8 Graduation Tips For The Class Of 2018

8 Graduation Tips For The Class Of 2018

6. Let your parents take as many pictures as they want.

It is almost graduation time. High school seniors are itching with senioritis and dying to spread their wings. They just have to get through one little step first: graduation.

In lieu of the big event, I have compiled a list of 8 things that I think are super helpful to keep in mind for graduation.


Whether it has to be white or not, you will not regret it when picture time comes and you don't have to worry about funky colors or see-through gowns.

2. Make your graduation party the same weekend as graduation.

If you are having a party and you are able to do this, DO IT. This was sooooo wonderful when I graduated. It is easier for the family to come for one weekend if they live far away than to try to make it for two weekends. And who doesn't love a party with the most people possible?!

3. Practice walking in your shoes.

I am not normally a heel or wedge wearer but for graduation, I decided to spice things up a bit. If you are not comfortable in the shoes you are wearing practice! I did not fall, but I was so concentrated on not falling that I couldn't enjoy the moment of getting my diploma. And you really don't want to fall in front of a huge crowd, do you?

4. Prepare for heat.

If your school is like mine, your graduation will be held in a packed gymnasium in 80-degree weather with no air conditioning. Accept the fact that weather could be an issue and plan accordingly!

5. Prepare for wind.

If your school has graduation outside, prepare for windy days. You don't want to be chasing your graduation cap around during the ceremony or trying to keep your hair in one place. Bring lots of bobby pins and bring a hair tie. Keep your hair and cap under control for the ceremony and then for pictures you can let it all down.

6. Let your parents take as many pictures as they want.

It might get annoying after the millionth picture, but understand that you are GRADUATING. This is a HUGE milestone and it only happens once (high school graduation, that is). Let them capture the moment because years from now you'll be grateful.

7. Talk to as many classmates as you can.

You may not realize it then, but graduation day might be the last time you see some of those people. Summer will begin and you and your close friends will be hanging out, but the normal everyday people from school won't be there.

8. Enjoy the moment.

This is the last time you will probably be at your high school. This is the last time for a lot of things. You need to enjoy this moment and not just wish it away. It is important to take it all in because soon enough you will be in college and it will all be over. Don't let this moment pass you by. This is your moment.

To all those graduating this year from an almost-sophomore in college: good luck and congratulations. You did it! Take it all in because it goes by fast. Embrace every moment you have and live it up with everyone from home while you can. You don't get these moments back!

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Johnston

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.

I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time

Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...


Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.


Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.


The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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