As I start my senior year,  I can’t help but feel anxious and excited. Lately I’ve been thinking about what the future holds for me (lots of possibilities), but I have also been thinking about all the things I’ll be leaving behind.

teamI know that every senior (and most parents) tell incoming freshman that “high school goes by really fast” and “don’t wish it away.” That advice happened to be shared with me by my older cousins and older siblings of my friends. As a freshman, I brushed that advice off, rolled my eyes and probably gave them a look that said, REALLY?

Maybe I didn’t listen because I was too caught up in the excitement of entering high school, or maybe I didn’t listen to them because I knew I had four (what seemed like) long years ahead of me. Years filled with hundreds of tests, projects, reports, sports practices, and endless nights of studying!  Well, here it is four years later and all of that is about to END in a few months.

So I am not going to tell the class of 2020 that your high school years will go by fast, instead I am going to tell you that embrace the next four years – try your hardest, get out of your comfort zone, take a risk, and be bold. These four years will go fast, and this is what I learned:

Time manage, and try for the best grade everytime – It is so much easier to drop your grade than to raise your grade. Start out your freshman year on top!

Of course I did not study hours for each test, who has time for that?! Most nights I have (had) homework in every class and at least one test or quiz in core classes the following day. Study a little every night in each subject. I learned the hard way that this works – trust me, you will save yourself a lot of stress! Study for each class each night.

Some nights I didn’t study as much as I should have and I would end up not doing so hot on a test. This added stress on me when the next test rolled around – I had to work harder to get an even higher grade! Study for each class each night (did I write that before?)

Don’t be shy when it comes to making new friends- It is worth the risk and who knows, you could be making a life-long friend. Be Bold!

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not the one partying every single night. I do have a social life, and my friends and I have had an amazing summer. However, I wish that I had made an effort to hang out with different people earlier in my high school career. I wish I had been bolder and took a risk in getting to meet and know other people.

My best friend and I are inseparable and we are friends with a number of people in our class. But it wasn’t until this summer that I started hanging out with more people; people I really didn’t know before. I wish I had asked them to hang out sooner, because now I only have one more year with them. If you want to ask someone out, ask them out! If you want to go up and introduce yourself – do it!

Be Nice

Be nice to everyone, even the people you find annoying. It takes far less work to be nice, than it does to be mean. You don’t know what someone is going through or what they have been through. A smile and a hello can change someone’s day. You will have a better high school experience if you are nice and stay out of the DRAMA. Someday you will miss your classmates, and to be honest, high school is better if everyone gets along (most of the time.)

Give 100 percent  to your teammates! You never know when your season could end or when your last practice or game may come.

As for sports, this is where some of my biggest regrets lie. When it comes to sports, I’m afraid of fast objects hurling towards my face and feet, so I chose swimming. I swam my freshman year and had a successful season. My sophomore year was good, too. But looking back at my season, in my heart I knew that I did not push myself enough. I would tell myself, I have my junior year to really make my mark.

That did not happen. I tore my ACL in a soccer game  and had to rehab instead of swim my junior year. Now I am starting my senior season and I am swimming with no regrets and no excuses. I know now that this is potentially my last season of competing and my motivation to have the best season of my life is important to me. If you like sports – pick one – and give it your all!

Your high school experience is what you make of it, enjoy it while you can! You’ll never be back in high school.
Think about how you want to remember your high school years and how you want people to remember you! You have the potential to be a positive, kind, motivated leader. Take your freshman year and enjoy it! Make new friends, have an adventure to talk about someday, be committed to being your best self. I promise you won’t regret it – you only have 1,460 days until you graduate.

Written by Bridget Krysztopa, Founder of bFITTEENS