A letter to my freshman self

A+letter+to+my+freshman+self

By Hyunjin Christina Lee, Co-T/E Life Editor

Dear Christina, 

Hey there! So you finally made it. To high school. The most frightening and exciting journey of your life yet. You are entering Conestoga High School as a shy, confused and ambitious freshman, still unsure of your goals and interests. Nevertheless, you will embrace this year as an opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and above all, come to accept the fact that it’s okay to not be perfect all the time.  

You are still unaware of all the ups and downs that is high school. You are still unaware that two years later, as a junior, you will do things you would never even have thought of – writing in the Spoke, for example. And you are yet still unaware of all the valuable lessons you will learn as you struggle to find yourself at Conestoga. 

Transitioning from middle school will not be very easy for you. Especially the transitions from middle school science to AP Biology, social studies with Mr. Holmes to AP World History with Ms. McDugall, and of course, AP Calculus with Mr. Poiesz. You will end up going to bed later and later every day, not just because of the course load, but because you will procrastinate and spend countless minutes worrying about nothing. But I promise. It will all be find in the end. It will take time, but you will learn that in the end, the mistakes you will make will not ruin your entire high school career as you chose to believe at the moment. 

Middle school also has not prepared you well for all the setbacks and drama you will eventually face. From friendship problems and fights, feeling stressed, to becoming inundated with more work than you could possibly handle… 

In your freshman year, you will also learn that a lot of the things you used to believe about yourself, or rather, the things you wanted to believe about yourself, are not true. For example, you definitely are not a “robot” who gets perfect grades. You definitely cannot function with 5-6 hours of sleep. And of course, you will learn that math, no matter how much you wanted it to be, is not your calling. 

There are a lot of things I wish you could have known. It’s okay to have fun sometimes. You don’t have to be productive or study all the time. Like in your 8th period study hall with Mrs. Gardner; you refused to go outside, because you wanted to “study.” It’s okay to stop doing the things you had always done. And despite how cliché this might sound, there is nothing wrong with admitting you are confused and asking a teacher for help. I wish you had done that. In AP biology, when you didn’t understand Photosynthesis or Respiration. In Calc, when you didn’t understand polar area and curves. And I also wish you didn’t obsess your time always comparing yourself to your friends. You guys are all different. No matter how much you compare, nothing will change it. Just be you and do the things you do best, not what they do best. 

Above all, I hope that you will take freshman year as a learning experience. To accept every defeat and challenge as an opportunity for self-improvement. To learn to trust yourself, and believe in yourself. And to realize that in the end, it’s the small moments that will matter the most. 

Love, Christina 


Hyunjin Lee can be reached at [email protected]