Freshman advice

Freshman year is tough. It was tough before the pandemic and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be during the times of Covid. I made a lot of mistakes, sophomore year wasn’t much better, but I can confidently say I’ve learned from them.


1. If you feel insecure, everyone else does too.

There’s always going to be someone you compare yourself to. Perhaps it’s someone you find much more attractive than yourself. You’ll always compare yourself to someone who you think is funnier, smarter and maybe even more well liked than you are. The fact is that the people you compare yourself to find flaws within themselves and even have people they’re jealous of. Know that even if you looked the way you wish you looked, you’d still find flaws. There’s nothing wrong with you: your only fault is your discontent.


2. Don’t worry too much about relationships.

When I imagine freshman year and dating, the memories that once stung are now something I find myself giggling about. It sucks when your crush doesn’t like you back, but eventually you get over it. If you’re stuck in the talking stage, be open to communicating so you’re both on the same page. If they like you, you’ll know and if they don’t you won’t. If you’re hurting, it feels like your whole life, but whatever happened will heal with time. Finally, don’t stress about being single. Focus on yourself and on school, you’ll be glad you did when you look at your transcript.


3. Don’t overload your schedule. Know your limits.

Taking all AP and honors courses seems appealing until the workload catches up to you. There’s no shame in taking regular classes. If you’ve taken all AP and honors classes and find yourself struggling, understand that there’s no shame in getting help. Email your counselor and talk to them about what you’re struggling with. Talk to your teacher one on one and come up with a plan that works for you. If things get worse, consider dropping the class.

Leave a good amount of wiggle room for yourself. By the time I was a sophomore, I was an editor in journalism, competed on two varsity sports teams, took all AP and honors courses and held leadership positions in various clubs. I didn’t have time for myself and in turn, began to struggle by the end of first semester. I could have avoided my turmoil by prioritizing myself, but I chose not to. Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson (the hard way) and make sure to tell any freshman that will listen.


4. Take one class that doesn’t stress you out.

If you’re having a rough day, have at least one class where you can relax. It’s best if you like the teacher, the environment and it has a minimal workload. There’s enough on your plate– use this class to unwind.


5. Upperclassmen are intimidating, but they don’t know what they’re doing either.

I was afraid of upperclassmen as a freshman, and now that I am one, I can’t help but laugh at 14 year old me. Why was I so afraid? As a junior, I have the maturity of a freshman, but responsibilities of a senior. I’m only a little wiser now, but most things are the same.

I used to think the upperclassmen were so put together. Now I know it was all a façade. 


6. High school moves faster than you think, so live in the moment.

It’s crazy to think I’m a junior giving freshman advice on something I went through years ago. I can still recall the smallest details and dates of things that shouldn’t be important to me.

Every once in a while, take a deep breath and absorb what’s going on around you. For a moment, it won’t matter what happened or what will happen next. Sometimes life is boring, but it has its moments if you can recognize them.