ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ABI HUMBER
As I’m finishing my freshman year, all I can say is I am absolutely thrilled that I don’t have to repeat it.
Last August, I was totally mortified; I was scared of the teachers and the grueling sports practices. Actually, I was mostly afraid of the upperclassmen.
I’m not sure why I was so terrified of the juniors and seniors…. Maybe because I didn’t know most of them. I’m not joking when I say that whenever I saw a junior or senior coming my way, I would actually close my eyes until they passed or duck into another room. I was that petrified.
I have no clue if I was expecting one to pounce and bite me or what, but, luckily, I stopped being paralyzed about the third week of volleyball. Some upperclassmen on the team joked around with me, making me feel a lot more comfortable.
But what was the hardest thing about freshman year? Changing friendships. Do any girls remember what it was like to be in second grade? While all the little boys were having spitting contests or playing soccer or whatever they did at recess, we little girls would be huddled around the slide, planning our entire futures.
In high school, we were all going to be on the basketball team together. When we graduated, we were going to go to the same college, and of course we’d room together…. We were best friends forever.
We were all going to be bridesmaids in each other’s weddings; we knew whom we were going to marry, where we were going to live (next door to each other…duh), and even what colors our houses were going to be! (Scary, I know!).
While most of us ditched those plans ages ago, we were still best friends. Until this year, when everything changed. Surprise! But not such a great one. Do not pass “GO,” Do not collect $200. Sit in jail and cry.
While I was wondering if I was the only one going through horrible melodrama, I asked a few of my freshman classmates what they thought the worst part of the year was. Most of them, amazingly, said it was the changing of friends.
Here’s how I have this figured out. During freshman year, everyone wants to fit in. Whether we admit it or not, we really just want people to like us. We want to know that we matter, that there are a few friends we can trust, and that people will notice when we’re not around.
It seems that we get so caught up in our own social status (“Do they like me?” “Do I look OK?” “Was that a dumb thing to do?” “Am I saying the right things?” ) that we don’t even realize our friendships are drifting.
It starts to look like everyone else is changing to fit in. Funny, our friends seem to think that we’re the one drastically morphing. Perspective is everything, I guess.
It eventually gets rather twisted and confusing. I have to admit, I’m definitely guilty of caring way too much about what others think of me instead of being comfortable with who I’m becoming.
The bottom line: It’s really difficult to be yourself when you don’t even know who “yourself” is.
Still, I’ve learned this year that it’s important to be who you are, be honest with yourself, and trust that you’ll figure out how to be “yourself” along the way.
If you and your friends start to develop different interests and you think it’s going to be the end of the world-it’s not. It will be OK.
High school is the time when we start to decide who we’re going to be (I totally just sounded like my mom right there). For me, the hardest parts of my freshman year have been figuring out who I want to be and dealing with the differences between my friends and me.
But, as my mommy and millions of other mother-figures have once said, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
Eventually, you’ll find someone you fit in with. You can’t so much control who’s going to like you, but you can shape the person you want to become.
Have fun becoming your own person! Freshmen year doesn’t last forever.
Editor’s note: Abi Humber, a Hillsboro High School student, is the new writer for our Horizons column. The column will appear every time we have a fifth issue in a month. Welcome aboard, Abi.