Advice From A College Freshman To A High School Senior

Advice From A College Freshman To A High School Senior

Don’t be put off from college because it reflects life — good, bad, great, horrifying — sometimes tomorrow is better, and sometimes it isn’t.
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No one tells you what to expect for college — except they do, or at least they try. Day, weeks, months before graduation you find yourself scrolling through different blogs and College Board checklists titled, “What to Expect From Campus Life,” and “What to Pack Before You Leave for College.” If you’re like me, you’re scrolling through Pinterest boards of Urban Outfitters bedding and different DIYs you can attempt to hang on your walls.

I digress.

All of these things try to prepare us: our teachers, parents, or even those horribly mismanaged blog-websites that at some point, some of us tried convincing our teachers were reliable sources.

No one before college can truly prepare you for what’s ahead.

“That won’t be acceptable in college.”

“You can’t do that in college.”

Bullshit. You can, or you won’t.

It’s up to you.

A lot of people walk on eggshells and don’t tell you that mom or dad are staying home today and you’re going to have to hold your own hand and haul that ass to class or the library or to get those 500 pages of reading done before 8 a.m. tomorrow. I’m not trying to scare you, even though most of it still scares me. I still refuse to go to the dining commons by myself.

But never once have I regretted coming to college — mostly because of how much fun it is.

Between the late nights of homework, or even on those same exact nights, you’re surrounded by great things and great people. You’re watching weird movies with friends, talking about rock climbing with your favorite professor, or laying in the middle of the lacrosse field looking at the stars and listening to Hozier’s album on constant repeat. But, some bad nights tend to find their way in between those good ones. There have been nights where my roommate has walked in on me sobbing in my bed, cradling a unicorn pillow and sobbing that I’m not meant for college — that I’m not cut out for this and that I should’ve taken that year off that plenty of others recommended to me. But then I think about how much I would have missed if I really didn’t come to Eastern: the friends, the memories, and the growing I’ve done.

Don’t be put off from college because it reflects life — good, bad, great, horrifying — sometimes tomorrow is better, and sometimes it isn’t. That’s up to you. College gives you the chance to get through those good and bad days and find yourself through the process. Find yourself without others telling you how.

As people, we never stop growing. Physically, mentally, emotionally — we grow and adapt and change more and more into who we are and who we are meant to be. I have learned so much about myself since I first got to Eastern. I truly realized how bad of a procrastinator I am, that a business major isn’t for me, and that I aspire to live a life like Bill from the Dining Commons.

But there’s so much more that this new environment offers you: a chance to start over or renew.

You’re a brand new person. You can start over, although I do not recommend it. Stay true to yourself. Take advantage of the seeds those who have gone before you have planted within and let them grow, no matter the soil they’re in. Continue to find yourself in this new place you’re about to enter, and never stop growing. Explore things that interest you. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there or try new things — you’ll never know if a new interest finds you. Surround yourself with good people that you feel comfortable around and allow you to grow.

So, my advice to you, class of 2017, is to go find yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Bearing Arms

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To The High School Teacher Who Changed My Life Long After Graduation

It is about time you knew.

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I have been putting off writing this since graduation; what do you say to someone who changed your life completely? Exactly. I had no clue either, but after thinking, writing and rewriting this all came together.

I finally knew what I wanted to say to you.

First and foremost, thank you. Throughout my high school career, you were the one person that no matter what I was feeling, thinking, or needing you understood. You are my biggest supporter and even throughout college, you continue to reach out to make sure that everything is going well.

You encourage my dreams, tell me how you really feel and never let me make the stupid choice. You listened to me as I cried and laughed with me through the good moments. You encouraged me to reach for the stars and no matter what you told me that I could. You created this idea in my mind that I could be anything I wanted, and anyone I wanted and because of you I believe that now.

Second, you are incredible.

I know you will never believe me on this but you never gave yourself enough credit anyway. You stuck with your passion for teaching even after the benefits of other jobs. You raise a family and support three kids and a wife through their biggest moments despite the time consumed at work. You manage to be a friend, a colleague, a tutor, a coach, a teacher, a husband, a father, a son, and a neighbor and never let your commitment to anyone go without attention. You spend countless hours on the people around you and never ask for anything in return. You give everyone the time of day they deserve and you make sure when they are done talking to you they feel better. I hope someday you see that you are one of the most incredible people, you deserve to.

Lastly, you make a difference.

I know after a long day of high school students you feel like you talked to a brick wall. I know you feel like what you just did was a waste of your time and theirs, but you need to know that is not true. You encourage students to pursue their dreams. You encourage people to make the right decisions despite the wrong temptations. You encourage students to be themselves and give them an environment in which they can, safely and happily. You make a difference on every student you encounter.

While writing about your students, I cannot even begin to tell you how you make a difference in your children. Your children look up to you, believe in you and listen to you. You pursuing your dream, giving them a home and loving their mother makes a difference every single day in their life. I have asked them about you, and the things they say would bring the toughest man to tears. Please know at the end of every day - you made a difference.

After everything you did for me, I will never be able to repay you.

I hope I can make you proud and I hope that no matter where my future takes me you will forever know that I am there in part because of you. You deserve the world, but a letter will have to do for now. Continue to be the incredible person you are, because the world needs more people like you.

From,

The Student Who's Life You Changed

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How Your College Break, Holiday Season Will Probably Go Down, As Told By 'New Girl'

Thank God for that spiked egg nog.

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YAHHHHHHH!

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If you know me at all, I believe this is the best time of the year, everything is decorated with twinkly lights, there is an abundance of ice skating rinks around town, the Starbucks Christmas cups are here, and of course the time of going home to your families.

Introducing significant others to the family is always exciting yet nerve-racking. Especially in my household with my millions of cousins who all take the responsibility of being my intimidating older brother. Did they lock my boyfriend in a closet at some point? You betcha. Now did that relationship last much past that? You tell me.

So whether you are bringing a sig-o to meet your family or just your lovely self, there are always the up's and downs of the Holidays. The following is a Christmas Story as described by "New Girl".

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Ah, cuffing season, we only love you if we're reaping the benefits.

You come home during the Holidays and your Aunt asks, "where's that one fella?", and your mother gives her the look and she quickly tries to change the subject. You proceed to have the lovely conversation of why you're alone, but actually totally okay with it, cause you don't have the time, and are a busy gal trying to juggle clubs, a job, an internship, and school all at once. You talk about the accomplishments that you've been making, and the only part of that speech that is registered by your family members is that you came alone, you get that endearing pat on the back, of "it's gonna be okay". I KNOW SUSAN.

Or you might bring home that boyfriend, finally someone worth bringing home to show off to your family but of course, being the overachiever that you've been looking for, he tries to fit in too quickly, impress your family. Then goes in for the hug with your Dad right off the bat, when your dad was going for the handshake.

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Tone it down babe.

This is then the point of where you walk away to take a breath and go straight for the food -- but hold on, it isn't ready yet because you came for dinner and it's 2 pm.

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You go sit down next to your elderly relatives to see how they are doing, and you're surprised because you find yourself relating to cynical old Uncle Larry. Bonding.

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Then finally, the Turkey buzzer goes off and its time to eat, your grandmother continues to then feeds you loads of her homemade stuffing.

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Then your lovely Aunt Sheryl stops by and takes a seat next to you and asks you what you are planning on doing with your life.

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God bless that spiked eggnog.

Everything might not go according to plan, it never does.

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Yet at the end of that hectic day, you look at everyone surrounding you, and you are damn thankful to have all of these people in your life. Whether they are family, friends, or your cousin's boyfriend you're meeting for the first time. Everyone there made the effort of coming together, enjoying one another's company, celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, and enjoying a nice cup of hot cocoa. Even though parts of it may seem painful, Christmas is still the all-time best, especially when you have an Aunt like mine who decorates her house like the actual North Pole, and you can't help but walk around like a giddy Jessica Day.

Having the privilege of relaxing and celebrating, and eating good food with each other.

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I can't wait.

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