Senior Sophie Hornberger Writes Letter to Her Freshman Self


Sophie Hornberger, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Many times, people are asked to write a letter to a future self . .  .something to be opened years in the future as a check-in about where life has taken you, maybe to be opened at the end of the year, at high school graduation, or even further down the line. I want to offer up a letter to my past self, one with things I wish I would’ve known my freshman year. It is not only to reflect, but to offer a word of advice to anyone who might read it and to serve as a reminder for my future self of what is truly important. 

Dear Freshman Self, 

The next four years of your life are going to be the most unforgettable ones yet. There will be times that are filled with stress and frustration. There will be plenty of tears and things won’t always go right, but in the end, those won’t be the parts that matter. What will matter most from your high school years will be everything else–the experiences, the friendships, the memories and the laughs. I know, I know. That sounds like a really cliche description of high school, but there’s a reason that’s what you hear people talk about. These four years will be some of the most formative ones of your life. I’m so excited for everything you are going to get to experience, and I wouldn’t want to take the surprises away for you, so instead let me offer you a few pieces of advice. 

  • Be unapologetic in the person you are: 
    • These are the years in your life where you get to make decisions for yourself while still in the safety net of high school. The people that will matter most to you down the line will take you in for who you are. Choose to be yourself and do so boldly. This will lead you to the people you are meant to be with. You may not find them right away, but if you are who you are at your core you will. I know it’s scary, and it will take time, but I believe in you. 
  • Take every opportunity you get: 
    • Part of being you is figuring out who you are. Don’t be afraid to try new things — you never know where you’ll find a passion. Play a sport, audition for the play and musical, join random clubs to give them a shot. Some of those things will be where your best memories come from. Don’t skip out on a dance, game, or event if you can avoid it. Those kinds of things only happen a limited time, and they are almost always so fun. You won’t like everything you try, and it’s okay to quit. A friend told me you probably won’t regret trying something, even if you don’t like it, but that you will regret not trying it and will always wonder “what if.” 
  • Don’t wish these moments away: 
    • The next four years of your life will not be picture perfect. Even in the moments that suck, don’t miss what’s around you waiting for it to end. This is special and it only happens once. The people around you and the place you are right now will influence the person you become. When you look back, you won’t think about the tests that felt impossible or the classmates you didn’t necessarily love working with. What you will remember are the friends that are most important to you, the laughs you shared with them, and the moments you wanted to never end. 

Good luck in the next four years. Take a deep breath and enjoy every moment. 



Your Senior Self