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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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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Even When You Don't Have It In You

For the struggling college student at the start of a new semester.

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The above picture represents a stage in my life that I thought I would never get through. I had just finished final exams and was terrified of the outcome of my last semester as a Junior. I had experienced so many mental breakdowns and anxiety attacks from a series of events and low places that I found myself in throughout the semester, so much that my mom had to stay with me during final exams. I needed encouragement, and I needed it bad.

Kind of like right now, and I'm sure that some of you might find yourself in the same place.

While the start of a new semester looks shiny and promising, there is always that point when reality begins to settle in, and you realize that responsibilities are resurfacing just as fast as they left at the onset of Christmas break.

You show up to the first day of classes, all of your professors throw a syllabus at you, as well as your final exam date, and you begin to feel your forehead break out in sweat. We've all been there, and that is precisely the place that I found myself at while sitting in my first ever 8 AM of my college career.

Not only do we attend classes, but nightly meetings as well, all while attempting to retain a social life and keep up with our mental health.

It's A LOT. I know it. I've been there.

There have been days when I wanted to simply throw in the towel, and quit school altogether.

I have been at the point when I couldn't find even a sliver of motivation to get me through the meetings, the extra credit seminars, work, or even to church.

The feeling of defeat is nothing new to me, but what I have learned is something that will forever be a constant even though my motivation level is not always.

The Lord doesn't love you because you do everything right, or you attend every meeting and aren't a second late... The Lord loves you because of you are His, and that will never change.

See, regardless of our level of perfection in a certain class or at a meeting, he is always constant, always.

Regardless of our inability to give ourselves creditor to take time to breathe, his loves you fully, with no prerequisites.

That is what had gotten me through the majority of my sleepless night when a responsibility or test kept me awake at night with anxious thoughts.

Regardless of our performance, or how good we look to the people of this Earth, our worth is found in God, and we must not let performance or standards of society fog up our sight of that.

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