Seniors react to freshman letters

Almost four years ago, the seniors who will walk across the stage May 23, were freshmen, almost done with their first year of high school. While finishing up finals and preparing for summer, their English teachers tasked them with writing a letter to their future senior selves. Early this month, after a long four years full of failures, bad breakups, winning championships, acing tests, and applying to colleges, the senior class read their freshman letters.

“At first, I was thinking like ‘oh god, why would I write this’, and I felt like my younger self was so innocent and didn’t fully understand how stressful life was,” senior Makenzi Schnitker said. 

In the letter, Schnitker wrote about her friends at the time, her future career, her boyfriend at the time and random moments she thought were important but no longer remembers. Schnitker could see how much she had grown from freshman year to now after reading the letter. 

“My younger self hadn’t gone through all the struggles and stress life has thrown my way throughout the past three years, so she was definitely more goofy and hopeful and innocent,” Schnitker said.

Senior Faith Lundin had a similar experience while reading the letter. It was evident freshman and senior year Faith were completely different people.

“I’m less shy and more confident than freshman year. Overall, I’m way happier now,” Lundin said.

During her four years at the high school, Lundin wishes she could go back and warn her freshman self of the boys she would encounter. 

Most seniors had advice for themselves. Senior Josh Manahan warned himself about going it alone.

“Don’t try to take on the world by yourself, that’s what friends are for,” Manahan said. 

Manahan believes his freshman self would be proud of his accomplishments. 

“He would be proud of how far I have come and how I have gotten out of my shell,” Manahan said. 

Manahan and Schnitker also believe their freshman selves would be proud of their academic achievements. Both are accepted into colleges. Manahan is currently leaning toward The University of Kansas while Schnitker is planning on attending Butler Community College during the summer before transferring to a university.

 Before leaving for college, Schnitker and Manahan have advice for the class of ‘24 as they write their letter. 

“I wish I would’ve put money in the envelope with my letter because that would’ve been nice,” Schnitker said. “I also think I should’ve put in a random dad joke just because I think it would’ve been funny to just read.”

Manahan thought he had almost all of the necessary information in his letter.

“Wish I would have put the answers to my upcoming physics final in but other than that I think I covered everything,” Manahan said.

While writing the letter Manahan included his dreams, Schnitker wrote about her future plans, Lundin wrote about boys and friends. In the end, because of the material they included, they were able to reflect and reminisce on what was.

“I am just astonished that I have come as far as I did; you don’t realize how far you have matured until you read the letter,” Manahan said.