Dear Younger Me,

I heard that you joined the volleyball team this year as a freshman in high school. Well, let me tell you something, this year is not going to be as relaxing as all those other years. And I’m not talking about the workload that you are going to carry around. No. Believe it or not, you are going to have troubles with one of your best friends who is basically your sister. You are soon going to realize that volleyball is going to be your safe place after you learn all the right techniques. As this is your first year learning, let me advise you that it’s going to take a lot of sweat and tears. It’s not going to be easy. Your forearms are going to hurt for two weeks and will look super bruised. And you’re arms are basically going to feel so numb that it will pain you just to lift your arm up. But all of that pain is going to pay off in the end. You might think that you are so athletic that volleyball is going to come easy to you. Well truth be told, this will be one of the hardest sports to adjust to. Your bumps are going to fly all over the place and you won’t even know how to set. You are so used to shooting a basketball and letting go with one hand that when you start to set in volleyball, it’s going to be the hardest adjustment. You may be one of the starting five on the court, but it is not going to be easy at all. You are going to keep looking at your coach and see the disappointment in his face and get all nervous. Well don’t be. It is your very first time playing volleyball ever, so make sure to relax because volleyball is going to be a calming and stress-relieving sport for you. Aside from that, you will be trying to find out who you are freshman year. You’ve known most of the students in your grade for at least four years and understand that you will want to take a little break from them. Well, that little break ends up turning into a whole year. As deeply awful as it might seem, it is going to be good for you. You will become great friends with one of the girls who came in eighth grade. You will also start talking to someone who basically makes you smile everyday no matter what happens. You haven’t spoken since the summer of 2012, but it was worth the wait (even though ignoring that person wasn’t something you had planned to do). You are going to see sides of people you’ve never seen before and others are going to see the same to you. Just remember that everything will turn out fine in the end, or at least up to now, junior year. You are going through some obstacles right now, but you will find a way to fix it because the power of your friendships meant so much to you, just keep fighting.

Your High School Junior Self

P.S. You are still the same as before, having lots of laughter and love of Disney.

—By Leanne C., 15, New York