To The Kid That I Was In High School, From The College Student A Few Years Later

Two Weeks Before High SchoolMy Personal Computer and Facebook Page

It's late August of 2014. As the summer winds down, a new chapter of my life is beginning. I was entering high school, a place that, given the circumstance, seemed terrifying and unreal. Now as a college student with that part of his life far behind him, I'd like to reach out to the high school version of myself.

First of all, take a breath. I know that everything seems to be going a million miles an hour, so it seems impossible to take a moment for yourself without feeling behind. However, I promise you that the world will not stop spinning if you take half an hour to collect yourself after school. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Join a club. Do what you need to do before settling in to do your homework. As a college student, I realize that immediately switching from "class" mood to "homework" mode is not only unnecessarily stress-inducing, it can actually be a detriment. Your mind is still swimming from everything you learned in class, and having an overloaded brain can lead to careless mistakes. Please, take some time to unwind after class. Everyone needs a break after a long day, and you're no exception.

Next, find your place socially. You don't need to be friends with everybody. Nor do you WANT to be friends with everybody. Not every person that crosses your path wants the best for you, and the sooner you accept that the better off you'll be mentally and emotionally. As long as you have your group of friends to rely on, you have nothing else to worry about. In high school, popularity seems like everything, but it doesn't matter. Not at all. As a college student, there are days where it's more than preferrable to be alone while you're in the cafeteria. Again, please take the time to clear your head. Your friends will be there for you in the end, and that's all that's important.

Finally, you can do it. I know it seems like the year will never end, but you can do it. I know it's stressful. I know it's confusing. The daily routines you've known for years are rapidly coming to an end. After years of school, stress, and arguments with family, you're ready to go along on your way. College is a brand new chapter of your life. You can do this; all you need is a little motivation. Trust me, there's no shortage of that once you get to college.

Which brings us to now. After a year in college, I can look back at my experiences from high school and see how I was shaped as a person from then. No matter how stressful it may have seemed, I wouldn't have changed it for the world. If I had, I wouldn't be where I am today. So, to the version of me that's making his way through high school, you can do this. Keep your eyes on the prize (college), and you'll be ready. Good luck, Alex.

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