Advice to my former self, and to all of you

Hi Sophia! Well, old Sophia. The new Sophia has a few words for you. Remember all those times in early middle school when you were a little stumped with decision making, or wish you had some good advice before doing a task? Well, you’d definitely appreciate what the older you is about to tell you. 

To start off, I would like to tell you how proud I am of you today. You are clearly trying your best to do everything in the best way you possibly could; maybe even a little too hard. I remember how overworked and pressured you felt to be a perfectionist. Well, not everything has to be perfect! We are human. Even we ourselves are not perfect, so we cannot expect to have perfect outcomes in everything. All that matters is the effort. As long as you try your very best at anything you do without feeling stressed, it will all be ok. If you face a challenge, do not panic. Panic makes everything far worse than it needs to be. Approach your challenges calmly and set goals for yourself. This will make you more successful in overcoming any challenge you’re faced with. 

I feel like you have worked very hard these past couple of years. You have straight A’s, study, and complete your homework. Trust me, it does get harder. High school applications will come around rapidly, and this is when you will start to realize that the cliche is true: you have to work hard for outcomes. But, I think you will do just fine. A good suggestion for you so that you make the application process a bit more controlled and organized is to keep a studying planner. Spread out your study time for entrance exams at least 6 months before them, not just 4 months like you ended up doing. Never cram for tests! 

Sophia, I hope you have learned a lot from this letter. I hope you take all the advice presented to you in this letter. Trust me, you will definitely be thankful that you did! Just remember, do not overwork yourself. Face challenges calmly, and be proud of yourself. You have already gone such a far way into being successful. Organize your time, find your priorities, and have long-term study sessions. These events will make your academic and personal life a lot easier and happier, which is something everyone wants. Be grateful for every day, try your best, be kind, and the world will reward you. No, you will reward yourself. You get to decide how far you go. Go as far as you can, and never give up! I believe in you. 

Sophia Shimanska, The University of Chicago Lab School, DMSF

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