17 Things I Wish I Knew At 17

17 Things I Wish I Knew At 17

Last year, best year.

Seventeen. The year you begin senior year of high school. The year you begin to look at colleges and decide where you're going to spend the next four years of your life. The year you will probably have your heart broken at least once.

Your 17th year is huge. And, in hopes to help all of you 17-year-olds during your last year of high school, I've decided to share with you some insight into making this year the best year yet:

1. Every day of senior year should not be a fashion show

You've spent literally every other year of high school trying to impress your friends/the boys at your school. However, this is your last year. The fashion show is over. Forget the eyeliner every once in a while and know that wearing a T-shirt to school is actually the best thing ever.

2. The Lord is going to shut doors for a reason

... especially when it comes to college. You might not get into your dream school or you might not do so well on the SAT. Learn from it. He has a plan.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Had A Plan

3. This is your last year with your best friends as your best friends

It's the hard truth, but once you get to college, you're going to make a ton of new best friends. It's totally a good thing, trust me! But this is your last year doing life with your best friends -- make it count.

4. Eat as much as you want

Yeah, enjoy the pizza for lunch/soccer practice after school routine while it lasts. College is going to kick your metabolism's butt (and not in a pretty way).

5. Don't date unless you absolutely can't help it

You have no idea where you're going to school in the fall. You have no idea where your crush is going to go. And unless you're absolutely, 100 percent convinced y'all are going to get married, don't open up the possibility of dating during your senior year. Because I promise, a relationship with one of y'all in California and one of y'all in Tennessee is never going to be a walk in the park.

6. Show off on the basketball court

... or the soccer field, or the baseball diamond, or wherever your heart desires. It's your last year to prove yourself to your teammates, opponents, and coaches. Show off a little bit -- you deserve it.

7. Be intentional

Whether it's with your best girlfriends or the rising freshmen, be a presence in their school year. It makes coming home from college to them a whole lot sweeter.

8. Don't be a punk

Despite what you think, your parents and teachers are much more wiser and smarter than you are. Don't talk back, don't fight them, and don't disobey. It will make your year a whole lot smoother.

9. What you see in the mirror is beautiful

So often my senior year I found myself wishing I saw something else in the mirror, and it caused a lot of frustration and selfishness to occur during the school year. Don't let your appearance consume you; your heart is all that matters.

10. Have school spirit

You're going to be sitting in your dorm room on the night of your high school's first home game wishing you were there. Believe me, it's going to happen. Soak up the obnoxious football chants and dress up themes while you can -- you're going to miss it.

11. Love on your parents

They're going to miss you a whole lot when you leave for college, I promise. Despite whatever fighting and frustration takes place in your home, know that they love you and are low-key dreading you leaving for school. Love on them, stay home on a Friday night to watch a movie with them, and show them as much grace as you can. This is the last year they can make you soup when you're not feeling good and give you back scratches on the hard days -- don't forget it.

12. Drama needs to be done

This is literally your last year with your entire class all together. Do you really want to spend it bickering with or gossiping about these people? Do you really want to graduate with hate in your heart for any of them? Because I know it's not worth it. Be kind, be compassionate, and be understanding.

13. Don't slack in school

Contrary to popular belief, colleges indeed look at your senior year grades. Don't slack -- it's not worth losing a scholarship or college acceptance because you "forgot" to turn in your paper or "accidentally" plagiarized the whole thing.

14. Spend time with your siblings

I know the person I missed the most when I got to school was my little sister. After this year, you're done living in the same home with your siblings 365 days a year, and I promise you're going to miss it. Don't forget about them while you're too busy doing senior things.

15. Go on spring break with your friends

It may get crazy, it may be dramatic, and it may be expensive, but the highlight of my senior year was spending a week at the beach with my best friends. We made the best memories and laughed until we cried -- so do it.

16. Take lots of pictures

No matter how annoyed your friends get with you making every hangout a "photo sesh," you're going to be so thankful you documented all of your memories when you're looking back your freshman year of college.

17. This is your last year of being a kid

This is your last year of your mom making your dinner and doing your laundry. This is your last year of studying the morning of for a test. This is your last year of being dependent on other people. Soak it up. Let your parents baby you some, and let your need for help be evident. Freshman year is going to be so sweet but so different, so be present in the season you're in.

College is so, so wonderful, but so is senior year. Take it head on and be present. Don't straighten your hair every day, don't lie to your parents, and love on your friends and siblings even when they drive you crazy. I promise, this is going to be the best year yet.

Cover Image Credit: me

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.

So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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4 Things Everyone Should Before Leaving for College

A Freshman's Advice to Those About to Embark on the Circus that is College.


1. College is Worth It


The thought of college is exciting. Whether its the university of your dreams or a community college ten minutes from your house, it typically marks the start of a long, unforeseen, and interesting adulthood, which usually excites us kids. The day after I submitted my first college application I began checking my email every five minutes- no exaggeration. This went on for 6 months until I finally got the stupid acceptance email I'd been waiting for. I was just eager to escape my small town where I was faced with the same people everyday, and the same lifestyle for 18 years. I was beyond ready to create this perfect life I envisioned for myself, regardless of what it took. Everyone warned me "college won't be easy," "life doesn't; get easier after high school." And I didn't care if it wasn't easy, I just knew it would be worth it. I wasn't wrong- it is two days before the spring semester of my first year of college begins and I can attest- the insanity that is being a full time college student whilst employed- is worth every time I've wanted to get in my car and drive the three hours back home to the town I'd itched to get away from. It is worth the moments of hushed cries in the library, and the ridiculous amount of phone calls to my mom a day, to talk about anything and everything. You will make friends and there are days you won't get a moment to yourself, and there will still be days where you feel lonely. You might even be in a classroom of 300 students and still feel alone. There will be days you will question everything about your life and wonder if college is even for you in the first place and consider the repercussions of dropping out. You will envision your life ten years down the line and compare what a bachelors degree will get you and what a diploma will get you. You'll ask yourself if Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn't need a degree, why should you? We're not all software geniuses with a plan written in the stars, guys. You can be the smartest kid from your high school and you might still have instances where you feel like the dumbest kid in the room. This is normal. College is one of the most unique experiences I think we face and if you've gotten as far as getting there, stay there and prosper https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source;=images&cd;=&...

2. College Life is Weird

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There are no better words to describe the life of a typical college student and no two experiences are the same, but I think every student can agree- college life is weird. There are people walking the campus in flashy suits and pretty dresses and others that look like they haven't seen a mirror in a week, or a shower nonetheless. There are the people that only talk about test scores and study groups and those that talk about the blunt they're going to puff on later- whatever takes the edge off I guess. I have seen people arguing 'all college students are going to Hell,' on the same corner people have preached that' Jesus loves us all.' I will say, the most friendly creatures on campus are usually the squirrels. Really nothing can perfectly prepare you for what you will face on a college campus, except maybe Manhattan in the middle of December when the city is crawling with all walks of life. Some completely lost and trying to find their way, and others who know exactly what they're doing and where they're going. I personally would like to consider myself as one of those inbetweeners; not lost, but not exactly found yet either.

3. High School Did NOT Prepare You

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Sorry to break it to you but, high school does a terrible job of trying to prepare you for college and the real world. They don't tell you how to ration out food and money so you don't end up hungry halfway through the week- college diets are way more than ramen noodles and frozen pizzas. They don't tell you, you'll have issues with your roommate, and your neighbors are so loud you're going to need ear plugs. They certainly don't tell you to watch your drink because the guy who you lent your math notes to, just might drug it when you're not looking. Your favorite teachers probably didn't tell you professors don't care about a computer malfunction or a doctor's note as an excuse. If an assignment is late, even by a minute- YOU GET A BIG, FAT, GRADE WRECKING ZERO. No one holds your hand in college- except maybe a friend if you decide to go get your first tattoo. If you get sick, your mom is not going to bring you medicine and take your temperature. You'll be too busy to go buy medication and you will forget to even take care of yourself, and you might even cry- but you'll live. You might even get a job and although that check seems pretty and hefty, more than likely it will all go to necessities like food, bills, and gas. The beauty in lack of preparation is finding your way with everyone else that is lost. That's basically how college friends are made."Your life is a mess? Mine is too, let's be friends!"

4. If You're Hesitant, Wait it Out!

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Whether you are about to go to college or you're already here and don't know if you want to stay, my best advice is to give it a chance and wait it out. College is scary, and sometimes you're forced to figure out life on your own, but in the long run, sacrificing a few years of late night study sessions and early morning classes pays off- literally. As young adults we are typically used to comfort. While everyone's home situation is unique, one thing everyone can agree on is that it is comfortable. Breaking out of one's comfort zone takes a lot of courage and bravery. Going out into a world where you can either sink or swim is a lot to handle, but at one point we all have to. College might be beating you down right now, but this time next year you could be thriving and thanking yourself you didn't leave. Work smarter now or work harder later- your choice.

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