Dear Freshman Self…

Opinion by Aileen Zitek

It is freshman year, the first day of school, as I enter the school the nerves consume me. I don’t know what to expect. Now, flash forward four years, all of these feelings have suddenly come full circle. Thinking about college, the different emotions start to fill my brain: nerves, excitement and enthusiasm. I can’t help but reflect on my time in high school. I think about all the advice and things I wish I could tell my freshman self now.

My motto for senior year has been to live in the moment. After four years, I wonder why that wasn’t my main focus all along. I was too stuck in my own head to listen when people say high school goes by fast. One day you are sitting at freshman retreat listening to the seniors talking about cherishing your time and the next thing I know graduation, is two weeks away. Here I am wondering where all the time went.

I let myself get caught up in the little things in years past. The things that didn’t matter– things that I had no control over. One thing I picked up quickly, was no one cares how you look. Just rolled out of bed? Fantastic. Put a face of makeup on? Perfect. But this is all surface level, Marian girls look beyond how you look; it goes to the inner beauty of people. You are going to meet so many different people throughout your life, and high school friends aren’t even half of them.

I wish I could go back to my freshman self, and tell her that not everyone is going to like her, and that is okay. All throughout high school, if someone didn’t like me, I got so caught up in why. I remember getting distracted in my own head trying to put the pieces together on what I had done or said, but then it finally hit me: I don’t need to change for people to like me.

As an eighth grader I constantly heard, “High school is going to be the best years of your life.” I entered 7400 Military Ave with this mentality, thinking I had to do whatever I could to achieve this. The reality is that it won’t be the “best four years of your life.” You will experience many once-in-a-lifetime experiences, especially at Marian. The memories will be with you forever. However, you will experience so much more throughout life that will go above and beyond. Leaving for college next year has made me realize all the opportunities that will come to me. High schoolis just the start to the “best years.”

fullsizeoutput_256As my senior year is coming to a close I start to look at all the 176 girls in my class and wonder why I limited myself in my friendships.

There are so many people I have grown to know better my senior year. I regret not taking the time to get to know them throughout all of my four years.

I know I am not able to go back through high school and change all of these things, but I am glad I can take these lessons with me to college. I have learned many life lessons in high school, that have shaped me into the senior, and person, that I am now. High school is just a small chapter in life, and I cannot wait to see what the next one brings.

Got advice for freshmen?  Can you relate to Aileen? Leave your thoughts in the comments below…

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