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A Letter to My High School Self Written by Emma Bliwas

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What would you say to your middle school, or grade school self if you had the chance? What would future you say to present day you? In the spirit of the new school year, and Rosh Hashana, let's take some time to reflect, re-energize, and rewind.  Let this be a year full of self improvement, reflection, and mindfulness. Here is what Emma Bliwas would like to say to her high school self from her current perspective as a college student at the University of Denver.

Dear Emma,  

These four years really do fly by. It is cliché and hard to process when you are going through high school. However, you will be looking back on this experience and reflecting if you got involved with all the extracurricular activities you strived to be a part of. Did you get to know lots of different people or did you spend too much energy trying to feel a part of a singular friend group? It is so important to create your own friend circle. It is easy to get sucked into your own friend group because many high schoolers do. Instead of focusing on getting close with your friends’ friends who you feel absolutely no connection to, get out of your comfort zone. Try new activities where you meet people who are different from you that may become your new best friends. If you are interested in a course on debate or photography, sign up for it. Don’t choose the same elective each year because high school is an opportunity to start discovering your passions.  

Thank your parents for driving you to high school football games and tennis practices. Soon, you will be able to drive everywhere and you won’t get to jam out to Michael Franti every day while your mom drives you to school. Appreciate the neighbors you have grown up around. After high school, many people move away to the city or to a different state. Just take in walking down the halls and seeing the same people during your five-minute passing periods.  

Appreciate the now. Don’t take the ACT five times because you will likely still end up at your dream school. The college process is stressful enough and you don’t need to compare your GPA or ACT score with your friends. When you graduate high school, no one ever mentions it. Focus on memories, not numbers. 




Emma Bliwas is a junior at the University of Denver (DU) studying International Business, with minors in Business Ethics/Legal Studies, Journalism and Spanish. Emma believes that transparency, integrity and accountability are crucial for success in school and the workplace. At DU, Emma is involved in Delta Gamma, DU Programming Board and Club Tennis. After her undergraduate career, she wants to pursue a career where she can directly communicate with clients and give back to her community.