5 Things Every High School Freshman Needs To Know

5 Things Every High School Freshman Needs To Know

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
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It’s been quite some time since I was a freshman in high school, and there are a few things I wish people told me. Well, let me correct myself, a lot of these things I was told, but I never actually took them seriously.

You are going to hear a million times to treasure each moment because before you know it you are going to be looking around and wondering where all the time went.

1. Don’t stress the little things

The big problems you are facing now will seem so tiny in a few years. I remember failing a test and crying about it for hours, fights with my friends felt like the end of the world and when boys didn’t notice me I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Looking back at all those times, I realize that things may seem huge in the moment but as my mom always said, “this too shall pass.”

2. Try in school

Wow! I wish I tried as hard as I did in high school as I do now. Go to extra help or office hours and get to know your teachers. These are things I definitely miss and try to do in college. Enjoy being in a 30-person class instead of 300. Take advantage of what you can to learn now.

Trust me, it will make your future that much easier. You will use that information that seems irrelevant to your life.

3. Focus on friends

High school relationships aren’t guaranteed to last forever, and cliques don’t always stay together but good friendships often do. I don’t know what I would do without my high school friends. I talk to them each and every day, and they get me through things I could never get through on my own.

4. Get involved

The clubs, groups, and organizations I got involved in became another support system for me. I found what I liked and disliked and met some amazing people along the way.

Around junior year, I found a few things I was really passionate about. It took many, many, many tries for me to find them! Go and try new things until you find one you love!

5. SERIOUSLY, treasure every moment

These are the times you are going to tell your kids about, memories that stay with you forever. I know four years seems like a lot, but I promise the time just flies by. Just ask the seniors at your school. I’m sure they will tell you the same thing. High school is something pretty special.

You start off young and nervous and all of a sudden you grow up, and you’re off. Take advantage of these years. I’m not saying it’ll be easy. I’m saying it’ll be worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Richman

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I Am Terrified Of My Future And That's OK

I'm sure most people are but so many of us are good at putting on that face and acting like we have our lives together.

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For a long time, I have been struggling with what my future is going to be. For most of my childhood I was always flighty in what I wanted to be and therefore I never spent much time thinking about where I would end up when I grew older.

Now I am a junior at Illinois State University as a Journalism major and quite frankly that scares me. I don't know where I am going to end up. So many of my professors love to tell us how miserable the job is. That you're doing more work than your being paid for and that there are not a lot of opportunities for journalism.

Literally thinking about my future terrifies me. It actually makes my anxiety act up and often times I start to snap at whoever brought up the conversation. I avoid the subject anytime it comes up or just brush it off with a, yeah I totally have a plan. When in reality everything about leaving college makes me want to curl in a ball on my bed under the blankets and never come out.

Slowly I have been getting better as I find a schedule but the unknown is what freaks me out. The reality is I can't control what happens to me all the time. I may get my dream job or I may end up working at the bottom of the corporate ladder for the entirety of my life.

I'm sure most people are but so many of us are good at putting on that face and acting like we have our lives together. The truth is probably everyone is scared to some degree but most of us know we have to act like we have everything together because that's what adults do.

So what I really want to say is that it's OK. You do not have to have your entire life planned out. You do not need this five year or even a one-year plan to be successful. All you really need is your end goal and then taking one step at a time to reach it.

Right now the one thing I need to do is graduate. I don't have to know where I'm working after college, heck I still have another year and a half before I even leave Illinois State. Learning that my future scares me and it's OK that it does is the only thing that I need to do.

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