A letter of advice
Dear Judge Student,
I do not consider myself any more of an expert on high school than the next guy. I was never prom queen or invited to all the cool parties, so if you're looking for advice on how to be popular, I'm sorry to disappoint.
Writing this letter with four days of my high school career left however, I can honestly say I am proud of the things I did. My time at Judge embodies most of the best memories I keep. I encourage you to make the most out of it and appreciate everything around you- good and bad. It is in the bad moments that we can lift ourselves up and appreciate the good moments that much more. Stress gets to the best of us. School work, friends, relationships, sports and the like can engross you leaving you gasping for air. Let this happen. It's natural. Acknoweledge that you are stressed and figure out how you can change it. This leads me to my second point- never give up.
Don't be afraid of hard work, it always always pays off. Maybe you won't get to be a varsity basketball player, or prom queen, or the lead in the play, but all the countless hours of dedication will teach you the importance of hardwork and the value of an honest commitment. If you don't reach a goal you set yourself, continue to try. Never give up on yourself. Be able to recognize your weakness and improve on them.
Care about what you do. Whether it be a 10 point quiz, final exam, or a friendship, realize how much your actions affect others. There is so much ugly in the world, that there should be no reason to add to it when you can help it. Smiles go a long way. Don't close yourself off. These first couple of weeks of high school can be some of the most enjoyable, everyone seems to get along and be friends. I will not hold back to tell you that sophomore year can be rough. Friendships can dissipate just as quickly as they emerged. Its natural. Never be sorry for who you are. Popularity and shallow friendships will only get you so far. But respect? That carries forever. Respect everyone around you. Don't close yourself off from other people. As a senior now I realize how many potential friendships I could have had if only I had been more open. Most importantly however, again, never apologize for being who you are.
As for little words of wisdom? Take a lot of photos. It's annoying while your friend constantly stops you at football games, parties, or prom to take a couple of quick shots, but in all honesty, you'll love him or her for it later. Get involved! Join clubs, sports, or the play. It's a great way to meet upperclassmen and some of your fellow peers. Finally, take religion class seriously. I remember my freshmen year I had this arrogant disposition and I really regret that now. These last two years in particular I have grown up a lot through religion class. It doesn't have to be all about Jesus and God, but if you allow yourself to really reflect, you can and will mature.
I hope you take these words, at least some of them, and apply them. I can honestly say I loved high school because I made the most of it. It really is what you put into it that makes all the difference. Be yourself. Have fun. And Good Luck!
With all sincerity,