An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Kaitlyn P. '18

As part of their freshman retreat, students are asked to write letters to their future selves that they'll open and read on their senior retreat four years later. We asked a group of seniors, after reading those letters, to look backwards and write letters to their freshman selves.

Dear freshman me,

The next four years are going to be completely transformative. One morning you will wake up and realize that freshman year was three years ago, and that you are at your last tailgate, your last clubs fair, your last first day of high school. Cherish every single first. Cherish that first awkward slow dance, that first failed test, that first all-nighter.

Take as many atrocious photos as you can. Participate in house assembly. Meet as many people as you can. Say yes now, and figure out the how later.  Everything in moderation. (That includes Odwallas and hash-browns from the WCC.) Do more than one outdoor trip. Ask your best friend to the dance. Wear flats, not high heels. Go on hikes with your friends, and try rock climbing or ultimate Frisbee for the heck of it.

You are the only thing between yourself and who you want to be. Time is of the essence. Set high standards for yourself, and even higher goals. But remember that no matter what you do, even if you have been given the best advice, you will mess up. You will make mistakes, you will go through breakups.

And lastly, stay true to who you are. You may be young, and you may not have all the answers, but trust your gut, and be yourself. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not.

Be thankful, be appreciative, be gracious, be patient, be thoughtful, be kind. Look out for your friends, and look out for yourself. And remember, you’re only a freshman once.

Senior me