10 things I wish I could tell my freshman self


Madi Franco


  • Your friends now will not be your friends in four years.

I know you’re stuck in the mindset that you will have the friends that you have now forever, but you won’t. You will meet so many new people in high school and slowly grow apart from others. Don’t be afraid to branch out and spend some time with new faces. Your interests, aspirations, and morals will change and so will your friends’. Never confine yourself and reject change. Change is good.


“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin


  • Never try to be someone that you’re not.


These next four years will be an adventure while you’re trying to figure out who you are and where you belong. It’s okay to experiment and try new things, but never intentionally put yourself in situations that you don’t feel comfortable in. You are not obligated to attend every event that you’re invited to. You do not need to dress and act in a certain way to fit in. When you allow yourself to be who you truly are, you will find true happiness.


“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” -Marilyn Monroe


  • Take care of yourself and your body.


It’s important to be conscious of your body and your health. High schoolers tend to neglect their bodies and are ignorant of the future repercussions that will result. Skip the drive thru and instead make a salad or sandwich at home. Drink a bottle of water instead of drowning yourself in a bottle of vodka. Listen to your body and respect it. Stay active and make good choices. Don’t allow yourself to develop unhealthy habits, because they will stay with you for the rest of your life.You only have one heart, one liver, and one pair of lungs. Don’t allow yourself to destroy them.


“An over-indulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate.” –Criss Jami


  • Failure is part of the path to success.


When I was younger, I would give up if I failed. It was only until recently that I realized that in order to truly succeed, you must fail. You will face obstacles in everything that you do. If you allow yourself to give up every time something doesn’t go as planned, you will never get anywhere. The most successful people in life are the people who have encountered the most failure.


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  –Winston S. Churchill


  • Never rely on anyone else to determine your happiness.


Trust me when I say this: do not spend high school focusing on boys. I know that you want to have a picture-perfect Instagram feed, but almost every high school relationship that I have witnessed has burned down in flames. You are so young and have so much time ahead of you. Focus on yourself and never let anyone else determine your happiness.


“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” –Albert Camus


  • Study and do your homework.


It’s not cool or attractive to be failing multiple classes. Taking 30 minutes each night to review what you’re learning in order to succeed is so much better than having to deal with the stress that comes along with trying to pass a class by a tenth of a point. Furthermore, our teachers are here to help. It’s their job. They want to see everyone succeed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. In four years when you’re applying for colleges and scholarships, you’ll look back and wish that you had tried just a little bit harder and pushed yourself just a little bit farther to get good grades. Contrary to what your peers might say, grades do matter.

“The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.” –Vince Lombardi Jr.

  • Attendance is necessary for success.

Listen, we’ve all had those days where we want to lay in bed and do nothing all day, but laying in bed does not benefit you at all. Giving into the temptation of staying at home instead of going to school will only allow you to fall behind in class and create more stress for you. Force yourself to get up and go to class, no matter how comfy and warm your bed feels. You will thank yourself later.


“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.” –Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


  • Own up to your mistakes, and learn from them.


You’re going to make mistakes and do stupid things that you’ll regret. Part of growing up is screwing things up and testing your judgement. However, when you do make a mistake, own up to it. It may seem easier to hide behind a wall of lies, but avoiding the truth will only make the situation escalate. If you have regrets, own up to them, take responsibility, and learn from your actions.


“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” –Mahatma Gandhi


  • Your parents are not your enemies, and yes, they are right.


Between ages 13 and 15, you are going to think that everything your parents say or do is embarrassing, unnecessary, and imbecilic. You will avoid following their advice and instructions at all costs. You’re going to believe that they truly don’t understand what it’s like to be a teenager, and you will constantly be struggling to flaunt your newfound independence in their faces. However, please don’t forget that your parents are on the same team as you and deserve to be treated as so. While they may not always play the role of your best friend, they will always be looking out for you. Before you ride off their advice, try your best to actually process the information that they’re giving you. Nine times out of ten, you will reflect back on what they said to you and realize that they were right after all.


“Clarity and focus don’t always come from God or inspirational quotes. Usually, it takes your mother to slap the reality back into you.” –Shannon L. Alder


  • You determine your own destiny.


In Philosophy class, one of the most memorable lessons I learned was from a philosopher named Richard Swinburne. In one of his papers, Swinburne writes that good and evil are interconnected. If there was no evil (e.g. suffering and challenges) in the world, then we would not have the ability to appreciate any of the good things in life. In fact, happiness, joy, and nobility would fail to exist. The world would be a boring, uneventful, and monotonous place. Whenever I face a challenge in life, I look at it is as an opportunity to grow. I look at it as an opportunity to better myself. I look at it as one step closer to reaching my dreams.


At the end of the day, you are the pilot of your own life. Your future and your destiny is in your own hands. If you are dissatisfied with your life, do something to change it. You cannot simply sit and wait for things to fall into place for you, because they won’t. In order to get yourself to where you want to be, you are going to have to fight for it. If something doesn’t go your way, stand back up and fight even harder. You have the opportunity to make the impossible possible.


“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis