• Bethany Smeltzer

Freshmen - Start FRESH

On my first day of high school, my friends and I were walking up the front steps and I was immediately greeted by one of our campus proctors (yard or safety duty workers).


"Good morning Bethany, I hope you have a great day."


Within a few minutes, our principal came out and again knew me by name. My friends looked at me and asked, "What did you do for them to already recognize you?"


Well, nothing. My mom had been volunteering at my high school since I was in first grade because of my older siblings. When I was in elementary school, on half days and she was volunteering, I ended up at the high school.


I felt like my path was set for me. I had three older siblings that my teachers all knew and expectations that came attached. I was either going to be disruptive like my older brother or the perfect straight A student like my other two siblings.


When leaving middle school, I was wanting to figure out who I was not just as an individual but in regards to my friend group.


Did I really fit with the friends I had chosen years ago and stayed with? Did I fit my personal style and choices that I had been making? Was I really the rule follower that I had been made out to be?





I'm not telling you to drop your friends, throw away all of your clothes and to become a crazy rebel.


What I mean by all of this is that you are starting a new year, most likely a new school, which means that you have a chance to step into a new you.


Had I had the courage, I would have accepted the style of clothing that I so longed to wear. It took me years to finally reinvent myself (not even in college). I wore the clothes that were "in style back in 2000's" (I wore so many of these...).


But the issue was, none of them were me. I was caving to the peer pressure of fitting in. My style is what I call Beach Preppy (think Tommy Bahama), relaxed and comfortable like the surfer style but also preppy. I didn't come into my own until the last couple of years. I still get a little nervous about buying things that I love because my wardrobe has been slowly becoming what I want it to be.


Don't wait years like I did to accept who you are.

Take this chance to re-evaluate your friends, activities, getting outside your comfort level, and expand yourself.


At the end of my freshman year, the group of friends that I had from 6th grade to starting 9th grade was no more. Sometimes things happen for the best, like finding your best friend.

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