Photo by Angela Hong
LA River School

An Open Letter To Younger Students

To Future High School Students:

My name is Angela Hong, I’m a senior at Los Angeles River High School. In less than two months I will be graduating. I will be a first generation high school graduate as well as the first person in my family to go to a university. My transition from freshman to senior year taught me so many lessons, and I’m here to share my experiences with you. No filter, the bad, the good, and the big takeaway.

During my freshman and sophomore year, nothing mattered to me. I went through a phase in my life where I felt like my life had no value, where I had no value. I would skip school to spend my hours at home doing absolutely nothing. In those months, I allowed my grades to slip through my hands.

During that phase, I never realized that I was letting my life pass me by, that I was doing more harm to myself than good. It wasn’t until the adults in my life decided enough was enough. They all gathered together and in a way had an intervention for me. We went through my grades and my absences. It was not until that moment I realized I needed to stop dwelling in the past and focus on my future and what it has to offer. That was the moment I decided to change my life for the better.

In the next few months, I started going to school and actually trying to learn. In those months my grades went from F’s to A’s, and I have all the certificates and awards to prove it. I am now in my senior year of high school with two months left, and am officially committed to Cal State Northridge. Not only will I be attending CSUN, but will be dorming there as well.

My advice to you, whether you are going to enter high school or are already enrolled, I hope when you read this you will have faith in yourself and the things you are capable of. Your past does not define your future. There are going to be moments in your life where you feel like quitting, but your determination to succeed will not allow you to do that. There is no one in the world who will hand you the perfect life on a silver platter, you have to work for what you want. The best decision I’ve ever made was putting myself first; it was choosing my happiness and future over everything else.

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