Class of 2019

Hey, Class Of 2019, We FINALLY Made It

With less than two months until graduation, it's time to look back on how far we've come and where we're going.


I remember my first day of high school like it was yesterday. I was terrified of everything from the new and bigger school building to the seniors who were so much older and seemingly more mature than I was. They were about to finish a journey that I was just beginning. I'm sure all of us can relate to the fact that high school has definitely been a rollercoaster. Nothing has really stayed the same since 2015 when we started our freshman year, and in many ways, that's a good thing.

Most of us have grown up, whether that means you've gotten taller or just a little wiser than you were that August when you first walked through the halls that have become so familiar to you now. I remember thinking that I'd be lucky to graduate high school, simply because of how daunting and difficult it seemed. I just wanted to make it through these past four years and get my diploma and be off to college, as I'm sure most of us can also relate to.

High school wasn't as scary as I thought, however. Yes, homework does suck and there are days where getting out of bed at 7:00 a.m. seems harder than climbing Mount Everest. But look at us now — we did it. We're here in the home stretch, seven weeks (give or take) from graduation day and all of it will be over.

Whether you're headed off to your dream school, into the workforce or to the airport to travel the world, we're all on our way to being the best versions of ourselves, and it's important to remember through all of it to stay true to yourself. Wherever you go, hold tight to what makes you happy to be alive. Hold onto everything from the little things like your favorite song or food to the bigger things like your dreams and your passions. It's important to remember that no matter how hard or mundane it is being an adult, you can always find happiness somewhere in this world.

Now is our moment, class of 2019, so revel in it. Hug your families, because it isn't long until we'll all be miles away from them and those daily hellos and good nights will become few and far between. Have fun with your friends and take it all in. Hold onto this last little bit of our childhood that we have left, because, in a number of days, you'll pack up your parents SUV and head off into the unknown.

Here's to us, class of 2019, we've made it.

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To My Niece On Her Graduation Day

We have so many amazing memories, but I hope there are a lot more to come

Dear Sweetness,

I know I'm writing this early, but there are so many things that need to be said. First of all, I can believe you're graduating from high school! I feel like you should still be a tiny, adorable toddler who loves bunnies and multicolored ketchup, and who dances to "Ice Cream and Cake" by the Buckwheat Boyz.

When we were children, you would sit in my bed and try to mimic my drawings, or we would climb into my treehouse where I let you decorate the walls with washable markers. Somedays, we would even sit and read quietly.

Somehow, all of this time passed though, and you're coming up on Graduation. We still read together, but it's usually for class assignments, and "Ice Cream and Cake" has been replaced by our amazing ginger husband, Ed Sheeran. We also realized that that purple Heinz ketchup was actually really gross, and thank goodness it was take off of the shelves.

As I think forward to your Graduation from high school, and hopefully other future graduations too, I want to give you a little advice.

Enjoy your last few weeks of senior year. You may not miss all of the strict guidelines of high school, but you will eventually miss your friends and even some of the high school events. As much as football can suck, it does grow on you when you don't have the time or money to go see it.

Don't stress so much over Graduation Day or anything after that. No, you aren't going to fall or make a fool of yourself, and if you think too much about your walking, you're going to miss all of the interesting parts. Take in as much of the speeches as you can. They can be pretty boring, but I promise, that you can get some amazing insight from the guest speaker and your valedictorian.

Know that you are amazing, and no matter what you do, you will always be my baby. You may be my niece by blood, but you're the closest thing I ever had to a baby sister. You are gorgeous, you are fierce, and the world is yours for the taking.


That weird aunt with the tattoos and pink hair

Cover Image Credit: Lexi Garmon

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It Took Until My Senior Year To Realize I Might Want To Go To Grad School

I don't think I have learned enough yet.


School was never something I disliked but it also was not something I was super excited for. I went to good schools growing up, had great teachers and made excellent grades. I was a good student but I also knew that someday school would come to an end.

As high school came to an end I bounced around ideas of what I wanted to. Not one of them involved being a professor at a university or a teacher at high school. It was not meant to come off as me thinking these positions were not good enough for me but rather I felt I could never live up to the teachers and professors I had loved and learned from.

I knew that I could teach and help students but that was only half of being a teacher, the other was being a role model and shaping them into a better person if they needed it. That's what I was nervous about and that was why I never thought about continuing education. I believed I would never make potential students better as students or people. However, this idea simply became just an idea. I should not let one idea in my mind stop me from attempting something and that has not stopped me before but as I think about life after college, graduate school and even a Ph.D. is looking more and more like a better option.

Graduate school was never on my mind when I got to college. I sometimes flirted with the idea but I also stated how I could come back to school after I make a decent salary. I wanted an opportunity to pay with my money or apply for scholarships. I flirted with the idea but it was never anything concrete. I seemed to go back and forth, but finally, there was something that made me consider graduate school: my decision to change my major.

I was always set to graduate a semester later and in my senior year, I made the biggest choice of my life by changing my major. I was struggling in my old major and I was afraid that if I continued to struggle it would disrupt my passion for education or not motivate me to graduate. A year later I can say that this was the best choice for me and it helped me recapture my love of learning.

In my new major it became common for people to be thinking about graduate school and I got me thinking. Some of my friends had already taken the GRE or were in the Accelerated Master's Program. I was not jealous or angry that I did not take the opportunity but it shined some light and got me thinking. What if I did go to graduate school? There was no harm in studying for the GRE or talking about it with family and friends. I brought it up to my parents and they respected my idea but I wanted to know what my professors would think.

Since changing my major I have kept a great relationship with many of my professors and I have a good level of comfort about certain questions. When I asked two of my professors they stated how it would be a good idea and that I should consider graduate school.

Five years ago I would not have viewed graduate school as continuing studies. I would have viewed it as more school and would be unsure if I needed it. I can say that now my perspective is different and I see graduate school as a way to focus on a subject that I love. I know that if I do want to be a professor I have a long way to go but I know that I have some great motivators that I can surround myself with and ask for help. I don't want to be like my professors, I just want to be the best me.

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