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Dear Freshman Me

Gillian Paxton, Section Editor

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Greetings! If you’re reading this, that means you’re about to enter your very first year of high school. You don’t know me, but I promise, I know you very well. You went to freshman orientation and wondered how you were going to fit it all into your schedule —harder classes, this odd new thing called marching band you signed up for and who knows what else. For so long, high school was sort of a vague eventuality. You never knew you’d even make it there.

Well, surprise, surprise, you do, and you make it all the way to the end, too. I’ll be honest, the four years you’re about to experience won’t be easy. You have no idea what you’re getting into with marching band, and you’re right that classes are going to be tough. There’s also a host of challenges headed your way you’ll never see coming. How does being a section editor of a school newspaper sound? Bet you never considered that. 

Yet, you make it to senior year. You grow a lot. You get to know incredible people, some you already know and some you’ve yet to meet. Most importantly, you get to know yourself. (She can be hard to deal with sometimes, but I promise she’s worth knowing).

But I don’t write this letter to you, a hypothetical freshman me, only to tell you what’s in store. I also ask you to lend me some of that strength you don’t even know you have. See, I’m in a very similar position to you. Sure, I’ve got a few more years under my belt, but ultimately I’m being placed into an unfamiliar place with new challenges, just like you. And to be honest, I’m a little nervous, just like you.

So, the real reason I tell you all of this is not to directly help you out (since obviously until time travel is invented, that’s kind of impossible anyway), but to remind me of how unprepared you feel now, and how you fought through it anyway, coming out the other end better for it. You’ve already done and accomplished so much. Sure, you’re young, and you’re going to make mistakes (lots of them), but you reach the end regardless. You learn from those mistakes and keep moving on, even when it seems impossible. Even when the ending is unknown and out of sight.

It’s a nice reminder that I can do the same.

Much love,

Senior Gillian

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Gillian Paxton at [email protected]

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