To The High School Seniors Who Are About To Begin Their Last Semester Before College

To The High School Seniors Who Are About To Begin Their Last Semester Before College

Been there, done that.

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About a year ago, right around the time when senioritis hits, I was sitting in your same shoes, counting down the days until graduation. I was indecisive about what college to attend in the fall, stressed over filling out various college applications, anxiously waiting for acceptance letters (or so I hoped) in the mail, and so over the question: "where are you going to college / what do you plan on majoring in?" that my answer became repetitive.

Freshman year of high school, I remember sitting in Mrs. Miller's health class, hearing her say "high school is going to fly by within a blink of an eye" which I dismissed it as "yeah right."

Well Mrs. Miller, you were right. Here I am, halfway through my freshman year of college already looking forward to my high school's graduating class reunion.

After beginning college, I started reminiscing on the good ole high school days and will continue to cherish the memories made throughout the 4 years, especially my senior year. With that in mind, I encourage you to take advantage of your last couple months of high school because before you know it, it's all going to be part of the past.

Katie Biard

Start off by acknowledging that it's okay (and very natural) to feel sentimental throughout your last semester of high school. In fact, I suggest it. Huge changes are about to happen. You graduate this spring and most likely won't be seeing familiar faces at school in the fall. You may even be moving far from your hometown, leaving behind friends and family. Just remember, this is the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and good things await.

I encourage you to attend at least a couple sporting events before graduation. Whether it be soccer games, lacrosse games, or anything else in between, it's one of your last opportunities to cheer on your fellow classmates and show some of your school spirit.

Katie Biard

Enjoy these homework assignments while they last, because they're nothing like that in college. Reality sets in pretty quickly. You will have a bigger workload, and will need to study harder in order to succeed on exams. I learned that one the hard way, but just know your hard work and diligence in high school will pave the way for a good work ethic throughout college.

However, while the homework load in college can seem hard to balance with work and social life, your schedule will be a breeze. No more bells to tell you to move from class to class, no more being locked up in a building for 8 hours, and no more getting up at 6:30 a.m. every morning to catch a ride to school. You have the opportunity to create a schedule that works for you. You want your earliest class to be at 10 a.m.? Go right ahead. You want to leave Fridays wide open? Suit yourself.

Before graduation in the spring, I want you to ask yourself: did I do something out of my comfort zone? If your answer is no, don't fret. Your last semester of high school is the perfect time to try something new. Interested in trying out for the track team? Go for it! Wanting to be involved in a new club? It's never too late. During my senior year I decided to emcee the talent show with one of my friends. For someone who has never been on stage before, I had no idea what I was doing, but that was all part of the fun. Looking back now, it was one of my favorite memories of high school.

Gabrielle Faletto

Appreciate everything from the conversations you have in the hallways within the five minutes between classes to the teacher's you've cherished for 4 years. If you graduated with a smaller school and decide on going to a big school for college (like me), there won't be many times where you will see your locker neighbor (or in this case, your roommate) while walking to class. Seeing fresh faces everyday on the way to class can take some getting used to, but on the bright side, this just means that there is a wide variety of new people to meet.

Go to prom. You've spent anywhere between four and 13 years with these people. Who cares if you don't have a date. Grab some of your closest friends and make this night count.

Finally, when it comes down to the minute you walk across that stage and flip your tassel, enjoy every moment of your graduation day and know that the bonds you've made throughout your education thus far will carry into your future, even when you're miles away. This is the last time your class is going to be together in the same place (until future reunions, of course). Take a chance to sit back and enjoy the rewards of everything you've worked so hard for during the past 4 years.

You will soon realize that senior year is like a roller coaster ride filled with emotions. So take this information as you please, and make your last couple months of high school count.

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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.
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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'm A 'Super Senior' And Ultimately, I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

Taking more than four years to finish college is actually more common than you think...

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Ever since the beginning of high school, I had my academic future planned out. I was going to be a pre-med student in college, graduate with my bachelor's degree within four years, then move onto graduate school. Once I started taking my pre-med classes, I started struggling quite a bit.

I was retaking certain classes not only to get a better grade but to also understand the material more. After retaking multiple courses, I started to fall behind in the number of credit hours necessary to keep the proper class status. At that point, I knew I wasn't going to be able to graduate in four years and would eventually become a "super senior."

The term "super senior" refers to a student who will be taking longer than the traditional four years to complete their undergraduate studies. People can become a super senior for a variety of reasons.

Some people may not be able to attend school full time. Others may double major or be in a program that takes longer than four years to complete. There are also instances where students develop different interests and change their major.

As I said, I had never planned on being a super senior, so when it became my reality, I felt defeated. Being a super senior made me feel like I was failing at college. During my fourth year of school, I witnessed many of my friends since freshman year filling out their graduation paperwork, applying to graduate programs, getting internships and co-ops, or looking for their first adult job. While I was happy for their success, it was hard watching my friends graduate without me.

Another unpleasant aspect of being a super senior is having to tell people you are one. I've lost count on the number of times friends and family have assumed I would be graduating and asked me what my plans were for the next year, and I had to awkwardly respond that I would still be finishing up classes for my degree.

As much as I didn't want to become a super senior, the fact was that I became one. However, I am currently in the last semester of my undergraduate studies and I must say that I am truly thankful that I got to spend that extra year in college.

Having the additional time in college gave me the opportunity to realize what my true calling was. I was able to take classes that I would have never taken on my pre-med pathway and I discovered that social science subjects like psychology and social work are actually my passion.

Once I realized I was in the wrong major and started taking classes that interested me, I actually started to look forward to going to class every day. Not only did I like my classes, but my grades improved immensely.

Another bonus to being a super senior has been the new relationships that have developed. Once all of my college friends graduated and moved away, I tried to find other people to spend my time with. I am so thankful for all of the new friendships I have made because of being a super senior. Had I not been in school that extra year, odds are good I would have never met them!

All in all, becoming a super senior was not part of my initial plan, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I was able to learn more about myself and what my passions are, as well as meet some amazing new people along the way.

In the end, it doesn't matter how long it takes for you to get that degree, all that matters is that you earned it!

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