Advice to high school freshmen

By Paulina Lopez
Times-News correspondent

Paulina Lopez / Times-News correspondent

The high school experience will vary from person to person. It could be the worst four years of a person’s life or it could be the best.
Freshman year sets up the next three years.
As a senior, I look back at my choices freshman year and while there’s so much I’m proud of, there are some things that I would go back and change   if  I could.
To the freshmen who are reading this, please listen to my advice because it could help you get through your first year.
The most important thing to remember is probably the most overused piece of advice ever, but there’s a reason for it. You have to be yourself. School   is stressful on its own, but add the stress of trying to be someone you’re not and you’ll lose your mind.
Listen to the music that you enjoy, dress how you want, dance, sing, draw and do whatever makes you happy. If you’re putting all your energy into   trying to be someone you’re not, then those four years will be miserable. Another thing that could happen is that you lose focus in school or push the   work aside for something that will mean nothing to you years down the line.
Do not slack off your freshman year.
If you’ve heard people tell you junior year is the most important year of high school, know that that’s true, but what is not often mentioned is that   freshman year also is important. If you don’t try at all, you’ll hurt your grade point average (GPA). That GPA will follow you for the next three years.   This being said, if that does manage to happen, don’t be discouraged.
You can do it. You can bounce back. Don’t give up. Celebrate every victory no matter how small. I’m not going to lie, the work in high school is   difficult, so it’s important to be proud of yourself for what you do accomplish. Everyone has different levels of success. Don’t measure your level of   success against others. Only you know how much work you put into something. No matter what grade you get, if you put your absolute all into   something, you are allowed to be proud of it.
   Finally, my last piece of advice is that friends will come and go. The real friends will stick with you through all your life changes, all your breakdowns, and will cheer you on when you succeed. You don’t need people who are so full of envy when you accomplish something that they make you feel bad. Make friends with people who will support you no matter what. Surround yourself with people who love you.
By the end of high school, you’ll be a different person. Sometimes you’ll lose yourself in your work so you have to remember to pull yourself back and have some fun. Try to enjoy being a teenager because you’ll never again be this young.

Paulina Lopez is a senior at Clover Garden School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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