Walking through the doors of the gym on the first day of my freshman year, I thought I had it all figured out. I sat with all of my best friends in the cheer uniform that I was ready to let define me. I prayed that one of the Link Crew leaders wouldn’t ask me to participate in a game because, even though I seemed to exude confidence, the last thing I wanted was to stand out.
I was ready to make myself fit the cookie cutter of all honors classes and posting Snapchat stories of sleepovers every weekend like I was supposed to. I was ready to show off my Vera Bradley backpack with the matching lunch box and my new brown Birkenstocks.
As if every single other freshman girl didn’t have the same thing.
I sat in my room after the first day and thought about how good I had it. How I had the best friend group and the best classes and how we would never stop being friends and I would never take a regular level class. Now, here I am, starting my senior year, and there’s so much I wish someone would have told me.
Don’t be afraid of change. Be unique, nobody wants to be friends with an exact replica of themselves.
Take an elective that none of your friends signed up for. You’ll meet someone new, I promise.
Enroll in regular level classes if you don’t feel comfortable with a higher level. Math was hard for me and I’m glad I figured out being able to say I was in AP math classes wasn’t worth ruining my GPA.
It’s okay to do something your friends aren’t. I know it stings to hear now, but the people you just walked in these doors with, probably aren’t the people who you’ll be taking graduation photos with. If you want to audition for the play or try out for a team and none of your friends will, just do it. Yeah, maybe your first practice will be lonely and awful, but, remember, someone else feels the same and it always gets better.
You are you, not them. Branch out and do your own thing. You might lose a few people on the way, but remember that whatever you lose was never really yours. If your tried and true girl gang is making up drama and rumors about you every other week, drop them. Choose people who choose you. It’ll be hard for awhile, I know, but you’ll come out of it so much better.
Freshman year, I had it all figured out. Now, three years later, I’m not even sure I like the classes I’m signed up for, I have no clue where I want to go to college and I have an entirely new group of friends.
And, you know what?
I’m okay with that.