From High School To College, It's Been A Wonderful Journey

From High School To College, It's Been A Wonderful Journey

It's quite the adventure.


Does the title sound click-baity? Good. You and I both know it wasn't the greatest adventure. Nonetheless, throughout my times I spend alone I often think to myself about my own life. Often through the times of thinking about time travel and non-existence as mentioned before in previous articles, I often take a look into my main span of growth known as high school. I know it's cheesy and corny to say the least, due to the fact that almost everyone does this. High school is a big step in life. Many people would often believe this as well.

Personally, I believe high school is the biggest part of growth from childhood to adolescence into becoming a young adult. I could sit here all day typing away on how high school messed me up or how great or terrible it was and sum it up like that. But honey, that's not what I'm going to do. Instead, I'm gonna break down my reflection of high school, and what I've gone through in it (this is not including programs outside of high school).

9th Grade Freshman Year:

Okay, let's be real here, freshman year of high school was like the crash test year of high school. You either don't know everyone there, or you do, but what you do know is that you're not prepared for the next 3 years of bullshit. I'm sorry I meant adventure and all of your high school fantasies. Anyways, freshman year for me was definitely the crash test year of my high school career. I didn't know many people and I was instantly regretting my choice of being in this school.

However, that changed when I started making friends and getting into the course I wanted to graduate with. Mind you I went to a vocational school, so I was able to pick a major course and graduate with that qualification (yeah no stress there). So freshman year was a way to swift on through all the major courses as a test drive and see if I actually like one of them. Luckily for me, I did and was able to go right on through to sophomore year.

10th Grade Sophomore Year:

I'm not gonna lie to you, I only vaguely recall any of my sophomore year. I don't know why, and it's funny since I am writing about my high school reflection but I frankly recall mostly 30% of it. But even then, sophomore year is like the follow up OK or bad sequel of any movie that did well the first time around. Only because the producers became greedy and wanted to stretch the franchise out a little more (I'm looking at you Shrek and Percy Jackson).

Okay okay, sophomore year wasn't as bad from what I recall but it did spark a lot of things you'd normally expect from a bunch of awkward, sweaty, and diverse group of teens. From weird love interests and squabbles, to still making new friends, to having to take PSATs you haven't even studied for. While also trying to maintain a social life and homework. Personally, from what I recall, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I had my fair share of cruel and unjustified teachers who graded a bit unfairly, alongside weird love parallelograms, and nearly flunking math every cycle but it was alright.

11th Grade Junior Year:

Ah yes, the third sequel that actually ends up being the arguably the best in the franchise (still talking about you Shrek, and I'm staring at you Spider-man(yes the Sam Raimi version)).

Okay, maybe not that scene but its still a good movie. Anyways, junior year was what I believe a great time and a stressful time in my high school career. It's the year you start planning your life out, take the SATs and ACTs, what colleges you're considering to apply to next year and worrying about taking AP classes. I don't know I guess for me it felt like it was honestly a great time to plan out your future before it's crunch time to do so. Plus junior year was the year of love in my opinion. The year you found someone you were either really interested in or a partner that lasted till the end of high school or more. Personally, it was the year I made a special bond with all of my friends and even found love throughout the journey.

12th Grade Senior Year:

Senior year, it felt great to be here, didn't it? The 4 years of mental, and emotional trauma was almost over and then it's smooth sailing to adulthood. Honestly, everyone and their mother's could agree, senior year was the best year of high school. Yeah, you had the stress of whether you're graduating or not, and whether or not a college accepted you, but overall it was all worth it. As you sit through the boring speech on graduation day just thinking to yourself, "Man I really am gonna miss it here. It was well worth it."

As you watch your friends and fellow classmates get up on that podium and get collect their diploma, as you leave the ceremony and go on through your own separate lives, or stay in touch in the end, we can all agree senior year, could be one our favorite years. Having taken the SATs and ACTs and already having my college acceptances, it literally was a smooth ride from here on out. I recall cutting classes to check out colleges I was accepted to just to grasp the feel of the campuses and spending long nights with my friends watching movies or driving around. But that's just me. Overall, high school was an adventure, whether you wanted to make it one or not. I don't necessarily miss it but I do miss the best of times I've had in it. So cheers, from an alumna of the class of 2016!

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5 Things I Learned While Being A CNA

It's more than just $10 an hour. It is priceless.

If I asked you to wipe someone's butt for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to give a shower to a blind, mentally confused person for $10 would you do it? If I asked you to simply wear a shirt stained with feces that was not your own for 12+ hours for $10 would you do it?

You probably wouldn't do it. I do it every day. During the course of one hour I change diapers, give showers to those who can no longer bathe themselves, feed mouths that sometimes can no longer speak and show love to some that do not even know I am there all for ten dollars.

I am a certified nursing assistant.

My experiences while working as a CNA have made me realize a few things that I believe every person should consider, especially those that are in the medical field.

1. The World Needs More People To Care

Working as a nursing assistant is not my only source of income. For the past year I have also worked as a waitress. There are nights that I make triple the amount while working as a waitress for 6 hours than I make while taking care of several lives during a 12 hour shift. Don't get me wrong, being a waitress is not a piece of cake. I do, however, find it upsetting that people care more about the quality of their food than the quality of care that human beings are receiving. I think the problem with the world is that we need to care more or more people need to start caring.

2. I Would Do This Job For Free

One of my teachers in high school said "I love my job so much, if I didn't have to pay bills, I would do it for free." I had no clue what this guy was talking about. He would work for free? He would teach drama filled, immature high school students for free? He's crazy.

I thought he was crazy until I became a CNA. Now I can honestly say that this is a job I would do for free. I would do it for free? I'd wipe butts for free? I must be crazy.

There is a very common misconception that I am just a butt-wiper, but I am more than that. I save lives!

Every night I walk into work with a smile on my face at 5:00 PM, and I leave with a grin plastered on my face from ear to ear every morning at 5:30 AM. These people are not just patients, they are my family. I am the last face they see at night and the first one they talk to in the morning.

3. Eat Dessert First

Eat your dessert first. My biggest pet peeve is when I hear another CNA yell at another human being as if they are being scolded. One day I witnessed a co-worker take away a resident's ice cream, because they insisted the resident needed to "get their protein."

Although that may be true, we are here to take care of the patients because they can't do it themselves. Residents do not pay thousands of dollars each month to be treated as if they are pests. Our ninety-year-old patients do not need to be treated as children. Our job is not to boss our patients around.

This might be their last damn meal and you stole their ice cream and forced them to eat a tasteless cafeteria puree.

Since that day I have chosen to eat desserts first when I go out to eat. The next second of my life is not promised. Yes, I would rather consume an entire dessert by myself and be too full to finish my main course, than to eat my pasta and say something along the lines of "No, I'll pass on cheesecake. I'll take the check."

A bowl of ice cream is not going to decrease the length of anyone's life any more than a ham sandwich is going to increase the length of anyone's life. Therefore, I give my patients their dessert first.

4. Life Goes On

This phrase is simply a phrase until life experience gives it a real meaning. If you and your boyfriend break up or you get a bad grade on a test life will still continue. Life goes on.

As a health care professional you make memories and bonds with patients and residents. This summer a resident that I was close to was slowly slipping away. I knew, the nurses knew and the family knew. Just because you know doesn't mean that you're ready. I tried my best to fit in a quick lunch break and even though I rushed to get back, I was too late. The nurse asked me to fulfill my duty to carry on with post-mortem care. My eyes were filled with tears as I gathered my supplies to perform the routine bed bath. I brushed their hair one last time, closed their eye lids and talked to them while cleansing their still lifeless body. Through the entire process I talked and explained what I was doing as I would if my patient were still living.

That night changed my life.

How could they be gone just like that? I tried to collect my thoughts for a moment. I broke down for a second before *ding* my next call. I didn't have a moment to break down, because life goes on.

So, I walked into my next residents room and laughed and joked with them as I normally would. I put on a smile and I probably gave more hugs that night than I normally do.

That night I learned something. Life goes on, no matter how bad you want it to just slow down. Never take anything for granted.

5. My Patients Give My Life Meaning

My residents gave my life a new meaning. I will never forget the day I worked twelve hours and the person that was supposed to come in for me never showed up. I needed coffee, rest, breakfast or preferably all of the above. I recall feeling exasperated and now I regret slightly pondering to myself "Should I really be spending my summer like this?" Something happened that changed my view on life completely. I walked into a resident's room and said "Don't worry it's not Thursday yet", since I had told her on that Tuesday morning that she wouldn't see me until I worked again on Thursday. She laughed and exclaimed "I didn't think so, but I didn't want to say anything," she chuckled and then she smiled at me again before she said, "Well... I am glad you're still here." The look on her face did nothing less than prove her words to be true. That's when I realized that I was right where I needed to be.

Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, I needed caffeine or a sufficient amount of sleep. My job is not just a job. My work is not for a paycheck. My residents mean more to me than any amount of money.

I don't mind doing what I do for $10; because you can't put a price on love. The memories that I have with my patients are priceless.

Cover Image Credit: Mackenzie Rogers

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5 Important Skills Your First Midterm Season At College Will Teach You

It is so easy to fall behind in college.


At my high school, teachers were not allowed to give midterms or finals because it was "too stressful" on the students. Although it was nice while we were in high school, now that I am in college I wish that I did have to take midterms or finals because now when I am taking midterms I am still learning how to study for them. This semester is the first time I have ever had to take midterms so I wanted to share five things I have learned this midterm season.

1. Staying on top of things

It is so easy to fall behind in college. Learning from this first midterm experience, I know now that after each lecture is over I should just do the assigned reading and all the notes as we cover each topic rather than saving them for the week before the midterm. You can always reread the textbook the week before midterm but reading the textbook as the lectures occur help engrain the content in your brain.

2. Writing everything out

I found it very helpful to write out when each exam was and all the topics that would be on the exam. This helped me make a study plan more easily.

3. Knowing people in your class

When I first came to college, I didn't go out of my way to talk to people in my lectures. However, this exam season I learned it is very nice to have the contact information of some people in all lectures because while studying if you ever run into a problem it is easier to first ask your peers than to wait for office hours.

4. Going to office hours

Although you can ask your peers and google answers to conceptual questions, I also wish I went to office hours more. Sometimes during office hours, the professor will give you more information about what may be on the exam and other times it is nice to go because listening to other people's questions may also help you understand your content better.

5. How to study

Before coming to college I read at so many places that high school methods won't work in college. I never believed it until now. In high school, everyone just used to memorize everything before the test. However, in college, you actually have to know the material and know how to apply it.

Hope these are helpful, good luck!

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