An Open Letter To High School Seniors

An Open Letter To High School Seniors

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Dear High School Seniors,

At this point in your life, you have been in school for a little over 12 years. You're probably saying that you're sick of seeing the same people every day and just want to pack up your whole room and head off to college. Well, all I have to say is, slow down. Although you might not realize it now, your memories of high school are going to be some of the best memories of your life. You think that you want to leave and be done with it, but trust me, you're going to take back those words.

It's now the beginning of November. You probably just experienced your last Homecoming of high school and played your last home game of the fall season. This is when you start to realize that your months of high school are ending. You realize that the group of guys or girls that you've run with, defended, played with, and bonded with since a very young age will not be out there on the field with you next year. During your senior night, you probably cry for the first time (or you sob hysterically, like I did) and it finally hits you that this is all coming to an end. You also start to realize that you might never play this sport again.

All I have to tell you is to enjoy every second of your last few moments on these sports teams, and take in the sound of the crowd cheering you on. College sports are exciting and thrilling, but they're a lot more time consuming than high school. You won't appreciate the memories you have made on this team until you see the team playing without you next year.

At this time, you're also probably stressing about college applications. If you stay on top of this and submit everything early, it really won't be stressful. Apply to the places that you can see yourself living and learning for the next four years of your life. Don't listen to your parents telling you to go to their alma mater or your guidance counselor telling you that your dream school might be too far of a stretch. Apply to as many or as few places as you would like. You won't find the perfect school without following your heart, as cheesy as that sounds.

Enjoy every single moment spent with your best friends. I cannot promise you that you will not grow apart when you are hundreds of miles away from each other, but I can promise you that you will never forget them. So, order in an unnecessary amount of pizza to feast on together, watch "High School Musical" (I suggest "High School Musical 3," it will get the waterworks flowing) and have sleepovers instead of going to parties. These next few months are going to fly by, and you're going to wish you had more late-night talks with the people who have been by your side since you were young.

If your parents are like mine, they're probably starting to get nervous and anxious about you leaving them. When they ask you how your day at school was, don't just say, "It was fine." Tell them about that test you think you failed, the disgusting lunch you ate, or about the kid you accidentally tripped in the hallway. They don't just ask you how your day was for no reason. They want to talk to you because they realize that you probably won't call them every day next year (and that kills them). Put the phone down at dinner and have a real conversation with them. You won't realize how much you'll miss them until you're over three hours away from them and you can't just hug mom when you need her.

Before you know it, it will be your turn to walk across the stage and accept your diploma. You'll realize that, for the first time in over 10 years, you'll have to make new friends. Even if you hate high school right now and can't wait to get out, one day you'll realize that you should have appreciated it more. College brings you one step closer to the real world, so stop rushing through your senior year.

Don't get me wrong: College will bring you some of the best years of your life, but appreciate your hometown, friends, and family more than ever right now.

My last words of wisdom: Have fun and enjoy it. You are only in high school once. Appreciate your teachers letting you hand in your homework three weeks late. Be grateful that you know everyone in your grades name, because come next year, you will most likely not know a single soul. Mend the friendship you broke in 8th grade over some stupid boy. Don't worry about what people think about you. If you want to go to school "sweat pants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on," go for it. Talk to the cute boy in the back of your AP calculus class. Take in your last few moments on that field. Go to every school event possible. Laugh a lot. Have fun. Love your senior class and take in every single moment.

Sincerely,

A College Student

Cover Image Credit: Teen

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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