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Tier Two (Don't Delete)

Eighth Graders Plus a Summer

Hey! I'm Baker, a rising sophomore at Stevenson. I call Carmel my home. I love to travel, take photos, and write and want to keep doing all three in the future. Freshman year is coming to a close, and I have spent these last few weeks as a time of reflection and a lot of anticipation. I have learned more about myself during my freshman year than I had previously throughout the other 14 years of my life. 

I distinctly remember sitting in Erdman Chapel on the first day of orientation, Dr. Hicks’s voice booming through the speakers. I remember the scene vividly, and there is one thing that he said, one simple anecdote that I will never forget.

 

 You are not freshmen, you are eighth graders plus a summer.

 

At the time I was offended. ‘I am in high school’ I thought, ‘I’m not an eighth grader’. As the year progressed, I began to understand the truth in the statement more and more, and as freshman year draws to a close, I can say with 100% certainty that I am not the same person I was in August. In the few months that freshman year had to offer, I made amazing friends but learned to let go of those who aren’t so amazing, always give the effort you receive -- it isn’t fair for you to give an ounce more love to someone who can’t be bothered. I had some incredible successes but also some harsh failures, I carried myself through both. Freshman year isn’t easy, but no one says it is (and if they do they’re lying). Although it wasn’t easy, freshman year was without a doubt one of the best years of my life. It might not seem easy at the time, but you will find your own groove and you will figure out the person that you want to be, and what you need to do to get there. When push comes to shove, that is what matters. 

There were times I thought freshman year would finish me before I finished it, but that wasn’t the case. It ended up being one of the best years of my life. Fitting in, being an outcast, acceptance, rejection, achievement, failure, these are all aspects of life and trust me, it hurts way less when you have genuine people you can turn to. The most important lesson I learned this year was that it is way better to have a few close friends than endless acquaintances. Real friends are there to carry you through your lows and to help you reach your highs. Keep those people around. 

As my best friend signed in my yearbook, “Wow! That was freshman year!”