Freshman year of high school is always a different experience for everyone, but at the same time, we all have things we wanted to change. Personally, freshman year was the worst year of high school for me because of events that took place. Now, as a senior in high school, I can look back and see things I wish I had known then. I would have saved myself a great deal of mental pain, but in the end, I am the person today because of what I went through. Here are five pieces of advice I would give my freshman self.
1. Nobody is going to remember this bad hair day.
I remember all through freshman year always worried that everyone was going to remember how my hair looked awful on that one Tuesday or how my outfit was so mismatched on that one Friday. One bad moment or day doesn't constitute a bad life, and that is advice I could have really used during my freshman year. Every little thing that wasn't perfect made me just want to quit.
2. The only opinion about you that matters is your own.
Every little interaction I had during my freshman year was being internally analyzed because I wanted to have the "perfect" reputation. I was so afraid that people would talk about me behind my back, or think I was a bad person. The truth is I shouldn't have wasted my time wondering what people said or thought of me. If I knew myself and loved myself for who I was, there was no other opinion that could have ever outweighed or held more importance to my own.
3. Go to events and have fun, even if your friends aren't there.
I missed out on SO many exciting events because I was too afraid to go on my own. If my best friends weren't going to be there, the chance of me being there was slim. Now, in my senior year of high school, I have really put myself out there and attended events although my friends weren't going to be there. Just writing here on this platform is out of my comfort zone, but I am so glad I have taken this opportunity.
4. Your self-care and mental health should not be pushed to the side.
My freshman year had a lot of ups and downs. In the fall right before Thanksgiving, I lost the most important man in my life, my grandfather. He was more like my father since my biological father hadn't been in my life since I was much younger. My grandpa, or "Pops" as I called him, was the first person I had ever lost in my life, and to say I took it hard would be an understatement. The rest of freshman year is pretty much a blur since I was in such a deep depression. Amid this, I pushed my own mental health to the side, and my self-care was practically nonexistent. Looking back now, I could have prevented some mental things I am still getting over today, and physically, I would feel a lot better. No matter what happens in your life, you must look after yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
5. Things do get better. Trust me.
Only three months after losing my grandpa, I lost my great grandmother, whom I shared a love for the piano with. These two deaths of close loved ones wounded me mentally for sure. I withdrew from my family, friends, and activities. I am still getting over these deaths now in my senior year. Knowing what I know now, I would have possibly gotten through the rough patch a little easier. Even though everything was crazy, and I just wanted it to end, things have substantially gotten better. I am now more involved in activities and more present in my family and with my friends.
These few pieces of advice would have helped me in my freshman year of high school, and they may just help you in whatever grade you are in, in both high school and college. Learn from my mistakes, and remember that although you make mistakes, you can always learn from them and grow as an individual.