5 Pieces Of Advice You Probably Should Listen To As Second Semester Seniors

5 Pieces Of Advice You Probably Should Listen To As Second Semester Seniors

You're going to miss this when it's gone.
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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?


Cover Image Credit: Abby Amundson

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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