Today is my last official day of my freshman year of high school, and then we have exams through Friday. It's hard to believe I've come this far, but then again I don't really feel a shock because so much happened this year that has been leading up to now for seemingly forever. It's just so funny to think of myself at the beginning of this year. It seemed like SUCH a long time ago. Then I think about who I am now, and I realize that I'm a completely different person.
The other day in English, we got asked two questions. The first one was this: "What do you wish you had known this year?"
I can't help but hate this question. I give the same answer every time: "I wouldn't tell myself anything." Technically, freshman year was a horrible year! But would I change any of it? Absolutely not. The horrible things that happened this year made this year a powerful, memorable turning point. It's funny how day by day, nothing changes. But when we look back, everything is different. When we think of who we used to be and who we are now, we realize that it we would have never gotten anywhere if we didn't go through hard things to go through. If we don't make mistakes, we don't learn. We learn SO MUCH MORE in school than just school. If we live perfect lives, we'll grow up lacking perspective and resilience. Never regret anything you do and don't reminisce on the past.
Based on the first question, we were asked this: "What would you tell an incoming freshman?"
I said that I wouldn't tell them anything. (Of course, my teacher thought that was a stupid reply, even when I explained why.) I don't want to tell anyone how to live their freshman year. My mistakes and my triumphs are my own and they don't define anyone else's. I would want that incoming freshman to make their own mistakes, learn from them, and be changed.
I guess I'd tell them this one thing: don't try to live according to anyone else's story and don't be afraid to screw up. Your freshman year will be completely different than someone else's. As an incoming freshman, I was told "don't screw up freshman year. You'll regret it!" Well look, I screwed up and no, sorry, I don't regret it at all. First of all, I think everyone has some sort of screw-up (ok, maybe not as bad as mine..) at some point during their freshman year. If you tell a freshman this, they will freak out and be hard on themselves when it happens. Don't be hard on yourself, just think of how you can do better next time. Past is past. Use it to help you get where you want to go.