Commission a part of your prayers and your planning process. Even more, make it a core life goal.

If you are considering a secular college, how might that be an opportunity to reach out to nonbelievers? If you are considering a Christian college, what ministry opportunities are available there? How can your dream job help you to share the truth with the people around you?

A Final Prayer

Lord, be with these Rebelutionaries as they live for Your glory and think about what they want the rest of their lives to look like.

Grant them the courage to face adulthood as they follow You and face unforeseen difficulties.

Give them peace and assurance in knowing that You are with them as they make big decisions. Your plan for each one of us is perfect, Lord.


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About the author

Eliana Duran

is a homeschooled high schooler with a love for words. Besides writing, you can often catch her doodling or reading. She is also the proud big sister of ten (and counting!). You can keep up with her at Eliana The Writer, on Instagram, or by joining her newsletter .


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  • That was amazing and just what I needed to hear! These exact thoughts have been on my mind lately. It’s hard and scary to think how close adulthood is approaching but at the same time I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store for me!

  • I love this! I’m a senior too, so I can relate to these things! Evangelism is something God has definitely been putting on my heart lately, and deciding what to do after high school can be stressful! But the Lord will lead and guide in His perfect timing. Thank you, Eliana! 🙂

    • So good to hear from you, Julia! It is encouraging to hear that God has been putting evangelism on your heart. Praying for peace and clarity for you as you make big decisions this year!

      • Thank you, Eliana! So neat to see you still writing and honoring God with your words! 😀 Thank you for prayers! The Lord is leading me where I didn’t think I would go, but I am at peace about it and excited for it! 😀

By Eliana Duran
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →