An Open Letter to the Incoming Freshmen

Dear Class of 2024,

First, I would just like to say… congratulations! You're officially second semester seniors in high school and you're killing it. In all the hustle and bustle of nearing the end of your high school career, I invite you to take a deep breath, reflect on the past four years, and take all these memories and lessons learned with you as you embark on the next chapter of your life.

Let’s be real: a big change is coming. Instead of running away from it or trying to cling to what once was, it’s important to embrace the good and the bad. You are about to experience a new level of independence that you probably have yet to experience, and with that comes a lot of self-reflection and prioritizing. You may learn that you are not a party person after all, or that you really need your alone time, or that you suddenly really want to try your hand in surfing. Whatever it is, learn to accept that what works for others may not work for you. Don’t try to force yourself to do what you don’t enjoy. On the flip side, don’t shut down new experiences. You won’t know what it is that you enjoy until you try it. This is the time in your life to embark on new adventures and try anything. Curiosity is your friend and this is the time to lean into it. The most important thing is to not restrict yourself based on the experiences others are having. People grow and change in different ways, so it's important to check in with yourself and do what works for you.

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My biggest piece of advice for you is that it is okay (and encouraged) to be unsure. No one figures themselves out within the first month. Just because your friend has a major doesn’t mean you need to have one going in. Or if you don’t like your major, change it! It's expected for you to have nothing figured out. Dealing with your own uncertainty is a major step in this chapter of your life and part of the fun. Being unsure about what you like, and don’t like, allows you to explore and figure yourself out, and it is important to accept that all of your feelings are valid. Accept and embrace everything that you are feeling, because everyone deals with change differently. Most importantly, remember that you are not alone in feeling uncertain, most people are. As a second semester freshman, I am still changing and learning more and more about myself every day. For the most part, I still have no idea what I’m doing, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

This is a really monumental time in your life. You are taking your first steps outside the nest, and that is no small task. Cherish the moments you have left and carry them with you as you take on your next big adventure. As long as you check in with yourself and put your feelings first, you will have the time of your life, no matter where you end up.

Adult Back View Backpack BeautifulImages courtesy of the Her Campus Media Library