Reflections on Freshman Year

Elizabeth Kerfoot

We’re still just kids

Our parents expect so much

We feel capable of so little

The pressure of being a teen weighs heavy on our shoulders

Nothing is ever good enough

Too fat 

Too thin

Too ugly

Too innocent


We’re still just kids

Although the world expects more of us

Get a job

Get good grades 

Know who you are

Be yourself 

Enough is enough

Take care of YOU

After all…

We’re still just kids

April 2021-

I walk into my new school for the first time the whole year. I see the teachers that have been teaching me for the last 7 months but yet I still have to introduce myself because they used to see me as a dot on their computer screen and not as a real human being. My parents used to tell me that high school would be some of the best years of my life. Instead, I’m six feet from my peers hidden behind a mask. We all pretend we’re okay but we really miss the days when we went to school not worried about getting quarantined. As the days went by, this new reality began to feel more normal. This, normal. Who knew?

Teachers and parents always ask me what I want to do when I grow up, what job do I want, where do I want to live, what colleges am I interested in. These questions always stressed me out, I didn’t know any of these things yet and I wasn’t trying very hard to figure it out. Then I was assigned a free-write assignment in my English class. One of the questions was, who is “driving the car” of our lives? This question stuck with me and my answer did even more. I wrote “you are driving the car to your life but your family and friends are in the passenger seat giving you directions.” I realized that I don’t have to go through life alone nor make all of these decisions by myself, as long as I have my family and friends leading me in the right direction, I can do the rest and everything will be okay. Just know, you don’t have to do it alone.

Everything matters when you’re in high school

Your height 

Your weight

The brand of your shoes

The sports you play

How your hair looks

Your grades

Being not too fat but not too skinny because anything but perfect is unacceptable

Fitting in. Being the same as the rest of them.

But where’s the fun in that?

Looking in the mirror

Being disgusted by who’s looking back

Why don’t I look like them?

Why isn’t my body like that?

Feeling like I can’t eat the day before I go swimming because there’s no way I’m going with my stomach rolls showing 

Knowing that I need to eat to be healthy but feeling unhealthy when I do


I know that not everyone can look the same

Their beauty does not show my lack thereof 

Don’t give in to what society believes you need to do to be enough

You ARE enough