What I Wish I Would Have Known

Looking back on the past four years of high school I cannot help but laugh out how absolutely ridiculous my freshman self was. I was painfully nervous around upperclassmen and tried to compensate for my insecurities with obnoxious behavior.


Perhaps the most noticeable example of my insecurities as a freshman took place when I was dropped off to school. Every morning I insisted that the radio be completely off when I got out of the car. If my mom dared to do something as outrageous as telling me goodbye I would be absolutely mortified. After all, high schoolers don’t actually talk to their parents, right? I was actually embarrassed because my mom was using her windshield wipers in the morning when I did not think anyone else was.


I also wish I would have known how great it feels to take advantage of opportunities . . . extra effort really does pay off.”

If I could give any advice to my freshman self, it would be to care less about what people think or what you think people might think. In most situations, people do not really care what you do anyway. As students become older and more mature (hopefully) they care less about what everyone else is doing. I no longer care if my outfit is different than what everyone else is wearing. I don’t even care if I’m seen with my mom in public.

I also wish I would have known how great it feels to take advantage of opportunities. Students are always told about how hard work pays off or how important it is to work hard. As a freshman however, it is hard to understand how working hard on a history assignment could ever pay off in the future. In reality, extra effort really does pay off. I know personally that my hard work in classes helped me gain acceptance into my dream school and my hard work on newspaper staff helped our paper win a Spartan Award this year and last.

So, to all you underclassmen reading this now, don’t for a second think that all your hard work is for nothing. There will be rewards down the road in the form of college acceptance, scholarships and recognition at the school. Working hard when you are younger will make success easier down the road. It is easier to maintain a good GPA than to try and bring up your GPA.

Overall, underclassmen need to forget the stereotypes about high school. Being smart does not make you a nerd and being yourself does not make you uncool. There is no “in crowd” to try and fit in with. In reality, there are just students trying to find themselves and who they want to be. It is much easier to discover yourself if you do it without fear of social repercussions. Especially the older you get, people will learn to respect you for being you. And if they don’t then chances are they have not grown up yet and aren’t worth your time anyways.