Thank You To Every Teacher Who Shaped Me Into The Person I Am Today

Thank You To Every Teacher Who Shaped Me Into The Person I Am Today

Past and present, your effort does not go unnoticed.
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School is no joke. Whether it's elementary, high school, or college, almost every move we make paves the way for our future selves and the opportunities we'll have. As a college student, I come closer to the realization of this fact more and more every day. I look back and think about the major and minor things that I did, words that people have said, lessons I've learned and trials I've gone through that have literally shaped me into the human being that I am today. With those thoughts, I can't help but think of those who harbored my growth. Those who taught me more and more about the world and myself every day so I could eventually become the grateful and tenacious young adult I am today. Dear teachers, you've done more for me than I ever could fathom.

I remember being in high school classes, when seemingly everyone vied for attention by being the loudest or funniest person in the room, almost like we never got enough attention at home. We always seemed to forget that our enjoyment was at the expense of those who were willing and ready to teach us. We acted like fools on a daily basis (I refuse to believe you if you say you never acted out in class). But no matter what, the teachers who instilled knowledge into the brains of my classmates and myself never failed to show up every day with seemingly endless life lessons that I reflect on to this day.

It's amazing how essential the small moments are. Imagine being back in eleventh grade. Only sixteen, you're seemingly invincible but don't realize all the untapped potential you have at your feet. A teacher approaches you after class, explains to you that they want you to apply to this program for after-school internships, and helps you realize that there are actually other people out there who believe in you. This was my story, and literally five words from my junior year English teacher changed my life.

Sitting in the back of class one day I never had any clue that I, of all people, was being paid attention to by any teachers I currently had. My English teacher approached me one day and told me about one of the after-school programs she had previously mentioned to the entire class. She asked if I applied, I told her no, and she then said: "When I mentioned this program to the class, I had you in mind." Now I know that doesn't seem so major, but understand to a young adult who barely believes in himself, it's a game changer.

Fast forward a bit, I applied to the internship program, was accepted, and stayed with the beloved arts institution known as the Brooklyn Academy of Music for nearly three years. I felt powerful, I felt loved, I felt fully capable and ready to challenge the world as a young minority excited to show the world what he was made of. All of this because my teacher basically said she believed in me.

That was once, in comparison to the many experiences I've had with teachers that have helped me realize I was more than I thought I was. Teachers, please realize that your words can change a student's life, even when everything seems to be headed downhill. I know for a fact that if my teacher didn't approach me with those few words, I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am today. For every life lesson that my music teacher taught me that my father didn't. Every conversation about society that my class had with our Spanish teacher. Every opportunity my drama teacher fought to provide me with. Every kind word of belief from my English teachers; every math teacher that told me to never give up; every science teacher that let me explore my imagination; and every helping hand from guidance counselors that pointed me in every which way to apply to any college I could.

This is only my story, but this is for anyone who feels they can relate. We may look at them like they're major hard-asses sometimes, but usually, every action your teacher takes to provide you with an education is one with good reason. Instead of taking them for granted, try to understand why they teach the lessons they teach, and you may be able to go much further than you ever thought you could. Any lesson, any conversation, any word, may change your perspective on what you thought you could do in this world. Sometimes, it doesn't take much to unlock the person you knew you could always be. When you receive recognition from those who are set to teach you, it turns you into a person with seemingly endless possibilities.

For every teacher that has taken time out of their lives to instill in me lessons I'll never forget, I thank you. I thank you because without you I would not be where I am today. I would not be as confident, as strong, nor as happy, if it weren't for the experiences and words I've shared with you all. If you ever believe what you're doing isn't appreciated, take these words and use them. I say to you, that I, along with many students across the world, appreciate you for everything you've done. You help open the minds and accelerate the success of youth all over the world so that one day, they can be the leaders they dream of being.

For all of my teachers past and present, this student thanks you.

Cover Image Credit: Kory Longsworth

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
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1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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To The Girl Who Doesn't Have It All Together

You are going to be OK.

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Does life ever hit you so hard that the only thing you can do is laugh? Everything in life comes so fast. Days speed by and when you think back at the last three months all you can remember is how many dumb moments you've had and you've had no other choice than to laugh at yourself.

Your mistakes blend together and the only way you can organize your thoughts is going through all the pictures your friends have documented.

It's funny every once in a while but eventually, the laugh turns into a force of habit. You feel so stressed out about everything that you just opt into doing nothing to avoid all the responsibilities life throws at you.

I've come to find that who I used to be has become lost in who I am now and everything I do now is about pleasing other people around me. I find myself agreeing to do too many things at one time out of fear of disappointing other people, that I never have time to sit to myself.

You've turned into the person that does not think about what happens next, you just live life day by day and hope for the best.

You leave in the mornings with no sense of what that day is going to hold. You have turned into the person it is easy to make fun of and you learn to take it and roll with the everyday punches because you'd rather feel loved and associated with laughter than someone who can't take any jokes.

You feel pressured to uphold the clueless nature and please the people that enjoy your airhead presence but you know there is more to you than a stupid comment and a bad joke. You feel like you are getting lost in the stereotype you have formed for yourself and start believing the comments your friends make about you.

I promise, you are more than a bad joke, you have so much more to offer and you are not other people's words.

You are you, even if you don't know who that is yet. There is always time to change, there is always time to be who you want to be. You do not have to impress anyone, you can be whoever you want to be at any time you decide to be that person. You are in control of your own life and no one has any say in the decisions you make. It's never too late. Take a deep breath, be yourself, don't lose yourself, love yourself.

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