What I Learned After Graduating High School

What I Learned After Graduating High School

There is a whole world out there, so don't be scared to go see it!

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When you're in high school, your world feels easy. You have little responsibility, a great friend group, maybe a relationship throughout the years. Your life is comfortable. You have a couple years to learn about yourself and others. Then, high school ends and you don't know what to do with yourself.

Here is what I've learned since I've graduated high school.

1. Not all of your friends stick by your side after high school, and that's okay.

I've had my fair share of wondering why people don't reach out to me out of high school many times since I graduated. Eventually, I just let that go. It sucks at first, but some people don't stay close throughout the years. Sometimes being friends with people works at the time because it's convenient.

You go to the same school, you see them every day, and it's just easy. There are PLENTY of people in the world that you can be friends with. High school friends aren't always needed after high school.

2. The "real world" isn't as scary as everyone makes it seem.

Being young and starting a job is definitely a scary thought. You're barely 18 and out in the world looking for opportunities to better yourself. I feel like when I was in school, almost all of the teachers would talk about the "Real World" as some big, scary place that, soon enough, we'd all be heading to.

Well, it's not as scary as people think. In my experience, people have been even more helpful towards me and my career since I am just starting off. Adults understand that I am young and may be need more help than others.

3. Family becomes one of the most important parts of your life. 

As I've gotten older, I've cherished family so much more. To go along with #1, friends don't always stick around by your side out of high school. Family does. Cherish those family gatherings because family is forever.

4. High school drama is exactly that: HIGH SCHOOL drama.

The longer I'm out of high school, the happier I am. When you're young and surrounded by other young people wanting attention, it can be exhausting! Every week, there is a new rumor or story spiraling around the school.

In my life, I stopped worrying about all of that the minute I graduated high school. I unfollowed SO MANY peers that I simply didn't care about anymore. People who brought gossip and drama were now gone by the click of an unfollow button. Even if I'm "out of the loop," I don't care. I'm happy in my life.

5. Not everything means as much when you're out of high school.

People are mean, and situations can feel like the end of the world, especially at such a young age. I have some news: none of this will matter in a few years. The drama, fights, relationships, none of it matters. You're not going to be thinking about all of that drama 10 years down the road. Nothing is as big and important as it seems.

6. No more teachers treating you like children.

I know this doesn't go for everyone, but at my high school, I felt as if all of my senior year I was treated like a child. We couldn't wear certain things, we couldn't walk in the hallway without a note, we couldn't say a bad word, and so on.

If we are supposed to be learning to interact in an adult environment once we get out of high school, then why are we being treated like children? Once I got out of high school, adults started treating me like an adult! It's great!

7. You'll stop caring about how others look at you.

I remember that I thought almost ALL of high school, I cared about what people thought about me. I only wanted to wear the best clothes, and act a certain way, and do my hair like everyone else. I wanted to fit in and be liked.

But now, it doesn't matter what people think about me because it's my life! I do what makes me happy and nobody else matters!

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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