As summer begins to wind down and school starts again it is a time of new beginnings. Everyone makes some sort of transition, whether it is to a new school, a new town, or a new routine. Eighth graders become freshman and high school seniors become freshman. Some parents are sending their children off to pre-school or dropping their oldest off at college. Change is inevitable. It can be scary, confusing, and stressful but it is important to remember to concentrate on the present moment- and enjoy it.
The nerves of freshman year can affect everyone differently. I remember I was absolutely mortified to go to the high school. Everyone and everything seemed so big and scary. My anxiety levels were at an all time high. There was so much change going on in my life. I was worried about the amount of homework I would have, being on a high school sports team, and navigating my way through the cafeteria. I remember wishing my freshman year away, just wanting to be a sophomore and get my braces off because I thought that would solve all of my problems.
Sophomore year came and things had started to come together. I knew how sports teams worked, I knew how to find the classrooms in the stairwells and I wasn't so afraid of the seniors anymore. I had a good group of friends and I started joining clubs. There was good days and bad days, but I could feel myself enjoying my experience, but at the same time I couldn't wait to be a junior.
Junior year came and things finally felt real. Next year I would be a senior. I would run the school. I would start going on college visits, and I became focused on what I was going to do to have the best senior year. I got my license and my car. I started doing more with my friends.
Senior year came. I was a captain of the field hockey team a position I had wanted since I was a freshman. I could see hard work startign to pay off. I got to attend all the senior events that I had been looking forward to for so long- masquerade, Spaghetti Supper, semi, and luau. I applied to colleges and got accepted at my number one school. I applied for scholarships. I couldn't wait to get out of the high school I had been confined in for the past four years. I felt like college was going to be this new experience and I was going to really do all these great things that I never did in high school. My sight was locked on the future
The month of May came and went. It was a blur of accepted student days, spirit week, senior picnic, senior banquet, prom, AP exams, and finals. June came and there was graduation parties to go to, memories to reminisce over, and goodbyes to be said. Before I knew it my friends were getting ready to move into college and we all began to go our new directions. The moments we had waited for was finally here. It was exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time.
It didn't hit me until after I finished my freshman year of college that I had spent high school and much of that past year focused on the next thing. I was so caught up in the future that I forgot to concentrate on the present. Looking back on it I have only a few regrets, which is totally normal. Hindsight is 20/20.
My advice to anyone starting a new adventure is to be present in the moment. Focus on that 30 seconds, 30 minutes, or 3 hours in front of you. Don't get caught up in stupid drama over stupid boys, don't fight with your friends for things that won't matter in 3 weeks. Be fair to yourself. Be fair to others. Be responsible. Be respectful. Embrace every selfie, every picture your mom forces you to take, and every moment you have. I promise you the ridiculous photos you took on your friends webcam with the Eiffel tower backdrop because you thought it was "so cool" will be treasured for years to come. The future will eventually be here. As Kip Moore says, "Worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes."