Last year in AP Bio, I planted 12 pea seeds. Only six of them grew. The half that did were awesome, the half that didn’t, we had no idea why.
Freshman are like pea seeds. You water them and hope that they all grow up big and strong, but there’s more to it than environment. The factors that will decide if your seed grows are out of your hands. Why does that one seed seem to accidentally grow when another with everything it needed, didn’t.
Freshmen are just starting to bridge the gap between adolescence and adulthood. They still have this cocoon around them. There’s a couple of them that seem destined to be prom kings and queens and others who you hope life is kinder to. In the end, a freshman has to take control of his or her own growth. Part of me wishes I could go back and tell freshman Hannah that she turns out alright. Tell her to keep going, that doing your homework actually does help. I don’t think she’d listen, but at least I could say I tried.
Looking back on it being a freshman was scary, but I found people who were like me in that they weren’t necessarily concerned with high school being the best four years of their lives. They wanted to have fun, while creating a productivity standard and a standard of conduct that I liked, could follow and as a result, I never felt alone. Seniors who gave me the slightest bit of attention, like the star softball player who was in my art class and said hi to me once in awhile, she made a difference. I wouldn’t say we were friends, but she helped me pick my group. She was the type of person I was looking for. Surround yourself with people who have the qualities you’re striving for, set yourself up for success.
People become their friends. If you hang out with a crowd who doesn’t care about school and can’t see the bigger picture, then you are going to become that kind of person. In relationships and friendships you should never settle. Everyone loves attention, but sometimes you have to recognize who is giving you that attention and distance yourself from them.
When you’re always around positive people it makes it easier to be positive. My coach always says, “attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?” Sometimes you need to flip the phrase, do you want to have the same attitude as the people around you? High school is a stepping stone, a foundation, not the peak of your life. All this being said, you don’t have to be the same as your friends. You don’t have to be clones. It’s not about having all the same interests, it’s about having the common denominators, productivity and kindness.
Once you get to high school your daily choices really start to affect your reality. Your grades determine your future options. You don’t need to be a 4.0 student, but you do need to challenge yourself and work hard in your classes. When I was a freshman I wish someone would’ve told me that being a good and hard-working person means more than anything else. Who you are is more important than what you’ve done.