Freshman year. That year you are excited, but also nervous because you are in high school. Even though my freshman year was a few years ago, I still remember it as if it was yesterday.

Walking onto campus that first day, you have no idea what’s happening; you don’t know where any of your classes are or any of the teachers. You just follow the crowd and hope that you didn’t mess up. The first day seems to drag on forever. 

That feeling kinda goes away, but doesn’t, really. You spend the rest of the year trying to find your place—your niche, and it’s understandable. Freshman year is equivalent to restarting school, you know almost nobody and nothing, and spend most of the time blindly stumbling around (metaphorically).

What I meant by the feeling of dissonance not fully vanishing is best explained by what you gain your freshman year. First, you will most likely have a teacher or two that you will be able to build a strong relationship with for all four years of high school. For me, it was my freshman theology teacher who I still talk to today. Secondly, you will discover what subjects you really like and maybe even start formulating your future career plans. Thirdly, you will begin to discover the various activities that OLU offers and maybe even join some.

For my first point, you will have many many teachers through high school and while they are all amazing and you will get to know all of them. You will connect with some more than others. It might be a shared hobby, an interest in the subject, or maybe your personalities just click. Whatever the case, you will most likely have one teacher who you can talk to like a friend by the end of your freshman year.

As to my second point, as you navigate various classes throughout your freshman year, even if you hate school you are bound to find one or two subjects you genuinely enjoy. Maybe the teacher is boring, but the subject really interests you. Or vice versa. Regardless of how it goes down, you will most likely be able to identify your favorite subject, which can hopefully translate to some real world career.

Lastly, is the gradual discovery of the various activities OLU has to offer. At OLU, there are 25 sports, 5 learning pathways (the academies), 10 leadership groups, and countless clubs and other teams. With so many options, you are bound to be overwhelmed at first, but you will slowly find your way in. Maybe you’re interested in Ignite after getting to know your mentors, or you feel like Creative Worship is your calling after watching Praise and Prayer. Over the course of your first year in high school, you will slowly familiarize yourself with and get to know all the activities that OLU has to offer, and maybe pick some up as well.

A disclaimer that should be said though, is that these are not guarantees or guidelines. You do not necessarily need to do these certain things nor will you necessarily achieve them. However, these are things that I did my freshman year that generally, I notice many freshmen doing as well.

Freshman year is pretty tough, but it passes by in the blink of an eye. So be sure to appreciate every second.


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