A letter to my freshman self

Hannah Blazei

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Dear freshman me,


Driving to school this morning, I thought of you on your bike with socks on your hands to keep your fingers from freezing in the chilly morning air. Just hold on a couple more years and the blessing of a license will change your life—trust me. Suddenly everything becomes so much simpler and you no longer have to beg Mom for rides or endure the humiliation of honking cars as you pedal furiously along the side of the road.

After my drive this morning, I had to park in front of the gym because there are never any spaces available in the parking lot at 7:50 a.m. (enjoy the spacious bike racks while you’ve got ‘em). After that I got out and made my way to senior row to find my friends. Now, I know you are wincing right now, scared to read the devastating story about how I was ripped away from middle school friends and forced to “change” and find new scary friends, but that’s not quite how the story went after all. You can trust me. You are on your way to meeting your “high school dream friends”―the kind of friends you’ve always wanted, but right now are too scared to look for. You’ll find these people eventually, no rush.

As I walk among my peers I feel so comfortable, safe and at home. I can now navigate blindfolded and backward the green-tiled hallways that you mix up every morning. (It’s an acquired skill).

Now I’m sitting in first period (math) and I realize that I did not do my homework because, trust me, senioritis is REAL. I know you don’t believe me now but one day it is going to hit you like a freight train.

Until you are infected with this deadly disease, I need you to try your best. Don’t let your determination wane in times that test your abilities. You love school (I know you better than you think) and I’m excited for you to discover that, in high school, it is cool to love school or sports or drama or slam poetry or journalism or anything, really. Don’t hide. Find what you love, know what you love, and chase it. If you pursue the true you, external factors will never be strong enough bring you down.

Trying hard pays off. There will be a time when a little voice leads you to believe that all your late nights and extra credit assignments weren’t worth it. Don’t listen. The reason I’m standing, so happy, where I am today is because of your undeniable work ethic. I’m not telling you where it will all lead because I’ve found that much of the excitement in high school comes from blindly trusting the uncertainty of the future.

At this point in my day, the first four periods are finished and it’s time for lunch. I pile into a back seat and the race to lunch begins as juniors and seniors fight to cut each other off and actually find pleasure in it.

Look around right now. Seriously, raise your head from this paper and look around at all of your freshman classmates. THEY ARE GOING TO BE DRIVING CARS. Pretty scary, huh?

After school, I’m always busy busy busy. My frozen yogurt career has taken off in the last two years. You would not believe the knowledge you have yet to acquire about Oatmeal Cookie Gelato and gummy worms. It’s remarkable what you’ll do for money.

See, there was a point when life started to become life. Now don’t worry, “real life” does not come banging on your door and wake you in the middle of the night. Rather, it’s like a new acquaintance that begins to hang around more often. The world slowly starts to become a little more uncontrollable and everyone has to learn to bend and twist and arch to accommodate for the crazy directions life decides to take us.

The best part of my day is always the end, because nowhere in the world will ever be better than my spot at that dinner table (start appreciating it). It is often my time with family that makes me realize that life is lined with beauty and that the relationships I’ve made in these past four years are what makes the beauty so tangible.

I won’t lie and say these next four years will be a breeze––my current life is far from perfect. But let me tell you this: If you handed me a magic wand right now and told me I could change one thing about my life, I’d hand it back because it’s all been worth it.

Don’t be scared of change. You dread it and you shouldn’t because change is inevitable, and gradual change is enjoyable. Stop fearing the unknown, the unplanned and the uncomfortable. Embrace the parts of life that remain mysteries and who knows where you will go (well I do…).

Sincerely yours,

Senior you

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you! I won a senior superlative: Most Changed Since Freshman Year. No pressure 😉 Have fun.