Dear 9th grade Brian,
Ignorance was truly bliss for you, but now that you are starting high school, a lot of information is being blasted in your direction. High school is way too much to process on your first day. From class to class, your bookbag is filled with consent waivers, syllabi, and just three more binders more than recommended in the list of school supplies. It took you three hours to get home from school because learning the T was hard ( don't worry, we got that down to an hour and a half!). High school is intimidating. It is such a large building, everyone stuck with their friends from middle school. It took you a while to find your niche in the jungle.
Like always, you maintained high expectations for yourself in order to succeed, but were unaware of the unhealthy repercussions of focusing on your flaws. Your mom would tell you that God does everything for a reason. At the time, you saw being at Urban Science Academy and moving to Boston as more of a curse than a blessing. Trust me, that ideology will change by the time freshman year ends.
Accepting how unfair the world can be is hard. Just like how it's hard to find out that you didn't get accepted into the technical trade school of your dreams and that you are moving to Boston, a city hundreds of miles away from all of your family.
Once you made your peace with your situation, you ended up being presented with an astounding amount of options at USA. Available was an array of sports - especially with the school having built a new sports field. There were after school clubs and programs from every corner of Boston also available. It was quite overwhelming at first.
One day, in computer science class, you met someone who you felt a peculiar familiarity with, and agreed that we had met somewhere before, but could not recall where. This strange familiarity instilled a quick friendship. This new friend invited you to her robotics team at Northeastern University. The invitation spiked your interest as you always loved technology. You ended up joining the the team. Then, your humanities teacher would call your mom at least once a week asking if you could join the debate team as well. Ultimately, you said yes. But, you had barely any time for yourself with prior obligations and other school commitments. Your week was always jam-packed, and during the weekends, you were either at your father's house or catching up on work/studying. This led to the last thing you need in high school: stres. Stress can normal, but it ended up getting to a point where you couldn't manage time well.
You were stressed about being ready for robotics, having time to study debate notes, getting work done, and having time to be with friends and family. Despite the stress, you felt you were in too deep into activities to stop, so you continued on without trying anything different, or finding a solution. This was seriously the worst thing you could do to yourself. It lead to you being a disorganized person. You suffered from a lot of headaches and never felt good at all. It's always important to set time aside for yourself to get organized and to relax, which is the one thing you never did, and suffered immensely because of it. It’s okay sometimes to miss a meeting in order to recuperate and get back together. It's important to be organized and to prioritize yourself. If you always put yourself last, nothing good will come of that.
Think of failure like a spider. Spiders are mostly harmless unless it's poisonous. Failure, in most cases, is blown out of proportion. If you fail, you should be fine, as long as you make an attempt to improve yourself.
Every time you made a mistake your mind would flood with pessimism: “Why can't I ever do anything right?” or “I'm honestly not normal, what is wrong with me?” You couldn't live with yourself because your obsession with success was creating unrealistically high expectations, which led to more stress. You ended up being constantly angry. With time, you learned to control your thoughts and become satisfied with yourself.
I don't want you to think that you shouldn't set high expectations for yourself. But, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough, nor tell yourself that. As a freshman, all the work may seem overwhelming. Seek improvement within yourself but also think realistically.
Like animals, we either adapt to situations, or we don't. In the case of this analogy, your experiences were near-death but at least you’re alive! Coming soon will be the end of freshman year. You have hopefully made friends that you can confide in for the rest of high school.
Ponder on how not only you adapted, but how you thrived within your freshman experience and what opportunities have come to fruition because of it. Keep in mind to take advantage of opportunities presented to you, manage your time well, stay organized, and keep realistic goals for yourself. In short, never be afraid to make mistakes despite your ambitious attempts at success.