Advice to my younger freshman self
Well, here we are. After four years at Northwood, I’d like to think that a lot has changed, although looking back at my pictures from freshman year, it looks like I’ve pretty much stayed the same. Regardless, as a seasoned senior, I feel like I have a lot of wisdom to impart on little Sanjana, in hopes that some of you out there will take it and have the best high school experience you can.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Get out of your head and take some risks. There are going to be moments in high school when you’ll regret not going for something, simply because you were worried you weren’t good enough, but you honestly won’t know if you don’t try. Sure, you’re bound to screw up a few times (we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t), but hey, a pencil has an eraser for a reason: everybody makes mistakes.
- First impressions aren’t everything. Sure, they’re important, but it’s not the end of the world if you stumble on your words or forget to smile that day. People are forgiving, and you’ll find that you make a lot of great friends when you allow yourself to be given a second chance and, likewise, seek to build relationships beyond your first impressions.
- Work for yourself, not for the gratification of others. There will be times over the years when you feel pressured to match the achievements of others, but remember that your strengths lie elsewhere. At the end of the day, you define your own career path, so embrace your own strengths and work to improve them, rather than match the strengths of others. You’ll be much more satisfied with yourself, and gratification will naturally follow when you work toward your passions.
- Be thankful. I find it irksome when people with amazing lives complain about how hard they have it, but I often forget that I am one of those people. Sure, life feels hard sometimes, but guess what? That’s life. In times of stress and doubt, remember that you have a loving family and a thoughtful circle of friends that make you feel cherished even on your worst days. Instead of complaining, take advantage of the opportunities you have, and work hard to be the best person you can be as thanks for their support.