It's that time again: students are heading back to school and Imago Dei's weekly junior high and high school gatherings will be starting up again September 7th. In honor of the occasion, we asked a few of our youth leaders to relive some of their favorite (and most gasp-worthy) moments from those magical years.
What was your most meaningful high school/junior high experience?
"I learned to play the guitar in junior high, and I realized that I could explain my thoughts and emotions so much better through song. That really started a certain trajectory for my life that has led me to some really cool experiences and opportunities. It also showed me a different way to interact with Jesus that I hadn't been able to do before." - Katie MacDonald
"I had a youth leader believe in me, enabling me to reach out more on my own and share my faith. This broke me away from my inward shell." - Dave Collins
"My little brother being born was my most meaningful junior high experience. I was in 8th grade when he was born, and he's been cracking us up ever since." - Molly Petit
"I loved camps and retreats. It was this concentrated time where life-long relationships were built, and I understood who God was for the first time. Longer term, one of the most influential and meaningful things I remember about high school was when our pastor offered to take us out for coffee once a week at 7am before class to hang out and do a Bible study. I felt seen, cared for and learned the importance of community and studying the Scriptures." - Hannah Glavor
"The experience of having gone through the high school/junior high process might have been the most meaningful. It's a situation where you don't have the same kind of freedom as an adult, yet there is a desire for a lot of that freedom." - Erran Pierce
If you could go back and do one thing differently in high school/junior high, what would it be?
"I wouldn't cut off someone's long rat tail (that started near his forehead) on the last day of school. Though it is was memorable." - Erran Pierce
"I would try not to be so angsty." - Molly Petit
"In junior high, I wouldn’t have gotten into so many fights." - Austin Marple
"I would be more willing to connect socially with my high school peers." - Dave Collins
"In the 6th grade, I decided that everything hunting related was very, VERY cool. I knew every hunting commercial, and could imitate the sound of an Elk. I even once took an eight-hour course to get my hunting license. I would go back and not do that. All of that." - Katie MacDonald
"I would hope to think of myself differently...to tell myself that I didn't need to worry about what everyone else thought about me or if I was good enough. That I was awesome just as I was." - Hannah Glavor
Describe your style in high school/junior high.
"I was a firm believer in dresses over bell-bottom jeans. Oh, and Princess Leia buns!" - Katie MacDonald
"Spiked hair and puka shells." - Austin Marple
"Conservative. I dressed in a shirt and tie for church." - Dave Collins
"Junior High: Hopeless homeschooler vibe, Men's Costco khaki cargo pants, bucket hat with WWJD patch and blue vest from Home Depot. I was every lyric from every Five Iron Frenzy song. High School: Christian punk rock scene, pigtails....Still wearing khaki pants." - Hannah Glavor
"My junior high style was a mess of whatever I thought was funky or unique. Lots of Pumas and puka shells. I wasn't afraid to look ridiculous if it made me stand out. Luckily this mellowed out as I went into high school!" - Molly Petit
Imago Dei junior high and high schools gatherings take place on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm in Imago Dei's Ankeny building, with an after-school homework cafe beginning at 3pm. For more information, email email@example.com.