It hasn’t quite hit me that it’s coming to an end. Even though I have spent the past year preparing for my future, I still can comprehend that I am almost done. It’s gone by so fast, yet there is so much that is different now from freshman year. So, this is me now talking to all of my past selves, the good and the bad, and advice I wish I would’ve known then. I am far from done growing into myself, but I have come a long way, far enough that I am now somehow becoming an adult, and taking hold of my future. So, I reflected on each year.
To myself, this one’s for you.
To my Freshman self – Don’t worry, it gets better. I know how hard you were on yourself, and you still are. You will cycle through a few friends, but it all ends up for the best. Don’t worry about what people think, it’s not worth your stress. Please enjoy being this age, things are easy right now, they will get harder. You don’t have to face reality just yet, so have fun while you can. Try everything, I mean it. Try EVERYTHING, because soon you won’t have time to try new things. You’re doing great, good luck, and have fun.
To my Sophomore self – A lot of things happened this year. So much growth and maturity. This year was a lot of fun for you, but you will learn who you are truly close to. You become so much more confident. Your world will turn upside down in mid-march, but in the long run, it won’t last as long as it feels in the moment. The most important thing you learn this year is how to be true to yourself. You find what makes you happy and you don’t let go of it. You realize that no one’s paying attention to you as much as you think. Overall you become so much more mature and confident which you will realize in the coming years. You are still young, so enjoy the stress-free days while you still can. There is so much growth coming, and I am excited to see you get there.
To my Junior self – I am so proud of you. You worked so hard and it paid off. You had a great year, you met a lot of new people. People that would become some of your best friends. COVID messed a lot of things up, but it gets better. You are smart, you learned a lot from sophomore year. You are now an upperclassman and you really branch out from previous years. The people you meet will teach you a lot; about yourself and about others. Overall, you learn the importance of independence and not letting things get to you because, in the long run, it won’t matter. I know you’re competitive, and that can be a good thing, but there’s a difference between being competitive and comparing yourself to others which you will come to know. Thank you for forgiving yourself, you are smart and I am happy to be able to look back and see how far you have come this year.
To my Senior self – You are so strong. This year has tested you in more ways than one. Time has never slowed down, and will never slow down even when I am graduating in five days. There will be people in your life that will try to tear you down, people you thought you admired, but you become so strong because of it. You will fail, and that is a good thing. You will be scared, that is also a good thing. Just remember that keeping perspective is key, and don’t worry about things that are out of your control. Take it one day at a time, some will be harder than others, but many will be great. You learn to find the good in the little things because sometimes that’s all you have. I want you to know that you are loved, you have great people in your life who will show you that, so hang in there and take it one thing at a time. Slow down and enjoy it while you can.
As I head into my future there are so so many conflicting emotions. I know I will find what is meant for me, which is the most exciting thing. I have faith that everything will work out. I am open to new opportunities and growth. I am thankful for everyone who has been in my life along the way, they have turned me into the person I am today. Overall, every year just got better and better. I don’t want to close this chapter of my life yet, but I have hope in what’s next and I am not going to waste a second of it. Everyone told me that high school would go fast, and it does. It feels surreal that I am looking back at all these memories now. This place, these people, and the time we have spent together has meant the world to me. It has been the best four years yet. Thank you, I love you, and I will see you soon.