Poetry On Odyssey: Dear High School Junior You

Hi, past you,

It's that time again. We're going back to school, seeing new and old faces, it's inevitable.

It's that time again, to go back to school.

I find it hard to believe that you've gone through this first day of school thing on your own now for two years in a row. Ever since graduating high school I felt like my first days were me being alone. And maybe they are, but I think I'm realizing now that they're not so bad going at it alone.

I remember how it was my first day of junior year in high school. You finally felt like you were getting somewhere. Like you were old enough to do whatever it is that you could as a junior.

Oh, you got to drive yourself to school this year, that was a big step.

You got a job that summer. Every dollar you made you spent, but is that such a shocker?

I vividly remember so much from that year, and I think because it had so many good moments.

I want that again.

I think it's important to have hope. To at least dream of what you want and what you could get, what you should get.

Four years ago I had no idea I would be here. I don't even think I was thinking about college or the possibility of where I was going. And I remember some people already knew. I don't think that ultimately affected me until a year later when I still didn't know. That's a story for another time though.

Junior year was fun. I remember falling in love with school, I remember physically enjoying the things I was learning and the books we were forced to read in class. I remember feeling a new ounce of freedom that year that I hadn't before.

Somehow, four years later, I get the same feelings.

I'd like to consider that I've lived on my own and away from home for three years now. And that's a feeling of freedom you could never explain or even try to explain to someone.

To the old you, I feel like you're not even the same person you were four years ago. And I'd like to think that's both good and bad. I would hope I have changed in four years, but I would also hope that I haven't lost whoever I used to be.

There's this cheesy saying that I recently heard that goes something like:

"Everything you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for."

Let me just say, I am such a sucker for motivational, coming of age, reasoned quotes like that. That's just what I'm into. My past self-has always been into that too, so.

To past you, you had a good year junior year; and I can only hope that the good continues this year.

I think it's a trend in my life that sophomore years are just hard. And I don't know why but it's starting to get really annoying so I'm glad I technically only go through two. You ended this last year so hard and so lost and looking back at it now, I can't really believe we're back to where we are.

I've never been one to think I'm not going to college. No matter how I think of education or how I think I'm not smart enough or simply can't do it, I always knew I wanted to go to college and further my education because that is something I value the most.

I think the point of this "dear past self" letter is simply to just point out the growth of myself and remind myself that I've gotten to this point, I've gotten here, all on my own.

Looking back on how life was four years ago, it's easy to see the different sense of happiness I feel now compared to then. I had so much more going for me almost. I had so many more friends or at least people to fall back onto, and I guess that's the beauty of who's in my life now, I know they're there for a reason.

For the past few months, I had an overwhelming sense of doubt and anxiety, all brewing from the fact that I had a rough year beforehand and have not felt so lost or so mistaken in a long time. I deeply thought about if college is really what I want to do, and that scared me! Because I've always wanted college and never knew anything but going to college.

I have friends that never went to college that are living such good lives and have such good jobs that they love, and sometimes I feel like I did the wrong thing.

And I also have friends who are in college, and they're creating such big memories and celebrating life every day, and I still feel like I did something wrong.

And yet, I have friends that did a little bit of college, dropped out, and are working whatever they want to do, and I still, feel like I did something wrong.

I think at the end of it all, I'm realizing that whatever I do is right for me.

I have a new sense of dedication and motivation for where I'm at in this very moment. And I'm trying so hard and so deeply to hold onto this motivation to continue on with what I want.

I feel it so deeply that good things happen when you think about them and when you work for those good things. I've always been a person that thought most things do happen for a reason and the world falls the way it's supposed to.

I've had an ongoing, reoccurring feeling of being scared or being hesitant about doing things out of my comfort zone. And I hate that.

One of the most frustrating things in the world is not doing something you're dying to do because you're scared or anxious about the outcome or what will happen. I hate that.

I'm trying so hard to not be that this year. I want to do things that scare me and push me and just do the things I want.

To be honest, I don't know where this whole letter came about. I didn't have a direction of what I was going to say or how it was going to end up but I think that's a bit of the beauty of it. We're all working towards a goal, some of them just take longer than others; some of them just get lost in sight sometimes but we always find our way back.

To my past junior self, you're still doing good. Things are going good, just continue what you're doing.

To my past junior self, things will continue to be okay.

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