An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Nour G. ’22

Dear Freshman Nour,

What’s good? 

Middle school is now in the past and you have earned your right of passage to the Upper School. Give yourself a pat on the back, you should be proud you even made it this far! As always, the future is completely foreign, but I’ve got a few words of advice which may help you as you embark on your high school journey. 

Do you remember that song by Pitbull and Christina Aguillera that goes “I just want to feel this moment!” That should be your motto: live in the moment. These next four years are going to pass by so fast that you should truly embrace your time on campus and with friends. Even when you feel bogged down with assignments and activities, remember that you have 24 hours in a day and the choices you make will determine how memorable your high school experience is. 

Have grace. Let’s be honest, you are far from perfect; but that is perfectly fine :) You will have some mess-ups (and some pretty embarrassing moments!) but take that in stride and move forward. In reality, no one cares about your failures as much as you do. Even if you mess up your Chinese grammar structure for the third time in a row or stutter and forget your lines in the middle of an English speech, it’s ok! The best thing you can do is look back and laugh! 

Be authentic to yourself. Ugh this seems so cliché, but I can’t emphasize how important it is. Please do NOT waste your time trying to fit in; trust me, it’s not worth it!!! Don’t change how you dress, how you act, or your personality for a group of people. If you let things evolve naturally, you will be much happier in the long run. 

Your high school experience is not going to be like the ones they show in the movies, and that’s ok! Embrace each opportunity and please take risks. Even if something seems remotely interesting, take a shot at it, you never know what will happen! You WILL be in situations where you feel uncomfortable and challenged, but use that to your advantage and approach it with an open mind. 

In these next four years, you will spend many hours procrastinating, spending your frees in the library, and pulling painful all-nighters. But you will also spend many hours listening to Drake and 21 Savage, creating art, and hanging out with friends on late night drives. The key is balance. When you learn to balance high school and life, I will be super proud of you. 

Be grateful for the opportunities you have and approach high school with an open mind. Keep that smile on your face and keep pushing forward. 

You got this, see you on the other side!

-Senior Nour