Swan Song: A Letter to Freshmen From A Senior

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Courtesy of cibicalgerie.com

Courtesy of cibicalgerie.com

Courtesy of cibicalgerie.com

Britt Alphson ‘17, Staff Writer

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As my last 4 days of high school unravel, I have reflected on what high school has been for me, and what it has the potential to be for so many people – specifically, the Class of 2020. In my mind, freshman year seems like yesterday and a decade ago simultaneously. I feel that way with most things in life.

It’s no denying that high school is a confusing time in most people’s lives. But with the confusion comes inspiration, growth, and an incredibly gratifying emotional renaissance. Growing is as painful as it is necessary. Just think of all the films that document high school: from timeless flicks such as The Breakfast Club to more modern narratives such as Perks of Being A Wallflower, each decade has tried to explain the mystifying four years that is high school with accuracy and sentiment.

I think part of the reason why high school is so incredible is because the four years in which it takes place are bookended by many firsts. We all remember our first formal, our first date, our first time driving a car.

I have changed monumentally from freshman year to senior year. Freshmen- you won’t see it now (and that’s part of the beauty of life) but you will change so, SO much in these next three years. Your hair will change, your friends will change, your life will change. Day slips into night, as months slip into years. Don’t be daunted by this, and don’t try to anticipate it. Change will happen seamlessly. Try asking yourself “how will my life be different a year from now?” You probably scoff at the idea that life could somehow not maintain its current (and comfortable) permanence. Trust me, it doesn’t. A year from now, you will look back to this moment bewildered by the disparities between past and present.

Be excited for sophomore year! It’s a really solid year of high school, where most of your time is spent exploring, and even creating, the new contours of yourself. Most people say you truly settle into your friend group during sophomore year. You are older and have a bit more of a grip on everything.

Each year of high school I gained a clearer insight as to who I was, what made me authentic, and what gave me passion. I would suggest looking deeper into the things that make you excited to get up in the morning (as cheesy as this sounds). A big part of what gave me gratification leaving high school was participating in activities that made me feel part of a community. In the long run, you will regret not trying something and never getting the chance to experience it, rather than trying something only to end up not liking it. There are so many things happening around campus! If you find yourself bored during P9, it’s probably due to the fact that you haven’t yet settled into your niché. Go for sports, CAP, MUN, Sunset, anything really.

You might be thinking how crazy it is that the seniors are departing from this journey while you are merely beginning to embark on it. The adage “time flies” is only cliché because of the truth it holds. Life is really just a compilation of moment to moment actions that we can only make sense of after those moments have been strung together into a memory, so my best suggestion is to live in the now. 🙂

The last piece of advice I have is this: high school is different for everyone. Just because your experience doesn’t match your prototype of what high school is supposed to be, or just because it doesn’t resemble what you see in the movies, don’t feel discouraged. As long as you are growing and having fun, high school is what each individual needs it to be. I hope it treats you as well as it has me.

P.S. I’ve had this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on my wall for the past four years. It’s really helped me whenever I felt like I needed to start over.

“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.”

 

Much love always,

Britt Alphson ‘17

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Swan Song: A Letter to Freshmen From A Senior