Advice for the Both of Us - Kyla Cotton
Dear Freshman Kyla ,
Good morning, because I know your mornings are still good. I know you wake up and go to breakfast without the looming stress of AP exams or finding a college roommate. I know that you’re still finding yourself and seeking approval from others no matter how much you want to deny it.
I just want to let you know that that’s okay.
Wherever you are at any given moment is okay. You’re not behind, you’re not doing any worse than anyone else. You’re learning and growing just like your classmates, just like your teachers, and just like your parents. Your perspective will shift and change every day but you have to be open to it, though I know you will be.
I know that you’re looking forward to not being a freshman, and I don’t blame you because you feel like you’re at the bottom of the food chain. As hard as it may be–because these things are always easier said than done–slow down and enjoy the present moment. The minute you take your first breath of senior year, you’ll realize how fast that time went and you’ll wish the second hand ticked just a bit slower. Take advantage of all of the little moments; all of the smiles, laughs, tears, triumphs, downfalls, hugs, and high-fives. Even though these moments may seem small and inconsequential, you never know when they can be taken away from you.
Aside from the social aspects of high school, it’s important that you academically pursue what you enjoy. Try new things and challenge yourself because I promise you that you’ll surprise yourself. Broaden your horizons and step out of your comfort zone, being comfortable won’t help you discover your full potential. In doing so, you’ll find that taking risks requires the support of those around you, and don’t be afraid to take advantage of that. Ask for help, whether it be from a peer or a teacher. Ask questions and stay curious, but be mindful of your own mental health and the amount of things you can reasonably take on.
This brings me to my next point, your mental and emotional well-being. Being ambitious and active in the community is awesome and will help you learn and grow, no doubt. However, taking on too many responsibilities at once by yourself is a recipe for disaster. It’s important to carve out time for yourself to relax and take a breath. If you neglect yourself in exchange for doing things for others, you can quickly lose sight of yourself and your motivations. Love yourself, queen, you deserve it.
Okay, now that all the serious stuff is out of the way, here’s the last thing I’ll say: be yourself, whatever that means to you in any given moment. Have dance parties in the common room with your friends, play volleyball on Wilson Field with people from other dorms, eat Hershey’s chocolate at 10 pm while watching a movie, paint your nails on the Rosen Amphitheater o n a sunny afternoon.
Do what makes you happy, because, at the end of that day, that’s all that matters.
All the best with the utmost love,
Your Future Self