A Letter to my High School Freshman Self

To my high school freshman self,

If only you knew how far you would go. With a forehead full of acne, glasses that were too big for your face, a set of teeth that really needed braces ASAP, and hair that had a bad ombre job, you are almost unrecognizable to me today. You were unsure of so many things, from the next text you wanted to send to your friends, to what you wanted to do in life. Little did you know that in four years you would end up at the best journalism school in the country, doing what you love and enjoying every moment life has to offer.

Little did you know that from the moment you entered the auditorium, you would bow on that stage four times. You would stay committed to theatre for all four years, and did your part in every school musical, no matter what role you were given. You would later cry in front of the people you shared the stage with, giving them your advice for their future. You would later be a helping force for the theatre program by being the lead critic for the school’s theatre journalism program chapter. You would later be published in online newspapers four times from the shows you saw all across the county.

Little did you know that you were going to join choir, when singing was something you didn’t do in front of people. You would later call choir your sanctuary, your village, your family, for all of the memories you treasured within the four walls of the massive choir room. You would audition for solos willingly, unafraid to take a chance at showing your voice in front of the whole school. You would stay until the final concert, where you and the rest of the seniors lined up on the stage singing “In My Life” by the Beatles while sobbing.

Little did you know that you were going to join color guard at the beginning of your sophomore year. You would struggle spinning and tossing flags in the windless August sun, the sunscreen melting off your back and the sock tan on your legs getting more prominent. You would meet your very best friends, and spend every minute with them outside of practice. You would spin for four seasons, and get the chance to perform to “Waving Through a Window” from Dear Evan Hansen. You would perform on the field until your entire body gave out, but continue to smile for the crowd with amazement in their eyes.

Little did you know that you would do improv senior year. You would watch your fellow upperclassmen be silly and comedic, cracking up the audience. You would think to yourself, “I wish I was that funny,” after every show. You would one day audition at the beginning of senior year as a last-minute thing. You would get in, and be one of the upperclassmen cracking up the audience. You would watch multiple episodes of Whose Line is it Anyway? for inspiration on how to get better at improv. You would make yourself look like a fool onstage, and be unashamed of it.

Little did you know that you would join yearbook, and finally find what you wanted to do with your life. You would interview everyone in the school, trying to get every piece of information they had about the life of significance they lead for their place in the book. You would become the yearbook’s graphic designer, designing every page in that five-pound book with every single ounce of detail. You would spend every lunch period in that classroom, making sure each page looks pristine and ready for the school to see.

Little did you know that you would end up going to college in a state that is 461.5 miles away from you, in a city you barely knew. You would get admitted to Emerson College’s journalism program, and live in the City Upon a Hill—something you would never dream of. You would meet some of your closest friends for life, and have laughing fits in your cramped and tiny dorm room. You would have the opportunity to see so many plays and musicals, like Come From Away, Choir Boy, Little Shop of Horrors—the list goes on. You would add a publishing minor to your degree, and get the opportunity to explore beyond downtown for journalism class projects and stories.

Little did you know that you were going to join many on-campus activities at college, each of them being a significant level of importance to you. You would keep yourself busy every second of the day from being a part of an online publication to a cultural organization to a magazine to an a cappella group. Little did you know you were going to work for a theatre company through work-study—a dream you would have never thought of.

Little did you know that you would accomplish so many things for the next four years of your life, and what an understatement to say that you are going to go through the biggest transformation yet. Keep your head up, because only good things would come your way.

Sincerely,

College freshman Marieska

P.S. Don’t worry about the glasses and the teeth—you’ll soon get contacts and a braces phase for a major glow up.