First of all, I just want to be honest and say that I might be writing this to comfort myself and my fears, but as a writer and a multi-tasker, I figured that I could kill two birds with one stone and comfort some other people at the same time.
So, you just finished your first year of college.
Classes were harder than you expected, advisors weren't as helpful as you hoped, and friendships didn't last as long as you wanted. College is hard. No, that's an understatement. College is a bit of a nightmare, especially your first year. While it can be very fun at times, it is also such a stressful period of your life. There's so much self-discovery in college: finding out who you are, what you believe in, and what you want to do for the rest of your life. It is so easy to get swallowed up in stress and self-doubt at this critical time in your life, but the thing is, you can't judge yourself at your turning point. No matter what you did in high school - who you dated, what grades you got, how you dressed - none of that will amount to the things you are about to accomplish in the next five, ten, even twenty years. You have your whole life ahead of you to make something of yourself. And, if you really think about it, you can't peak in high school if you don't let yourself. You have control. Even if it doesn't always feel like it, you are in control of your life. And sure, a million things are happening around you that you have no say in, but you control how you react, how you adapt, and how you overcome every obstacle in your life.
When I look back on my years in high school, I remember how I aced all of my classes with ease, impressed all of my teachers, and had the best, closest friend group. I even graduated as the salutatorian.
Then, I remember that most of our memories aren't actually accurate and that I was very unhappy for a lot of high school. It's easy to look at our past with rose-colored glasses and feel like we will never be as good as we once were. Even if you disagree with me, and high school was the best four years of your life, there is still so much more to come. As long as you make sure you are growing as a person, you can reach new peaks every day, even the days that feel like the lowest of your lows. That's because it's all a mindset, and you get to choose your own happiness. This is a concept I have struggled to fully understand and use in my life, but I find it to be more and more true every day. Choosing to be happy might feel like a bit of a stretch from peaking in high school, but to solve these problems, you need to cut them at their root: insecurity. Once you find happiness in your life, things like self-doubt tend to fall away, resurfacing a lot less often.
The day that you figure out how to be truly happy is your greatest peak of all.