A Letter To Future Freshmen Who Didn't Peak In High School
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Health and Wellness

A Letter To Future Freshmen Who Didn't Peak In High School

If you didn't peak in high school, how will you ever survive college? (Wonderfully, that's how!)

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A Letter To Future Freshmen Who Didn't Peak In High School

This is it. This is the summer that starts the rest of your life. The mixture of emotions is startling even though you were so eager to leave the walls of your high school behind. You're a college student now, you know, technically speaking even though you haven't quite set foot on campus yet. Maybe you're nervous because you weren't one of those kids who had skillfully cultivated a high social prowess during your high school years. Neither was I, so welcome to the "didn't peak (and proud!)" club, kid.

If you were like me in high school, you struggled. Maybe you weren't always completely, incandescently happy. Maybe you questioned the very nature of your friendships, the reason you pushed yourself to the point of tearful stress just to succeed, and if it would all be worth it in the end. Maybe you come from a great family, a great city, but still wanted to get out of there with every fiber of your being because you felt stifled. And maybe you were one of the few people who actually cried tears of joy as opposed to sorrow when you finally slid on your graduation gown, adorned with the honors you'd achieved over the years as you got ready to say goodbye to the place you spent the last four years. And, if by chance you were at all like me in high school, I'm here to tell you that everything changes. You will find your place in the world because after all, and to quote One Tree Hill, “The real world doesn't care so much about who you were in high school."

What a good thing! Imagine what a dreary place the world would be if people judged each other on their 16-year-old selves all throughout life. And if you didn't peak during those four long years, do yourself a favor and thank yourself and all those people who helped contribute to your unpopular "un-peakedness." If you're like me, you will not just survive like you did in high school, but you will thrive and your freshman year will be unlike anything you imagined.

Freshman year. You'll hear so many things from adults about what freshman year is, and for the most part they're right. It's a step into the real world (kind of) and it is 110 percent the perfect opportunity to craft yourself into the person you want to be. Those who peaked already won't think twice about creating better versions of themselves, but not doing exactly that doesn't even cross your mind. Freshman year is a chance to be independent and a time to make your own decisions. Your parents have instilled good values, morals, and lifestyle choices into you for the past eighteen years and now it's all on you to make the best decisions for yourself.

Here's a word of advice: eating Easy Mac and Ben and Jerry's at two in the morning for a week straight because that guy you met the first week of college turned out to (unsurprisingly) not be "the one?" It's definitely not one of the best decisions you'll make, but it happens and that's all right. If any of this sounds frightening, especially the binge eating, that's because when put so bluntly it can be. And that's okay. College is all about trying new things, meeting new people, taking risks, and making mistakes but learning along the way. You wanted out of high school, and this is it.

I hope you really did follow your heart in picking which college you'll be attending in a few short months, because as corny as that sounds it's part of what will make your experience everything you could've hoped for. I took a leap of faith and chose a college that never in a million years had I planned on attending. It's so far from home that I fly there and back over school breaks. But I knew when I set foot on campus that this was a place I could one day call home, and I'm so happy to say that after spending one wonderful year there, it's more than true. So when you finally set foot on campus, go out and do things! I owe my first and closest group of friends to a camp I decided on a whim to sign up for the week before school started. It was exclusively for incoming freshmen, and I can easily see the people I met there being friends for life.

The reason my first year was as amazing as it was is because I wasn't afraid to try new things, even when they might've been intimidating. One night during the first few weeks of school, I still didn't know most of the people on my floor so I ordered some Insomnia (cookies, not sleep deprivation) and went around knocking on doors offering up cookies and a friendly face. Get out there and introduce yourself, this may be out of your comfort zone but if everyone uses that as an excuse then no one will get over the awkwardness that exists solely in your minds. This isn't high school anymore, and no one here knows who you were or weren't during that time. In my experience, people are far less judgmental in college. I promise if you want a change from who you were to who you want to be, and if you actively seek a change then you will be rewarded like you can't imagine. The kids who peaked, they already know this. They know all about budding, then blooming, and then plateauing. But you my friend are a long way from that stagnant plateau. You're on your way up, learning new things, trying new things, and seeing the world in a different way because your new perspective excites you more than it frightens you.

Freshman year was the greatest year of my life, and I hope that since we're both members of the "didn't peak (and proud!)" club that it will be for you too. I know it may appear as though I'm making it seem like there are extreme disparities between you and people who peaked already. But really, many of your future friends probably peaked in high school. And that's not a bad thing at all. They may be set in their ways, and more or less know who they are already, but that doesn't mean they're not going to be great friends. I can confidently say that some of my closest friends are definitely people who hit their high point in high school, but whenever I needed a confidence boost or help stepping out of my comfort zone, it was always those same exact friends who gave me a helpful nudge.

The beauty of college is that you not only coexist with people who peaked in high school, but that you can actually be friends with them. That wasn't always the case in high school. They won't judge you for who you might not have been back then, so don't judge them for already seeming to know where they stand in the world. There's no shame in continuing to actively seek your place in it, even if your best friends feel so confident about theirs. So as you start this summer in limbo between the person you were in high school and the college freshman you know you want to be, embrace the future and get ready for your turn to take on the world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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