A letter to the class of 2022

Dear Freshmen,

    Welcome to Hoban, kids, and congrats on surviving your first weeks of high school. You’ve already experienced some dress code drama (my apologies if you wore shorts on the 28th) and we even started our first Twitter fight of the season (get ready for about 30 more). I’m sure most of you came into Hoban with a general idea of who we are—a family, a community and, if you will, a squad. Each day, we walk by our theoretical brothers and sisters; the seniors presiding over as the eldest children, trying to maintain order while simultaneously rebelling, while the juniors and sophomores represent the middle children: those who know the drill, yet sometimes get lost in the crowd. And now we welcome you, the babies, the youngest siblings, the newest members of our family. And acting as your older sister—there’s some things you should know:

    Girls—you will be judged. Your heart will be broken by that football or soccer player. You will feel insecure. You will break down. You will feel alone. You may feel pressured to be the prettiest, the smartest or the sweetest. All these instances and more will welcome you with open arms in the next four years. And it’s okay. It’s normal. Some days you’ll end up crying in the second floor bathroom, others you’ll slam your locker so hard, you’ll shake the alumni portraits above you. And that’s okay. Feelings are meant to be felt. As young women, we naturally overthink, over analyze and therefore, overreact in every detail of our lives. The pressure to be ‘perfect’ nearly chokes us, but don’t let it strangle you. Take it from someone who knows, as you mature, you no longer care about what others think and that boy who broke your heart? He probably got his broken, too.

    Boys—you will be judged. Your heart will be broken by that cheerleader or soccer player. You will feel insecure. You will break down. You will feel alone. And before you deny it, hear me out. At Hoban, we allow boys to express their emotions, so don’t even try to suppress them. You may feel a similar pressure as the girls: to be the best-looking, the smartest and even ‘the swolest.’ And again—that’s normal. A 15 year-old boy like yourself feels hundreds of emotions daily, so trying to diminish them will only fuel them. Trash the ‘tough guy’ act and realize sometimes you aren’t okay. School is rigorous, sports are grueling, extracurriculars are demanding. Let yourself embrace these emotions and deal with them accordingly. Remember that in 10  years, it won’t matter. So be yourself, and don’t conform to society’s idea of a man—become your own.

    The beauty of our family lies in the fact that we are all somewhat the same— stressed out teenagers looking for a place in this world. Even seniors, the oldest siblings, feel uncertain, doubtful and self-conscious. But in this family, we’re all in it together. We fight for and protect each other, no matter what. We may boo your ‘Do it’ cheer, but us older kids are looking out for you guys. Lean on us, talk to us, don’t be afraid of us. We may not always get along, but what family does? At the end of the day, we all have to endure the same rules and regulations, strengthening our sense of community and togetherness. Remember kids, you’ve got a whole school rooting for you. You’re one of us now. Welcome to the family.