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Advice For My Freshman Self

Advice For My Freshman Self…


Learn to balance work and play!


The amount of schoolwork and effort expected of you skyrockets from middle to high school. You suddenly have to write essays, read textbooks and study for tests that actually matter. But in spite of this new responsibility, it’s vital to have fun. High school can hold some of the best memories of your youth if you let it. These four years are the last of your legal childhood and you are surrounded by friends day-in, and day-out. So don’t get lost in the schoolwork as you still try your best to excel. Carve some time out of your schedule to be with friends and to make memories.


Your teachers are there to help you.

We’ve all had a bad experience with a teacher, and if you haven’t, you’re bound to at some point! Maybe your learning style doesn’t match up with their teaching style, or maybe you just don’t like the class. But in this scenario, showing a teacher that you care is one of the most mature things you can do as a teenager. Showing some effort will more often than not get you on a teacher’s good side. And regardless, there will always be some adult at school ready and willing to assist you. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help!


Some rules are for breaking, but some rules, you’re going to want to follow.

Hallways are for walking. That’s the number one rule I heard my freshman year. You shouldn’t gather up with your friends in a clump in the middle of the hallway to talk if you don’t want to get the stink eye or be yelled at my some upperclassman. Keep it moving! Your role will inevitably change as you become a sophomore, junior, and senior. So of course, seniors get seniority, and you will too one day!


Don’t be afraid to join clubs or sports!

Not everyone knows what all their passions or hobbies are coming into high school. So experiment and find something you love! High school is your time to find out if you like running track, playing soccer, or theorizing in philosophy club. While you have all these clubs and sports at your fingertips, try as many as you can until you find one you love. Unlike all of your high school friends, your hobbies might be with you for the rest of your life! So don’t be afraid to invest time in finding an activity you love.

No one’s idea of you matters more than your own.

High school is a place notorious for damaging kid’s self-esteem. It’s not uncommon to feel judged or out of place. So, my advice to any freshman is to remain confident in yourself, and to not waste too much time on trying to fit in if it doesn’t make you happy! You might not even know everything about yourself yet, and that’s okay. I promise that in 4 years, you’re going to have changed a lot, both physically and mentally. So, why let someone else’s opinion make you insecure? There’s no point. You’re worth more than one mean girl’s opinion. Don’t let anyone else stop you from discovering who you are—if they hinder your self-development, you don’t need them around.


Four years is shorter than you think.

So yeah, maybe you’re 13 years old, and four years is about 25% of your lifetime at this point. But every day after you graduate, that percentage is going to get smaller and smaller, and it will matter less and less. So don’t stress yourself out too much! You know that girl who gives you the stink eye in 4th period? You won’t remember her name in 5 years. Remember that time you slipped on your way into Spanish class and dropped all your papers? Yeah, no one else is going to remember that after graduation. Therefore, when you find yourself worried about friends or crushes, try to think about the big picture. Those stressors will probably become obsolete one day. High school only happens to you once, so don’t let the experience suck! Ultimately, you have the power to build your own experience.


Katya Lien is a senior in high school from Boulder, Colorado—she’ll attend college in the fall. She started working with LaTeen in 2010 and her passion for writing has only grown since. When she’s not writing, you can find her in the dance studio, making art, or hiking and exploring the mountains.



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