A Letter to my Freshman Self

Ellie Olmanson, Managing Editor

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Ellie Olmanson

  Ellie: As I begin to write, there is so much blank space on this paper, yet my thoughts are anything but. To think of how to summarize the lessons I’ve experienced through my four years on Peony Lane seems a greater challenge than fighting through the crowd during passing time. To begin bluntly: things will change. Your friends will change, your interests will change, and you will change, too. Don’t worry… change doesn’t have to be scary.
  Right now, you’re not mature. You may believe you are,
but please understand that it’s important for you to recognize
you still have a lot of room to grow. Even today, I am ready to learn from every experience so I can be taught what is essential for the future. I believe it is equally important to
understand that the people around you aren’t mature yet, either. Unlike everything else in your life, maturity is not a race. You can’t cast it upon someone, just like you can’t announce it upon yourself. It may not be an immediate
recognition when change occurs, but I beg of you to embrace the moments you face. From every experience I believe there is something to be learned, and from learning you will mature.
  Many people will tell you that high school causes people
to change. However, I would like to argue against this. It is not high school that causes people to shift their viewpoints or actions. Change would happen anyway–whether you are
locked in a room or in a school of 3,400 kids. High School just
so happens to be at the same age where your thoughts are
gearing and mind is exploring. You have the opportunity to gain so many perspectives throughout your years here, but these perspectives may not be the same as your own. Learn
from them, but also stay strong with your beliefs. Just because
you have a different opinion from someone across the room
doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It also doesn’t mean you’re right.
  My biggest regret in high school is being timid. I was afraid of change, which is why I am now advocating so strongly for it.
  This year, my senior year, I decided to expand. Every day, from freshman year to this very day, I see new faces through the halls. The greatest thing that’s changed is now these unknown faces cause me to feel bittersweet. There are so
many people I have yet to meet and so many stories that I have yet to learn from. So, I want you to learn from me. Get outside your comfort zone, understand that you don’t know everything, and begin to embrace the inevitable change that will occur.

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A Letter to my Freshman Self