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Dear freshman self,
The first thing people will tell you freshman year is how fast high school goes by. They drill into your head that the four years ahead of you are the best and worst years of your life and that they’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. Now I am a senior and keep wishing for one more day. All
I can think about is how the teachers were right — it’s over before you know it.
On the first day of freshman year, everything seems so new and exciting. The busy rush of other high schoolers and a group of unfamiliar teachers greet you as you enter the building. The adrenaline rushes down your spine, but a smile remains on your face. The new school building feels huge at first, but over time, you know where everything is. With a new school year comes new friends, new life lessons and new opportunities. One of the many things high school teaches teenagers is that life is short, friends come and go, and peoples’ opinions don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Senior year is supposed to be the most memorable year in all of high school. Growing up, you hear stories about prom, graduation and the last day of school and look forward to experiencing it yourself. Having all of those special moments to look forward to makes up for the endless hours spent studying and doing homework. However, being in the class of 2020, we may not have the closure the last chapter of high school provides. This pandemic has taught students that four years fly by. At any time, everything can be ripped away with the possibility of not going back to how it once was. The days used to be filled with running to class before the tardy bell rang, having lunch with friends, and cramming a quick study session before a test. This virus can only teach us how to appreciate the little things in life such as moments people don’t think they’d miss — like pep rallies, rushing to take the last page of notes and staying after class to talk to the teacher.
In the end, up until senior year, I wish I had known that not all the friends you make will be your friends forever. In life, and especially in high school, people come and go. They are quick to change, start a never-ending fight, or may simply drift away over time. However, true friends will always stick around. Having a few solid friends is better than having 50 friends who don’t care about how you really feel.
Lastly, high school teaches students how to be themselves and not care what others think. Looking back on the past four years, everyone seemed to put significant effort into their appearance freshman year. By the time junior and senior year rolled around, people seemed to be more comfortable in their own skin. That had to be one of the biggest lessons high school taught me. No matter what, there are people who love and care for you, and in the end, it never matters what shoes you wear or how much makeup someone has on. It only ever matters how you treat others.
As senior year ends in an unusual way, it brings many life lessons that are useful down the road, too. Overall, you have learned that as long as you’re yourself, the right friends will find you. Every moment can be taken away without a warning, so go to the school dance or go to dinner with friends instead of taking a nap. Life is too short, and one day you’ll want to go back to school when times were easier.