The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

The Student Newspaper of Cathedral Catholic High School

Dons Press

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A Letter to My Freshman Self

Freshman Brooke, 2021

I know I can’t actually write to my freshman self. I can’t turn back time, relive all my past choices— good or bad. Nevertheless, I hope this letter finds the hands of the incoming freshmen who are unsure of what their future holds. In essence, for the purpose of this letter, I want you to become my thirteen year old self.

Dear Freshman Me, 

I remember you sitting in the passenger seat, on your way to the first day of your new school. You were nervous, not sure if you wore your uniform the right way, or if you said the right thing to your new friends. You went through each day of those first few weeks trying to stand out— in a good way. You tried to be talkative, but avoided talking too much. Wore the right jewelry, the right shoes, did your hair the right way. I wish you didn’t stress yourself out trying to fit in so much— everyone’s too focused on themselves anyway, right?

A few weeks later, you had friends, but were they real friends? Looking back, I don’t think we’ll ever know. But it will be okay! Don’t get discouraged, every fault and twist and turn won’t lead you astray. 

Be creative. 

Take that class, even if none of your friends are taking it. It’s okay to have a class without anyone you know. You’ll meet new people, and find new interests— you’re going to love journalism. 

Please, if you take anything away from this letter, be yourself. Spending countless hours fitting in, wondering how it would feel to just be yourself isn’t worth it. Take the plunge, find who you can become, I promise you won’t regret it. 

Spend time with Mom and Dad. 

Mom’s questions when you get in the car after school may seem incessant, but she cares. I know you want to spend all weekend out with your friends. I get it, you don’t want to miss out. But you only have four years left, and they go by fast. Walk the dogs with Mom, go to the movies with Dad. Your last four years of school go by unimaginably fast, spend it with the people that matter. 

Your life isn’t defined by your friends, your grades, or how good you are at volleyball. You’re going to fail a final, get in fights with your friends, and have a bad game. But it doesn’t matter.

 You. Will. Be. Okay. 

Right now, you may feel like your life makes perfect sense, or it’s going off the rails. It’ll change, you’ll have highs and lows. First football season, first dance, first date. 

The first’s are fun, the last’s will be bittersweet. But you have some great things coming your way. Your friends know you, and they care about you. You’ll go on Starbucks runs before school, with your very own car. 

I can’t promise it will all be the best time of your life, but it will be worth it. You’ll change for the better, make new friends, new passions, new hobbies, and you’ll love how far you’ve come. 

You’ll be proud of us, 

Your Senior Self


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About the Contributor
Brooke Johnston-Quirarte
Brooke Johnston-Quirarte, Editor in Chief
Brooke Quirarte is in her senior year at Cathedral Catholic High School and her third year at Dons Press. Brooke was the head of Social Media her sophomore and junior year, and is now leading the newsroom as Co-Editor in Chief. Whether it is covering socio-economic issues, mental health, or human rights, you will see Brooke working to shed light on marginalized voices through each article she publishes. In her junior year, Brooke and her peers, Hong-An and Sarah, founded the book review column, Dons Reads. Within Dons Reads, Brooke focuses on learning from banned books, as she values the controversial issues these literary works illuminate. Outside of the newsroom, Brooke is leader of Kinder Reads, a club that writes stories for elementary schools. In her free time, Brooke enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family.   

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