You'd think that after a semester of Princeton, I'd know just about everything, right? Wrong. I love the place, but it's so darn confusing sometimes. Here are some perpetual unanswered questions that we all have for the Orange Bubble:
17. Do people do the Prospect 12 and live to tell the tale?
22. Why is everything so hard?
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There are about one thousand things I could write here already, but I’m going to try to stick with what I feel are the most important.
You’ve learned a lot already, and we’re only two months in. You’ve learned about what it means to be a friend, a student, a significant other, and just a human being. Your early twenties are going to be a time of growth, mistakes, and reflection. There are some things, however, I want you to learn and remember.
First, you put your all into things, and this can be a good and a bad thing. It can be good because you work hard and you tend to not take no for an answer whether that be with school, internships, relationships, and the like. It can be bad because you don’t really know when to let go of things. You need to learn when someone or something is just not working out and you need to learn when to walk away. Letting go doesn’t mean you gave up; it just means you can recognize a dead situation.
Second, you think too much. You have a habit of thinking obsessively about everything. Your thought process tends to go in circles and you don’t know how or when to distract yourself. You need to learn the benefits of positive thinking and how to put an unpleasant thing out of your mind. Sometimes distracting yourself is the key to happiness.
Third, don’t let anyone tell you how you’re supposed to feel. Life is hard, and unfortunately, at your age, you’re going to deal with your fair share of emotionally trying situations. There’s going to be people telling you that you shouldn’t be upset about things and that certain things shouldn’t matter so much to you. They’re wrong. Do not listen to them. Emotions serve a cognitive purpose and you need to feel them completely. Learn to embrace them and learn to block out the people telling you they don’t matter.
Fourth, honesty is the key to any and every situation, Whether that be in relationships, friendships, class, or work, telling someone the truth tends to be the correct course of action. If you feel a certain way about something or someone, let them know. It’s hard but it prevents a lot of hurt in the long run.
Fifth, learn to embrace failure. When you fail at something, yes it’s bad at first, but in the long run you should learn that failing opens up a wide variety of opportunities. Failing at something is like being given a clean slate with endless options. Learn to take advantage of them.
Being a second semester senior is one of the most confusing, stressful, fun, and memorable times of your life. Odds are that you're on the verge of being decided or deciding on where you will be next year and living out your final glory days in your hometown with your life-long friends.
While this is one of the most busiest points of your life, it's important to take time to reflect and relish in the moment. This is the last time that your life will be like this; after this the familiarity and routine that you've known your entire life will be traded for new surroundings and new people. Although the future is exciting and college is fun, don't forget to enjoy right now. It's okay to be excited about the future, but you're going to miss this when it's gone. Although you've heard it all before, you'll find that you should've heeded the excessive advice when it's over.
Here's just a couple things I wish I knew as a high school senior:
1. Take lots of pictures
You'll use these more than you think. Obviously, it's important to capture these moments, but you'll forever look back at these and remember all the times you had with the people you grew up with. Also, you'll probably use some for future dorm decoration.
2. Go explore your hometown
There's no where like the place where you grew up. Go take time to spend the last months while you still live here to find a new restaurant, store, trail, or corner you never knew existed.
3. Get involved
Go to all the sporting events. Be the loudest in the student section. Join something new. This way you'll ensure that you didn't miss out on anything during your high school experience and can meet new people while doing it.
4. Don't be afraid to be out there
By this point in your life, you should (hopefully) realize who your true friends are and who you want to keep in touch with after graduation. Don't be afraid to be yourself and try something new. There's no point impressing people now, this is the beginning of the end.
5. Don't forget about your family
Your family has supported you from the moment you were born to when you finally become an adult. They will miss you very much next year, and you will too, even if you don't realize it right now.
With the final dance, pep rally, decision day, and graduation, there are so many fun and scary things in your second semester of your senior year. It truly is the best time of your high school experience.
Did you do everything you wanted to do?