Don't Just Be A High School Hero

Don't Just Be A High School Hero

Your past does not define you.
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So, you had a bad rep in high school… you feel like you’ll never live it down and will never be able to be who you want to be. If you haven’t been told already, graduation changes everything. When you move away you can be whoever you want to be.

Your new college friends don’t have to know about the high school scandal that labeled you. Or that you weren’t involved enough to never get a label. The world is filled with so many different kinds of people and you will find your place.

A high school is a place filled with hormones and immaturity. Rumors spread faster than the flu, and bullying occurs around every corner. Especially with the social media frenzy that we have now. If you have been the victim to this situation let me tell you, this will all be a distant memory one day.

You do not have to be what everyone says you are. You do not have to stoop to their level and get revenge. When you get to college or enter the workforce most mature people don’t care what you did or who you were in high school. I mean let's face it, most people weren't "living their best life" in high school.

We’ve all had our own battles, and were all just trying to make the best of this crazy thing we call life.

Maybe you’re lonely and feel like you don’t fit in. You just haven’t found your place yet. Everyone will graduate and go their separate ways. You might find your best friend on your first day of college or the first day of your new job. Explore what this world has to offer. Eventually, you will end up where you’re meant to be.

Maybe you were the "IT girl". Everyone wanted to be you or date you. Leaving high school is going to be a rude awakening for you. But that's okay because you will learn how to really love yourself and not need others approval to be happy. You will learn to really be yourself and do what you want to do, not what others think you should do.

Maybe you never really got involved and didn't apply yourself because it wasn't "cool." News flash, the only time your popularity or image really "matter" is in high school. You can become a mature adult and take responsibility for your actions. So you may not have prepared yourself for college or the workforce, work hard and be better from here on out.

Graduating high school and moving on with your life allows for so many things to occur. It’s a fresh start, especially if you move away from home. You can change your wardrobe, hair, personality, or whatever you want. You can be a completely different person if you want. Just be happy.

On that note, if you find yourself surrounded by people that bring you down, just let them go. Some people just can't let go of high school judgments and always stir up drama. It sucks having to make new friends, but you should be surrounded by people that bring out the best in you.

{If you had really great friends in high school, you don't have to lose them. Moving away from each other is tough, but maintaining those friendships is great. You will probably see your old best friend make new friends and experience a whole new life. Be happy for them.}

Enjoy your time in high school. Enjoy being young and not having real responsibilities. But don’t let the negativity and drama get you down. It is so cliché to say “it gets better,” but it really does. Don’t let a bad past stop you from having a great future.

Cover Image Credit: Josh Ward

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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