To The High School Senior, It's Not All About College Applications

To The High School Senior, It's Not All About College Applications

Finish strong, be mindful of your needs, and live in peace.

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I wish I could have said this all last year, that you will never have it as easy as you do right now. It's the end of the road for childhood and you're wondering what else do I do with my life now that I'm going to college? It's a mix of emotions and feelings that are hard to process. My goal is telling you this is the year to do everything fun and live like you haven't before. This doesn't mean skip school on the daily and get bad grades(it matters until the end because of college).

But above all else, don't let college applications define your year. People think applying to college is the story of what happens senior year(which is mostly true but I promise that is not the only thing that matters). There is so much more to life than college applications and laughing how everyone becomes depressed their last year from being around the same people. If I could tell myself last year, it would be this:

First, it would be to not argue with people at all. This last year is simply too scared to fight and argue with people over nothing. Do your best to be kind to everyone and not cause problems for other people. Everyone deserves to have a nice senior year.

Second, enjoy being able to live in your own room and not share with anyone else. Once you get to college there's going to be a lot of unnecessary noise that you sort of get used to living with.

Next, do not take an abundance of college classes. They're only going to help you but so much and you're not going to want to do the work anyway. Don't be one of those people who does this and doesn't feel the need to have a social life. It's no joke, recognize you're human and be mindful of your needs.

In addition, there is no such thing as a perfect school. Every school has its flaws and most of the time when people say yes, they're saying yes to the marketing campaign the school has. There is a large difference between the marketing campaign for the school and actually living there. It's always good to go to your top school and tour a second time so you know what definitely fits you.

Most importantly, do not be too consumed in your cell phone and pretend that you don't care about anything. That's like a lame childish response pretending you don't have feelings. And for those that still think this is the way to go, I can't wait until you take a sociology class and learn about how humans are dependent on one another.

Appreciate everything mom and dad have done for you. Do not fuss about what is put on the dinner table, and instead be grateful that they took their time to prepare a meal for YOU. Nothing compares to mom's home-cooked meals. Because that dining hall food can really mess you up.

You will be working the 9-5 all day every day. There will be more work, you will be stressed out about reading around 300 pages of material per week, and have the stress of having two tests as the only semester grades.

Lastly, you will actually have to adult for the first time ever in college and find what keeps you motivated. It's not a hand holding game with constant support. You have the opportunity to do a lot by yourself but also with others.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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5 Ways To Tackle Credit Overload In College As A Sleep-Deprived Senior

So you think you can take 19 credits. Well, you can!

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So you were ambitious and went into credit overload this semester. Cheers to you! You're hopefully right on track to graduate, if not ahead. Regardless of the reason you chose to bog yourself down with more work than others, here are some tips I've come up with along the way for a successful semester.

1. Make a daily to-do list for each class.

Every day I make a list of all of my classes and what is upcoming for each class. That includes assigned reading, homework and upcoming quizzes and tests. This allows me to visually plan what is on my plate for each day. I am also far less likely to forget an assignment if I continuously write it down until I complete it.

2. Prioritize these items!

Rank the items you just listed to your highest priority (due today or tomorrow) to least priority (due a few weeks from now). This allows you to manage your time and get what you need to get done on time.

3. Try to do your homework on the day it is assigned.

I understand that this is obviously easier said than done. But, one of my professors gave my class this advice in my very first semester of college, and I have remembered it and cherished that advice ever since.

If you are assigned homework on Monday in a class that meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it is much better to get it out of the way on Monday afternoon rather than wait until Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning, if you're good at procrastinating). This also lessens your workload on weekends.

4. Etch out time every day to spend in the library.

I never used to believe it when people said you do better work in the library because at home you have more freedom and are distracted. Now that I am in my senior year of college, I have finally found that to be true. I wish I realized that sooner. Now I spend at least three hours a day in the campus library three days a week. If you want to spread it out to one hour a day, that's fine, too. Find a schedule that works for you.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

My university has a web page with a countdown to graduation. I keep it bookmarked on my laptop. When I am feeling unmotivated, I click the link and remind myself of how many days there are until graduation. If your university doesn't have this feature, you can make your own graduation countdown on a variety of countdown websites. Find something tangible to focus on achieving. You can do this!

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