High School Seniors: Breathe It In And Don't Let It Go Until It's Over

High School Seniors: Breathe It In And Don't Let It Go Until It's Over

Graduation is coming up quick, slow down and enjoy the moment.

For most of us, it starts out the summer after junior year. Basketball, wrestling, football, cheerleading and any kind of camp you can think of. For me, it started with basketball. Open gyms a few times a week, going out to get ice cream with the team afterward, and then hanging out together at someone's house. Those things seem so insignificant when you are in the moment, but after the fact they are memories you would kill to go back to.

Next thing is the first day of school, a syllabus from every teacher (except the one or two teachers that are just as unprepared as you are), girls that just saw each other last week screaming and running through the halls as if they hadn't seen one another for months, and of course seeing your favorite teacher. A few weeks in, and it's football Friday night. All day at school, everyone's talking about the team we're playing and the girls are talking about their outfits'. Again, something that seems so unimportant but when you're looking back and reminiscing those are the things that you miss most.

Onto the first football game, you're getting ready either in the locker room with the team or maybe at home with your friends. Painting your face, putting fake tattoos on, cutting up tee shirts and taking a last minute trip to find some knee high socks and beads that match the theme. As for me, I was the student section leader. I led all the chants, I got everyone pumped up, and most of all I had to out-do any other kids in the student section. Half time, leading the "roller coaster", listening to the bands half time show, and cheering as the boys re-entered the field. Taking an insane amount of pictures with your friends, borrowing hoodies, and holding hot cups of hot chocolate just to keep your hands warm. Countless trips to Waffle House after games, filling up the entire dining room with football players and kids from the student section-- it goes faster than you think.

At this point, you may realize that time is flying. Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and then it's a whole new year. Now it's your graduation year. That midterm that you dreaded taking? You'll actually miss that. You'll miss running through the hallways early in the morning to ask your teacher a few questions about what could possibly be on the exam. You'll miss getting to leave early after the test and going out to eat with your friends. You'll miss things as simple as sitting at lunch with all of your friends, probably the same kids that you've sat with since freshman year (or at least close to the same people). You'll miss gym class, your math teacher, speeding into the parking lot because you're going to be late, skipping the first period of the day to sleep in your car because you just couldn't sleep the night before-- enjoy every second of it.

Now let us get to the core... slow down, guys. Don't wish it away. Enjoy that football game, and scream your heart out. Participate in the theme, and under no circumstances should you stay home. Wake up early to go out to breakfast with your best friends a time or two before school. Don't miss a single basketball, softball, or any sports practice. Play your heart out in every single game. Honestly, just take the time to do your homework. Partake in spirit week, and dress accordingly for every day. Really enjoy your favorite classes, take the time to work extra hard on projects. Do something to be proud of and make memories you'll never forget. Don't let any single person or group dull your personality and most importantly, truly let it be one of the best years of your life.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

Popular Right Now

It's Time To Admit 'Natural' Intelligence An Outdated Idea

It's not about how smart you are, but about how hard you work.

Elementary school was a weird time. MAP tests, AR reading comprehension, PACT and PASS and virtually any other acronym you can think of for the standardized tests that ultimately distinguished whether or not you were considered relatively gifted. And, while in theory, this may or may not have prepared students for the rigorous curriculum of more challenging courses, I still have to ask: Is this really necessary at age 8?

Don't get me wrong, preparing kids with the highest quality education is what I'm here for... but it's also relatively difficult to decide who's "gifted and talented" and who's not.

Maybe I'm wrong, but with the rise of the gifted and talented curriculum in the early 2000s, came the plateau of the "honors kid burnout" in the 2010s.

Similar to the stigma of the participation trophy in kids sports, the establishment of a "more advanced curriculum" for students as young as 7 or 8 (I put that in quotations because, realistically, these courses were not significantly more advanced), in my opinion, unintentionally reinforced the idealized form of "natural intelligence".

Natural intelligence ultimately presents the idea that "smart" individuals should be able to learn or even simply have the knowledge, without the need to practice, memorize, or really study anything. You weren't considered "intelligent" if it took you more time to learn something, or you had to ask for help. Facts and memorization, intellect and intuition, came naturally and you either had it or you didn't.

This is problematic on multiple fronts.

The process of reaffirming elementary school students (again, this comes from my own personal experience and observation of those with similar experiences), and reinforcing the idea that they are "naturally" smart, gifted, or talented is great in ego-boosting throughout public school.


Entering into an actually academically advanced environment, whether it be Advanced Placement courses, or Dual Enrollment, or even as far as into college, there becomes a problem.

Students that have been told throughout a vast majoring of their lives that they were naturally gifted with intelligence have very early in life placed a negative association with studying, working hard, or having difficulty with something.

Students that have gotten straight A's throughout middle and high school simply by glancing at notes before the exam or by using common sense are have already been conditioned to associate something as simple as making flashcards or asking a teacher for help with failure.

Natural intelligence, natural talent, and virtually any idea that individuals have to be born with a skill in order to be significantly gifted is more often than not, counterproductive.

Making the goal of public education something as one dimensional as letter grades, and conditioning students to view them as more of a ranking system than as a showcase of hard work, does more than just discourage morale. It encourages efficiency. It encourages academic dishonesty. It encourages getting an A by any means necessary because, for someone who has been defined as "naturally intelligent" most of their life, they have no room for disappointment.

Children, especially in this day and age, need to be conditioned to view hard work as honorable, as respectable, and in no way a weakness, or something to be ashamed of. There are no "August Rush's" in this reality, but there are more than enough "Rudy."

Teaching kids that it was their hard work and their dedication that really got them that grade, alter how they view more than just grades. Encouraging hard work, diligence, dedication, and even something as simple as effort goes farther than just academics. Kids that are more encouraged to take risks and think creatively become kids that are more willing to try, regardless of the outcome.

Because life isn't really a grading system, but a test of skills and attitude.

It's not how smart you are, but how hard you work.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Steve Carell, Send Elisabeth to UMich, Not UW-Madison Because They Don't Know What It's Like To Be The Best

Why would you want your mascot to be a badger?

Steve Carell,

Thank you for blessing the University of Michigan campus with your presence on Tuesday.

Of course, our university's greatness speaks for itself, but in case you need more convincing that this is the best school for your daughter, here are six reasons we're better than UW-Madison (and every other school that wants to recruit Elisabeth).

1. How could UW-Madison have the craziest game days when we have the craziest game days?

Perhaps you've heard of The Big House. The University of Michigan is home to the biggest stadium in the United States (and second largest in the world), and every single game day it's filled with students, alumni, and die-hard Michigan fans who bleed maize and blue. Come sing “The Victors" and "Mr. Brightside" with us, and listen to James Earl Jones narrate the most hype pregame video before we chant “Go Blue!" Have I mentioned that we also have Harbaugh? UW-Madison just has a badger. 'Nuff said.

2. UW-Madison doesn't have the largest living alumni body of any university in the worldwe do

The Leaders and Best are everywhere. You could yell “Go Blue!" in the middle of a forest and I can almost guarantee someone will chant it back. The Michigan name is well-respected, and Elisabeth is guaranteed a vast network in any given field because once a Wolverine, always a Wolverine.

3. Our State Street is better than UW-Madison's State Street

Watch the streetlamps and State Theater sign light up S. State as you visit the M-Den for all of your Michigan gear needs. And don't forget to dip into Piada, Sava's, or Totoro for some delicious eats. Ann Arbor wasn't rated the best college town in the U.S. for nothing (sorry, not sorry, UW-Madison).

4. Wanna talk views? Try the Arb

Nichols Arboretum isn't part of our campus tours, but in this hidden gem, you'll find all of nature's best right on campus. Walk through miles of beautiful woods and go tubing down the Huron River in the summer. Come winter, though, find us sledding down some hills on dining hall trays.

Or the Diag

What is Bascom Hill compared to our glorious Diag? The crisscrossing diagonal walkways that give it its memorable name are always bustling with activity, from student activist groups to performers to dogs! You can't forget the dogs. I've walked out of Hatcher many, many times blown away by the sheer beauty of this school and its amazing students. Elisabeth will, too.

5. UW-Madison traditions got nothin' on ours

Being a Wolverine is walking through the fountain in Ingall's Mall at orientation and then again in the opposite direction once you graduate. It's happily waking up at 7 AM to tailgate your way to the Big House. Being a Wolverine is screaming "Mr. Brightside" at the top of your lungs at every game and party. It's never stepping on the M in the Diag, even when it's completely covered in snow, and painting the Rock on Hill Street in the pitch black, freezing cold. Being a Wolverine is spinning the Cube on your first visit to campus. But most importantly, it's the irresistible urge to shout "HAIL!" and "GO BLUE!"

6. No one, literally no one, beats the Michigan icons

President Schlissel is our king, Reggie the Campus Corgi is our wholesome teddy bear, Harbaugh is the crowning jewel, Tom Brady is the GOAT, and Billy Magic? Well, you'll just have to come to Michigan to learn about the utter brilliance of Billy Magic.

The University of Michigan is one of the leading universities in the world. Our students fight for real change on campus and in the world. They are incredibly talented and multi-faceted; Elisabeth will always have something new to learn from everyone she meets. Our campus will give her all the tools to become the next best Carell.

Steve Carell, make the right choice and send Elisabeth to the only school that will make her a Leader and the Best.


The entire UMich student body (but especially your biggest fans, Jessica Jung and Riya Gupta)

Cover Image Credit: Instagram | uofmichigan

Related Content

Facebook Comments