Dear Incoming Freshmen,
These five pieces of advice are really applicable to anyone, but they’re specifically geared towards freshmen. These are things that I feel are the most important to keep in mind as you go through high school.
One: I know so many people who got involved in different activities so that it would look good on a resume. In my opinion, you should never do something to try to make yourself appear “better.” Get involved in areas that are relevant to your passions. You’ll end up much happier with your high school experience, and you’ll be more committed to what you choose to do.
Two: Don’t let relationships get in the way of what you want to accomplish. It’s really easy to get hung up in feelings (trust me, I know), and sometimes you might not even realize it’s happening. But be aware of what you want and need to reach your goals. If it’s meant to work out between you and the other person, it will. Until then, focus on who you want to become.
Three: Weigh the consequences of your choices. There’s at least one pro and con to almost every situation, but always do your best to fully think through your decisions. Here’s a fairly lame but relevant example: I was coming back from my two-block class at Four Rivers, and there were no student parking spots left. Because I didn’t want to be late for a test third hour, I parked in the staff lot to save time. Officer Tollison saw me and asked quite authoritatively for me to move. I could’ve saved myself some embarrassment had I just followed the rules and parked in the back. There are choices you’re going to come across much bigger than where to park, but I challenge you to think before you act.
Four: On a lighter note, make sure you do something that you’re proud of. It’s inevitable that you’ll make some mistakes—in friends, class choices, your personal life, etc. But don’t get hung up on what you do wrong. Instead, use your failures to help you succeed. I ran cross-country my freshman year without much off-season preparation. That was not wise at all. However, I used that horribly painful first season as motivation to train in the nine months leading up to my sophomore season. Even though I wasn’t a good runner, I’m really proud of all the effort I put into my four years on the team. It’s really special to be able to leave high school with that Blue Jay Pride.
Five: I personally tried not to wish away high school, but I understand that some people can’t wait to graduate—and there’s nothing wrong with that. So, in order to cover all the different perspectives on high school, here’s my final piece of advice: make the most of your time here. These four years can honestly make or break you, and it’s up to you to put in what you want to get out.
High school doesn’t have to be the time of your life, but it also doesn’t have to be the worst four years either. By the time your senior year rolls around, I hope you can look back and see how much you’ve grown. Leave this school proud of who you’ve become.
Catch ya later,