Ten Things I Wish I Was Told As a Freshman

Ten Things I Wish I Was Told As a Freshman

Ella Jones

I am a Senior this year and I have one semester left until I graduate. I look back on my highschool experience mostly with fondness. However, there are a few things that I wish I would have known, or done differently. These are the 10 things that I wish I knew as a freshman. 

Your Grades Don’t Define You:

I have been a straight A student my whole highschool career. Don’t get me wrong; that’s an extremely good thing. However, my relationship with my grades has been extremely toxic. If I didn’t get an A on a test, I was convinced that I was stupid. I would think that I was losing my intelligence. I wish that someone would have told me, and shown me that grades weren’t everything. During all of highschool, I placed a lot of self worth on my grades, which I really wish I didn’t do. If I could go back in time, I would tell younger me not to place such a heavy portion of my confidence and self worth on my grades. 

It’s Okay to Ask for Help: 

Teachers are there for a reason. It is okay to reach out when you’re struggling. In the past, I was embarrassed if I didn’t understand something. I equated needing help with being a failure. I wish that someone told me that this perception was wrong. Allowing myself to ask for help has done nothing but benefit me. I wish that I was able to reach out for help because my experience could have gone a lot smoother. 

You Don’t Have to be the Best at Everything: 

There have been so many opportunities that I’ve passed up because I was scared that I’d be bad at them. I never wanted to be viewed as mediocre, so I didn’t do something if I thought that I’d be bad at it. This closed me off from so many cool opportunities that looking back, I would’ve loved to participate in. I wish that someone told me not to close myself off from new opportunities, and not let fear of failure hold me back.  

It’s Okay to Take a Break:  

Throughout highschool, I would work myself to the bone to succeed and it was exhausting. I rarely allowed myself to take a break. And when I did, I felt lazy and unproductive. I wish I was told how beneficial and important breaks are.  I know now that when you give yourself a break from schoolwork, you aren’t being lazy, you are letting your brain rest. 

Don’t Give Up on the High School Experience: 

I really wish that someone told me this. I didn’t go to school dances, I didn’t participate in pep rallies, I didn’t go to parties, none of that. I thought that it was a waste of time. Now, I know that I was so blinded by school and work that I missed all of the fun aspects of highschool. I wish someone could have helped me to prevent this. I think that it could have been fun to have that highschool experience. 

Extracurriculars are Important: 

The first two years of highschool I did cheerleading. It was nice to have a community of people that I could fit in with. However, it wasn’t until I quit cheerleading, and picked up 3 other extracurriculares, that I really found my people. Not only did I find groups of people that were like minded, but I also made connections in the school that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I wish someone told me how important extracurriculares were, because they helped me find my community. I wish I could have gotten into them sooner. 

Live in the Moment: 

My mind has been living in the future since I entered highschool. I have been worrying about which college to attend, how I’m going to pay for college, what my profession will be, etc. This future focused mindset has taken me away from the present. I have been so focused on the future that I neglected having fun, and enjoying high school. If I could go back and talk to my freshman self, I would tell them to stop worrying about the future and LIVE IN THE MOMENT! There will come a time that I have to worry about colleges and scholarships and all of that other stuff. But for now, it’s so important to live in the moment and just enjoy life. 

Time Management is Crucial: 

I am so bad at managing my time, and I wish that I would have been taught how. My whole highschool career I have procrastinated up until the point an assignment is due. This has caused extreme amounts of unnecessary stress. If I just would’ve been able to manage my time better, I would get my assignments done while also avoiding the stress. 

Be Kind to Everyone:

No brainer right? But I feel like I struggled to be kind to everyone throughout highschool. I would be stressed out because of school, and that would cause me to lash out on people. I feel like hearing this would’ve helped me, and following this rule is something that I now strive to do. 

Take Care of Yourself Over Everything: 

School is important, however mental health and well being is more important. I feel like a lot of the time, I neglected my needs because of school work or projects. I would have really benefited from putting myself first. No matter what, you are going to produce your best work when you feel the best. I wish that I would’ve prioritized my mental wellbeing in highschool because I think that it would have helped.

When you look back on any experience, there are going to be things that you wished that you had done differently. However, it’s important not to dwell in the past, but to use the things that you learned to move forward. Obviously my highschool experience is now over and gone. But I can use what I learned to guide me through college. And maybe the things that I learned in highschool could even help the readers of this article. If you take anything away from reading this, I hope it’s just to enjoy the moment and not let stress take you away from reality.