Dear incoming freshmen,
When you wake up for your first day of High School and you put on your cute little outfits, do your make up, and gel your hair, I want you to realize something. You are embarking on a journey. You might as well put on some kneepads and a helmet because it’s going to be a hell of a ride. High school is a place that you can use as a tool to prepare you for your future, or it is a place that can turn you into a tool.
Looking back, I wish there were some guidelines that I could’ve had to help me through high school. My best advice to you is to focus. Focus on what matters. Focus on who you are. Focus on the big picture. I’ve seen too many people let high school change who they are. They become obsessed with being the most popular or the most attractive person in school. They try different things to fit in and will do almost anything to be “cool.” Don’t break a sweat if your Instagram picture didn’t get 200+ likes (and if it did, dude, put a shirt on.) It’s really easy to get caught up on the atmosphere of social drama and once it happens, it’s hard to escape. You also have to focus on who matters. Your girlfriend doesn’t matter bro! You’re 14 and have been dating for 11 days; you don’t love her more than life itself! Stressing over relationships, at this point in your life, is useless. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Joking around is the only reason why I got through school in one piece. Once, I got punched in the face while wearing a blood drive costume and was laughed at for one whole week. Best week ever.
Focus on your schoolwork! I guarantee you that on June 24, the day after graduation, no one is going to care what jeans you wore or how many likes your profile picture has. What people will care about is which college you will be attending, so hit the books.
Focus on staying true to yourself. When you lay in bed at night, staring at the glow in the dark stars on your ceiling while listening to “Clocks” by Coldplay, you should be proud of the decisions you’ve made. Sometimes making the right decision isn’t the easiest thing to do. Sometimes people won’t even understand what the right thing to do is, but I guarantee you that when you look at yourself in the mirror one Tuesday night, you’ll be proud of yourself. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean you should do it. Everyone isn’t special; everyone isn’t going to make a difference in the world; everyone loves Raymond.
Focus on your choices. Everyday you have a choice. Nobody can ever take that away from you, not your parents, your guidance counselors, your teachers, or the cops (maybe the cops). You can turn your life around on any single day. The past is the past, so don’t let it affect your future. Be yourself and don’t let haters bring you down. Do you and be proud.
These next four years are going to fly by. Take it from me; I feel like yesterday I was a chubby 8th grader who was constantly getting in trouble with Ms. Peggy. Now I’m a bearded senior who still gets in trouble with Ms. Peggy. If you take one thing from my advice, remember to be yourself. At the end of the day, all that matters is the person who will always be there for you. Laugh a lot, study a lot, tell your mom you love her A LOT, and finally, think a lot. Don’t be impulsive and make a permanent decision because of a trivial, temporary problem. You guys are going to love high school, just make sure to focus and make the most of it.
Sincerely, a nostalgic senior,