Okay, breathe. You’ve made it. Sort of anyway. You just completed your first semester of high school, just seven more to go. Yeah, that may seem like a lot, but you’ve come a long way from the kid desperately clutching the blurry map you printed out from the school website searching left and right for Mrs. Hamlin’s class, overwhelmed by your new home for the next four years of your life. Now, everything is a bit more comfortable, you’ve gotten accustomed to the workload, you’ve probably found your “group”, and I would hope you know where Mrs. Hamlin’s room is at this point. That being said, you’re still a freshman, there is still so much ahead of you, so to make the most of the rest of this year. I have a few words of advice.
First off, enjoy it. Freshman year is by far the easiest year of high school as far as stress levels go, so take advantage of that. Hang out with your friends, go to sports games, and make sure you get what little homework you have out of the way so you can cherish this free time because before you know it, the APs and the essays and the notes will get to you. Trust me when I say you will have regretted not living it up during this time.
Adding on to this, don’t feel the need to intentionally stress yourself out. All those clubs, sports, and extracurriculars will get to you, not to say they aren’t great for cultivating your interests and making new friends, just participate in moderation. It’s kind of like junk food in a sense, a little is okay, but a lot may end up making you feel “blegh.” After all, the reason why you are most likely doing all these activities is for the sake of your future, in preparation for the long, long road ahead, so don’t burn yourself out now. But also guys, you are so young! You don’t need to have it all planned out. If you do, awesome, I admire you for that, but if you don’t, don’t sweat it. This, right here, is the time to find out what you’re interested in. This is the time to experiment — to dye your hair that bright pink or give yourself bangs, really, just to cultivate you!
Have fun, take the classes you are genuinely interested in, not the ones some dudes decided were “right” for you, and again, breathe, it’ll be over sooner than you know.
Best of luck,
A Tustin High Student Class of 2018
PS – Did you know that this letter was written by a journalism student at Tustin High? We have our own on-line magazine called “The Pitchfork” and a brand new digital zine that includes student art work and untold stories about students on campus.