5 Pieces Of Advice I Wish I Could Have Told My High School Self

5 Pieces Of Advice I Wish I Could Have Told My High School Self

"In three words, I can sum up everything about life: it goes on." - Robert Frost

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During high school, I literally counted the days until I was away at college, living my own life and free to do whatever I pleased. However, now that I look back on that time period, there are so many things I should have appreciated more and so many things I should have spent less time caring about. High school wasn't always a dream, but I wish I cherished that time more. Being away at college, I miss my friends and family terribly, despite loving my school, and I regret not waiting to do certain things that are reserved for adulthood. If I could go back in time and grab my high school self by the shoulders, these are the five things I would say to her.

1. Appreciate your family now 

Looking back, I really wish I would have spent more quality time with my parents and brothers before I left for college. I spent so much wasted time in high school spending time with people that I didn't care about and I wish I could go back and change that more than anything. I miss the little things like sitting at the kitchen table doing homework across from my Mom or watching Jeopardy with the family while we ate our dinner. These little moments are something I can't have while I'm away at college, and I wish I could have known how much these moments would mean to me someday, back then.

2. Spend as much time with your friends as possible

I cannot even describe how much I miss my hometown friends. I miss all of the inside jokes, the countless hours spent talking about pointless things, the game nights, and most of all, knowing that I could turn to them for literally anything. It is really hard to find people in college that can even replicate the friends you had at home (I'm not saying it's impossible), so cherish every minute you have with those crazy people. Things change when you go to college because both you and all your friends are leading vastly different lives now. It can be hard to feel the same way you did before you all left for college, but it is also so wonderful to see all of your friends grow into incredible adults. So, don't leave that hangout session early because your tired or want to watch Netflix, because someday you would give anything to have one of those nights back. I know I do.

3. Stop looking for love, it will find you

I spent so many pointless hours in high school going on dates with guys that didn't deserve a minute of my attention, because I so badly wanted someone to love me. I saw all of these girls at my high school with long-term boyfriends and I cried wondering why that couldn't be me, eventually causing me to waste my time desperately looking for my person. However, it was right when I stopped looking that love found me. The universe knew that those boys weren't right for me (and I think, deep down, I did too) and then, after I patiently waited, love was offered to me on a silver platter. My person found me and I thank my lucky stars every day for him because he gives me the kind of love I have dreamed of for years.

4. Don't try to grow up too fast

I wanted so many things in high school, so badly, that I just couldn't have yet. I would get so mad at my parents because they would say that I wasn't old enough to do those things yet and that I would have all the freedom in the world to do whatever I pleased in college, but I just needed to wait. I would get angry and frustrated because I wanted, more than anything, to be treated like an adult and be able to do adult things, but, looking back, I was just a naive little kid; I know that now. Also, the things that I was so excited for really weren't all they were cracked up to be. However, I owe a thank you to my parents for not letting me grow up too fast, because, let's be honest, growing up kind of sucks.

5. Everything will work out and you are going to be ok 

I stressed out over so many trivial things in high school that, in the grand scheme of things, do not matter at all now. I put so much pressure on myself trying to accomplish goals that would end up not mattering once I left for college. While I'm not saying that I'm not extremely proud of my accomplishments, but I could have saved myself a lot of tears if I knew then that if I didn't achieve something, it wouldn't ruin my life. On the contrary, I feel as though I grew so much more as a person in those instances of failure, than those instances of success. Everything happens for a reason. I got rejected by 8 colleges because the universe knew that I belonged at UW-Madison. I went through a horribly traumatic experience because the universe knew I would come out stronger on the other side. I had my dreams dashed more times than I could count because the universe had a different plan in store for me than the one I envisioned for myself. I think a quote by Robert Frost sums up this piece of advice very well, "In three words, I can sum up everything about life: it goes on."

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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To The High School Counselor I Wouldn't Have Made It To College Without

I couldn't have made it through high school without her and now even college.

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Dear best counselor ever,

When I came into Blake High School I had no idea what to expect. I was a scared, confused, lost freshman. Coming into a school that my sister had just graduated from there were some familiar faces, yours being one of them. You were my sister's high school counselor for four years and then mine. But, you weren't just a counselor you were a friend.

Anytime I came into to your office you were there for me. You became more of a mother figure to me than a staff member. The endless times I came into your office with endless problems you were always there to help. When we lost two seniors my junior year your door was open for me and the rest of your students when we couldn't bear to go to class. When I couldn't handle my biology teacher anymore you were there for me to vent to. When I had testing anxiety you opened up a quiet space for me to take my tests. When I didn't know how to apply for colleges or what I even wanted in a college you were there for me. When they tried to switch my last name to a different counselor you kept me.

You were truly the role model, friend, mom, staff member I needed at Blake. I loved coming into your office and just talking to you about everything. I don't know how I would've survived four years without you and even survive college now. Every time I come home which isn't often your door is still open. I come home you ask how college is going and you're proud. You expect the best out of me and it makes me expect the best out of myself. I know how hard you work and I just want you to know that I couldn't have done it without you. When I was scared to go to a school fourteen hours away, away from my family and everyone I knew, you told me to follow my heart. My heart led me to Alabama and I couldn't be happier.

As you go back to school from winter break I want you to know how appreciated you are because I really don't know where I would be without a great friend like you. I walked across the stage at graduation looking at all the faces I would be leaving as I took the journey to Alabama. When you called my name I knew that was where my journey started. They handed me a red rose at the end of the stage. We were told to give it to someone who made a difference in our four years at Blake. I gave it to you not only because you made a difference in those four years, but because you made a difference in my whole life and taught me so many lessons that I couldn't have taught myself. I am stilling learning so much and I can't wait to tell you all about it the next time I come to your office.

Love,

Your favorite student (hopefully)

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