Advice to My Freshman Self

By: Sophie Nadel

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Although my time on campus isn’t done yet, I’ve learned a lot in three years about the world. There are things I wish I could undo, and chances I should have taken when I had the opportunity. But what’s done is done, you must grow from the past and accept it.

Going into freshman year, I had a group of friends, newfound freedom in fashion, and hope for a picturesque four years. The first days on campus were filled with confidence and excitement for what’s to come. However, in the three years following, I know now that I set my expectations up too high. This leads me to Sophie’s Declassfied High School Survival Guide:

Rule #1: Don’t Forget Who You Are

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When it comes time to step onto campus and live your life, many will try to bring them into stereotypes from the movies and shows we‘ve grown up watching. Some might try to play it col or popular since that’s what’s presented to us in the media, but doing that just leads to a miserable four years. Even sticking to a friend group that you don’t feel right in is an issue. One might have their first day of freshman year being surrounded by their friends from kindergarten, but the thing is that during high school you grow up a lot and learn more about yourself. If you no longer feel like you’re right with your friends, don’t force it. Sometimes having a friend or two who understands you is better than being with a group and having to change who you are.

Rule #2: Your Transcript Doesn’t Define You

Almost everyone goes to high school nowadays expecting to go to college after, and that’s great and shouldn’t change. However, many people tend to have a negative perception of community college, but you shouldn’t. CC’s accept all and have lower tuition fees, and higher transfer rates to UC’s than straight from high school. When you think about the academic and sports aspects of high school, you think about GPA and other or not you lettered. Your number on your team level doesn't show who you are. People who focus too much on classes they take or how fast they run, but this is just something that will stress you out. Instead of focusing solely on your grades or sport, look also to things you do simply for enjoyment. Wether it be dancing or painting or reading, too many people do things because it helps the way they appear to colleges.

Rule #3: Expect the Unexpected

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I went into high school expecting the best four years of my life. Between freshman and sophomore year alone, I lost some very close loved ones. I can assure you that I never expected that to happen during my time at Villa Park. Instead of taking these events and letting them bury me in grief, I’ve chosen to take them nd drive me to continue to make them proud. This is a prime example of how life doesn’t wait for you to turn 18 for bad or unexpected things to happen. However, the only way to move past and continue to grow is to keep moving forward. You don’t know which cards you’re dealt in life so just accept whichever ones you have and work to turn the next ones into what you want them to be.

Rule #4: Go to Bed at a Reasonable Time

As someone who’s had a zero period for three years, the importance of waking up early is now engrained in my body, and yet the time I go to bed isn’t I love staying up and watching Food Network as much as the next person, but that throws your sleep schedule out of wack and makes some unhealthy patterns.

Rule #5: Time Goes By Fast

It’s the cheesiest thing that everyone says, but it’s true. Between studying for tests, football games, and dances, you’re always ready for what’s happening next week.Doing that is perfectly fine, but don’t forget to appreciate what’s going on right now. Everyone tries to say that high school is the best time of your life, so while you’re here, not live to celebrate an event next week later, live for now. If you don’t stop once in a while, you’re going to miss the small things that’ll make high school great. Get off Snapchat and see your friends in person. Don’t get sad about people going to Urth, go yourself! You only have four years here, so you need to understand that things are over fast, so enjoy them while they’re here.

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