Full of hope, nerves, confusion, and excitement.
I started at a new school that was 30 minutes away from where I lived. I went to this high school because at the time, they were 2nd in the nation for women’s soccer. (lol, RIP current day team) I knew only about 5 people total who attended the school and it was a complete new change for me. High school is a big change anyways, let alone going to a school where you know nobody and nobody knows you.
Let me give you some context into what my life was like at this time….
I was super passionate about soccer and wanted to be on the varsity team. I knew the head coach and thought that it was already set that I was going to make the team. I try out and it turns out that my position was taken by two of the best juniors and seniors on the team. The coach tells me she already talked to the JV coach and I was on the team. At tryouts the next day, I screw around and didn’t take it seriously whatsoever.
Fast forward to a few days later when the results came up…. I was nowhere on list for the JV team. I saw my name on the freshman team list. A boy who I knew was standing next to me and said, “I thought you were going to be on the JV team?” I start crying, called my mom, and said I was quitting soccer.
I decide not to quit soccer (lol classic 14 year old girl) and I go to practice. About half of the girls on the team had never played, the coach would feed us fries and chicken fingers before practice and games, and sometimes he wouldn’t even show up. I was so confused as to why I was placed where I was. This was the start of the big downfall in my self worth which I will include in the next few posts that follow along the next few years of my life.
But the reason I share all of that is so you can understand the confusion that freshman year carries. You think you know something about yourself and then it changes. You think you know what you are passionate about, and then it changes. You are just thoroughly confused about who you are. This is the time of your life that you really don’t understand what you want to do in life. (let me just say- YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW YET!) Certain friendships that you have had for so long are now disappearing out of nowhere. Things that you are used to are now ending and more uncertainties are coming up. This transition is hard, friend. This is all new and unfamiliar. But don’t worry because it will only bring growth and NEW things to your life.
Advice that I would say to my freshman self:
Don’t try to fit in. Continue doing what YOU enjoy doing, despite what others think. If you are worried about friendships for this year, do what you love and the friends who love those things will naturally come.
Start a new sport or activity! I started a new sport (waterpolo!) halfway through my sophomore year and I regret not starting it my freshman year! It was so fun and brought so many good memories the few months I did it. Try something you may or may not like and keep yourself busy/ active!
Be involved in your local church’s youth group! This is the most important piece of advice I can give you. Be in your youth group. Be in your youth group. Be in your youth group. Whether or not the other girls go to your school or not, it’s always good to have friends at other schools! It can be a breath of fresh air when you get to hang out with friends who you don’t see everyday! This will also help you with community that is centered around Jesus! High school is a hard time in your life so you NEED to find other friends who are pursuing Jesus!
Find a devotional that you enjoy and do it with a few friends! Like I said, it’s so powerful to be in community with other girls pursuing Jesus and so is reading scripture with one another! Do it together and grow your friendships with one another and also with Jesus!
It is so important to note that this IS a very foundational time in your life, as you have probably heard many of times. So with this, it is important to be intentional about what you are building your identity on top of. Are you building it on top of what the new trend is? Are you building it on top of what others are saying about you or are you building it on top of what God says about who He is and who you are!
Be in the word daily learning what Jesus has said and be asking questions when you get confused! What a beautiful time you are in, sister! Steward it wisely and don’t let what others tell you get you down. You are God’s daughter who He is so proud of! You are walking into a new season of new things, hopeful beginnings, and the start of adulthood! (Again, don’t worry about having it all figured out! You’ll never “arrive”)
John 12:46, “ I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
Remind yourself of this truth that because Jesus came to die for all of your shortcomings, weaknesses, flaws, and sin that you aren’t in darkness any longer. You are washed by Jesus’ perfect love over your life. Through you having faith in Him, you are now in the light of His love.
Keep going strong, friend and don’t get discouraged by the change that is happening. Pursue Jesus and see what He does this year!