To The Class Of 2017

To The Class Of 2017

Advice from an unemotional graduate.
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As I prepare to leave for college, I realized that all of the advice I received as a rising senior didn't actually hold true for me. In general, I don't tend to be a very sentimental person. I try to keep things logical and realistic. However I was assured by many that my senior year of high school would bring about "all the feels." For me, this simply wasn't true. As senior nights for sports came and went, I was left feeling the same as I had every other year. While my peers and I always talked about how odd it was to be graduating, it wasn't an immediate change in feeling. We were still at the same school, doing the same things, with the same people.

The most unusual part of senior year for me was the crying. At multiple points throughout the year, people would randomly become overwhelmed by the realization that this was the last time they were going to be doing something, and subsequently break down. For many of you, you will recognize that it is in fact a year of last times. However, rather than losing it over what is to come, you will make sure to take in the details and live in those moments while you can. A school year seems to drag on for a very long time and I can assure you that while you are aware that it is your last year of high school, you are not aware of how many milestones are reached between your last first day and graduation day.

Another very odd part of senior year is the overall attitude that nothing matters because it is your last year. Seniors are notorious for cutting and/or underachieving in their classes, and in some cases start to skip sports practices or appear to be the laziest people on a team. Seniors often forget how much of an impact they have on underclassmen and many don't identify as leaders within their school. During your senior year, you establish your legacy. What you accomplish during this last year is what most people are going to be able to remember you by once you leave. If you choose to waste your year partying or keeping the minimum GPA you need to graduate, you will probably be remembered as lazy.

My final bit of advice is take every opportunity you are presented with. Even if you end up doing something that isn't the most fun or taking on a lot more responsibility than you meant to, you will probably be thankful in the long run that you didn't go through your senior year like it was unimportant. Recognize your role as a leader and do all that you can while you can.

With all that being said, I will admit that getting ready to leave has made me somewhat nostalgic. I've thought a lot about the last four years and all the things I'm going to miss about it. It won't be easy, but you can all finish out strong. Good luck.

Cover Image Credit: City College of San Francisco

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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There Is No 'Right Way' To React To A Shooting

Everyone is different.

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After the shootings this year in New Zealand, Brazil, and close to home for some of us Aurora, people have been reacting in different ways. With some offering their thoughts and prayers, donating money to help pay for the funerals of the victims, fighting for action in regards to ending gun violence, candlelight vigils basically anything that can help them in this time of grief.

There is no right or wrong way to react to a shooting — everyone grieves in their own ways. We should not judge one another for how we grieve in a tragedy.

People have been saying that thoughts and prayers won't do anything. However, maybe it can be a comfort to some people—a way to let people know that they are thinking of them and that they care.

Sometimes people may want to donate money or blood to help out any survivors who may have suffered from blood loss or create GoFundMe accounts to either help out with medical expenses or to pay for the funerals of the victims or even start charities like Islamic Relief USA. Donating your time and money is a good way to help out because you are making a difference that is a form of action you are taking.

There is also grieving in the form of vigils. One example of a vigil is this guy who makes crosses every time there is some kind of tragedy. Vigils are often a good way to remember the victims, to pray for the healing of the survivors, to talk about what they were like as people.

Some people even want to take action by demanding that the laws change a good example of this would be March for Our Lives, which happened after the Parkland shooting last year. This march was fighting for gun control or should I say changes in the gun laws America currently has.

Some people also do acts of solidarity, for example, wearing a hijab like the prime minister of New Zealand did when she went to go visit the Christchurch shooting survivors. My community college had something a couple of years ago called Hijab Day to help show solidarity with our friends. I participated, and it was quite an experience—no one should ever be afraid to be who they are.

There is never a right or wrong way to react, and no one should ever criticize one another for how they react. It's not a test where there is a right or wrong answer—everyone is different and that is okay.

No one should ever have to be afraid to go to school, go to work, or go to their place of worship or wherever they decide to go. Whatever we decide to do to make a change, as long as we are taking some kind of action, is good enough for me.

Nothing ever gets done by sitting around and doing nothing, so whatever it is you do, get out there and do it. As long as you are showing support it doesn't matter how you show it.

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