5 Things You Should Focus On Before You Graduate

5 Things You Should Focus On Before You Graduate

There Isn't Much Time Left So Make The Most Out Of It
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Spring break is right around the corner and soon to follow is graduation! As a senior in high school I have come to appreciate the last few months and all of the special moments I have gotten to experience. From Senior Night to enjoying my last WPA (Women Pay All), I have been actively working towards enjoying what is left of my high school career. Being as busy as I am, I have decided to make a small list of things I believe everyone should do before they graduate.

1. Go On An Adventure With Your Friends

It is sad to say, but unfortunately you may never get to see some of the friends you have made in high school for a very long time and one of the best ways to enjoy the little time you still have together is to go make memories! This spring break, my friends and I are planning to go hang out in downtown KC to explore what the beautiful city has to offer. Most of us are planning to move away from home for college so we are trying to enjoy the time we have left in our hometown. Go on an adventure, it doesn't have to be expensive or lucrative, just go out and enjoy quality time with your friends while you still can.

2. Start A New Hobby Or Try Something New

I know it is cliche to tell someone to try something new or to start a new hobby, but I truly believe that it is very important to explore different things because you never know when you might discover something that you come to love. Another reason you should start a new hobby before you graduate is because it might help you connect with some people you have never talked to in your class or at school. Also it will help you when you go to college and you are trying to make new friends or trying to get involved on campus. The more open-minded you can be the better your senior year will be!

3. Spend Time With Your Family

Weirdly enough people may not think to do this, mostly because they think they already spend so much time with their families, but in reality we are so busy at times that we over-look this fact. Whether or not you leave the state or stay in-state for college, the matter of the fact is that we will get lost in our new worlds and we will not have as much time to spend with our families. So it is imperative that we take time to eat dinner with our families, maybe have family game nights, or just go out and spend time with your family by doing a fun activity like laser tag or bowling. Whether you realize it or not, this is not just for us, but also for our family who will come to feel the impact of our absences.

4. Go To A Live Event

I am definitely serious about this one, go to a live event! I have gone to a few live events like the Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull concert or the Chipotle Cultivate Festival, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. Go with your friends or alone, either way you are bound to have a good time. I recommend searching up events in your local area and select something you already enjoy doing or have an interest in. This is a great way to incorporate all the ideas I stated above.

5. Don't Be Afraid To Let Loose A Little

Last, but not least, just have fun! Dance around in your room, binge watch some Netflix, go out to eat to your favorite restaurant and just let loose! Don't be afraid to spend a little extra to treat yourself, but please don't go all out and break your bank account. Be reasonable, while still getting to experience what life has to offer. I enjoy eating food quite a bit, as a result I tend to spend a lot on outings with my girlfriend, but I still make sure to have some left over so I can buy gas. Overall just enjoy the time that is left, because there ain't much, and live life to the fullest!

Cover Image Credit: theChive

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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A Love Letter To The Stars

And their influence on humanity.

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From the second we first look up in the night sky, we are fascinated with the stars, with the moon, with every visible celestial body. It has always been this way, and will likely be this way until humanity is wiped out by an apocalyptic catastrophe. The night sky will remain, neutral, unwavering, and beautiful long after we are no more.

The youngest stars visible to us are millions of years older than we and will live for billions once we're gone.

Stars may be born, they may change in appearance, they may waver as they age, they may die before I do, but there will always be so many more to observe, and such a distance between us, that I may never be lucky enough to perceive these phenomena firsthand.

As a result, I must assume that stars are flawlessly ageless, that they have always and will always be all around us, watching us. I must assume that each one will forever have an impact and a place in our lives.

That my love for the stars will always remain and that it will go untested because of their perceived immortality.

Yet, there are nights, when the clouds overtake the sky, or when the light pollution builds too great, or when the weather combats our ability to be outside, that the stars feel as if they've abandoned us.

Sometimes these nights feel like a disaster as if our childhood security blanket has just been ripped away from us by a middle school bully who knows exactly how to tear us apart.

There are times when this lasts for a week or more at a time.

Times when we feel absolutely lost because we haven't seen the stars, because maybe we've forgotten what they look like. It feels like we've been ghosted by the only consistent lover we've ever known. It feels like desolation in its most intense form.

We run through the stages of grief. We always get caught up on denial, because there's so much evidence to suggest that the stars will never be gone, will never abandon us, will never disappear, will not be around.

And we are right, of course, but our minds disagree, our instincts could never be as powerful as the anxieties of being deserted are. So despite our animal brains telling our emotional human ones that they're wrong, we stop denying.

We again get caught up, this time on anger. Anger is the easiest stage of the grieving process, anyway, so much can keep us enraged if we choose to let it that we never have to process the underlying root of our anger: loss.

So instead we get angry at the weather, at those around us, at anything we can latch onto and be angry about until it consumes us.

We are right to be angry at the weather, though. The weather is usually the cause of the obstructions, of the clouds and fog and storms keeping us away from our heavenly lovers.

But our anger is misplaced because the weather is not a thing that can be controlled. We must keep the faith that all will return to still, calm, and clear.

Whether that clarity comes in bone-chilling temperatures, or in brain-melting ones, whether it's possible to comfortably enjoy the revelation of our lovers' bodies again, we must remember that true love always finds a way and that this is only a temporary obstacle between us.

So we finally extinguish our raging flame, and we take another step towards processing our loss.

We bargain, we beg any deity, any social construct, anything we can place faith in, that we are reunited. We promise to change so much about our individual selves, we claim we will make a change to humanity as a whole, if only we can rid the night sky of this shroud that coats it, of the shadows that obstruct our view.

We don't mean these things, we don't have the power to, but in these desperate moments, we really are willing to try everything we can to make them come true if it allows us reunion even for just one night.

But no matter how we beg, no matter how desperate we get or how much we offer up, the atmosphere of our planet continues to betray us. Bargaining is a leap of faith, and it has never been one that got positive results. Why should we have expected differently this time?

We float aimlessly along, buried deep into the fourth step of the grieving process: Depression. Not clinical depression, but situational. Depression caused by a deep longing, a deep hurt, an overwhelming of our emotional processes, until all that remains within our lives is pointlessness and numbness.

Sometimes, we get lucky, and we feel again, as we jump back into the anger that filled our days before, though never as intense, with much less passion behind it. We manage to survive, only by doing the bare minimum to keep ourselves alive.

We lose hope, we stop going outside at night, we stop searching for a glimpse, we rely solely on forecasts to tell us if it's worth it if there's an ounce of hope in the world that we'll be able to see what we need again.

We remain this way for what feels like an eternity, until one day, we've processed it all. We've confronted ourselves. We've realized we'll never see the night sky again, and we accept that.

It still hurts, daily, but we start to finally work through it.

But then they return, and we fall back in love. We're reminded why we need the stars. Why being without them made us go through so much pain. Every breath under them fills us with butterflies, every new star that pops out as the night carries on makes our bodies electric.

We remember our passions. We remember our feelings. We can navigate once more, we can feel a sense of purpose in our lives.

We play this game, dancing in and out of a deep infatuation with these glorious, inanimate beings, over and over again. And it hurts just as fresh every time. It hurts worse, even.

But the payoff, when we are finally reunited, is more than any person could ever dream. We suffer for our love, but it's a marvelous ache.

Love, without the ache of desolation and the fears of being lost, unappreciated, and abandoned to contrast it, loses so much of its power.

But love, in all of its forms, is worth feeling, no matter the cost.

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