Dear High School Freshman Ellen,
You’ve been through a lot to reach the place that you’re at, and you’re going to go through much more before you get to where you’re going. Here’s some thoughts that you should consider:
Freshman year is going to be a blast. It’ll probably be one of the easiest years in high school, and you should learn to enjoy it more. Appreciate this time of high school since it’ll be comparatively less stressful. I know you’re going to try to plan out everything in your life, but it’s okay to be spontaneous and do something out of the ordinary. Stop looking left and right at what other people are doing. I know you’re not the type of person to hop onto the bandwagon, but you are going to be thinking to yourself about all the things you need to work on, and what other people do shouldn’t be the cause of your worry. Their accomplishments don’t mean you need to work hard to be better. Their accomplishments mean they’re amazing individuals just as you are one too.
In the next couple of years, you’re going to develop different relationships with various people. Don’t work yourself over trying to change people’s lives. It’s not going to happen… You put everything into something when you set your mind to it (that’s something that hasn’t changed), but other people don’t work with that same mentality. You need to realize that it’s okay to put yourself first. At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with yourself so be happy with what you’ve been able to do. And, it’s okay to work on yourself more than other people– becoming a better you is not selfish. Furthermore, it’s okay to let go. You try so hard to make everything work out… for yourself and most importantly, other people. In life, failure is inevitable and you’ll need to learn to accept that in terms of academics as well as life.
You’re going to receive a lot of rejection in the next couple of years. Failure and rejection doesn’t define who you are. Your grades and your extracurricular activities don’t define who you are. Even your friends don’t define who you are. You’re going to make new friends and you’re going to lose friendships. I’m sorry to say, but people are going to backstab you. Accept it, move on, and don’t become a bitter person. The things worth keeping will always find their way back to you, and what is cut out wasn’t meant to be a part of your life anymore. That is okay. Once again, some people are not meant to be a part of your life. You may not recognize it then, but the realization will come to you sooner or later.
Your parents love you. They may show it in different ways, but they always mean well. Listen to their advice! I know you’re probably thinking that you can figure things out the way you always do, and you’re right… you can. But, it’ll save you a whole lot of trouble if you follow your parents’ advice from the start because you’re more than likely to backtrack at some point.
Please continue to be that loving and cheery person that you are. Don’t change who are as a result of other people’s inability to understand you. You’re a sweet soul at the end of the day. Once again, please don’t ever change that. Believe in yourself. What other people think isn’t going to change who you are. Try to make new friends, to take new adventures, to worry less and share the person that you are to others. Continue to bring laughter into people’s lives.
I know you’re the type of person that hates holding regret, and there will be many regrets made in high school. Continue the mindset of letting your regrets go, and recognizing that there’s no use in dwelling on what you cannot change. You’re going to get a whole heck-ton amount of advice from a lot of people, but listen to your heart and mind.
Freshman Ellen, you may be scared to venture the new halls of Consol, but this will be your home for the next couple of years. There will be teachers at this school who will change your life. There will also be people here who will hurt you, and people to bring you back up. I know trusting people isn’t always your thing, but have confidence in yourself. Confidence may be believing in yourself. Confidence may be trusting yourself. Confidence may be recognizing your strengths. Try to find all three of these things for yourself. Most importantly, love yourself– love yourself, love others, and love God. The next four years aren’t going to be easy, but if there’s anything that you can take from this it’s that you need to learn to love yourself.
With Love, Sincerely Yours,
Ellen Li, High School Senior