To My High School Best Friends, Life Is Different Now, And So Are We

To My High School Best Friends, Life Is Different Now, And So Are We

A lot has changed since we last saw each other.
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Wasn’t it just yesterday that we exchanged tearful goodbyes before we went off to college?

We were so certain that everything would be different by the next time we saw each other. We were right; a lot has changed since August, not just us, but our hometown and our families, too. As we get closer to the holidays, I can’t help but think about when we’ll all be together again and wonder how it will be.

For the past four months, we’ve all been leading completely separate lives. College has led us to explore new horizons and make new memories, making us wonder how we could have ever possibly lived in our boring hometown when we could have been having this much fun. Sometimes, it’s almost impossible to imagine life before the altered reality that is living away at school.

But there was one.

Before the parties, cramped dorms, and difficult classes, there were seven periods, Friday night lights, and a group of friends that were (and still are) my everything. There were late night drives, slushies, songs we couldn’t get enough of—the list could go on forever with all the memories we made over those four fleeting years of high school. As I think about the people we were four months ago and the people we are today, I worry sometimes if we’ll ever get those good times back, those times when life was simple and we were all a five-minute’s drive away.

I know; melodramatic, right? But it’s true.

The memories we made together in our hometown were what defined us as we tried to navigate the world of college for the first time. Now our memories aren’t as interwoven; instead, they’re filled with stories we “just had to be there for”, unforgettable nights spent with new friends and fresh faces, and experiences we can’t all necessarily relate to. There is bound to be a certain distance between each of us that we haven’t felt before and may never make up for.

However, in every memory I’ve made at school, you’ve all been in the back of my mind, because how could you not be?

We may not be together, but whenever I feel nervous, scared, or sad, I turn to you, think about a funny or important memory we’ve shared, and instantly feel better. Yes, it’s naïve to think that everything will be the same we next time we see each other, because it won’t be. But you will never become less important to me just because all of our lives have changed. You all will still be the people I depend on when the going gets tough, when college gets to be too much, or when I just need a simple reminder of what amazing friends you all are to me.

Life will be different and so will we, but throughout these changes, we will still be the goofy, carefree best friends we always have been and always will be.

Cover Image Credit: Molly English

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Summer In College Is For More Than Just Working

No, you're never to hold to have fun in the summer.

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There should never be an age where you stop having fun in the summer. The weather is nice, there are always things to do, and everyone is just naturally happier. So, regardless of whether you're 7 or 21, I'm talking to you.

During the year it can be hard to find a routine unless you are a very put together person. Sadly, I am not. Even when I tell myself I'm going to eat healthily, work out, and stop procrastinating, I usually don't follow through with that. At school, I find myself in somewhat of a constant catch-up mode. When I feel like I'm ahead on my homework or studying, that usually means I'm behind on being healthy in other aspects of my life. That is why I love summer. It's a chance to reset the clock for a second and catch your breath.

I get that having an internship or working is important for your post-graduation life, but having fun is important for your college years too. When you get a job in the real world, summer is going to look a lot different for you. That is why it's best to take advantage of the time now. This doesn't mean turning down that work experience, it means doing things other than just working.

First things first is finding a hobby you enjoy that you don't do at school. Pick it up for a little over the summer. Why not? For me, this is yoga. For whatever reason, I find myself too nervous to attend yoga classes at school. I have absolutely no reason to be anxious about doing something I like, but I am so I take the time to attend a few classes a week in the summer.

Secondly, try reading. Before you make that look of disgust on your face, think about the last time you read a book of your choosing. If it was recently, then kudos to you for managing your time well enough to do that. If you are not that person, then hello! I am talking to you. I am not a fan of reading because I usually associate it with homework. However, I find that when I have the time to browse the book section of a store for a few seconds, I find multiple books that jump out at me. During the summer I take the opportunity to read a little here and there. The nice part of leisure reading over school reading is that there's no deadline. You can read what you want when you want to.

Finally, learn something new. Again I usually associate learning with things that I am required to learn for my major. Learning something new that interests you is a different kind of rush. When I'm bored in class, I make bucket lists of little things I want to learn about. They can be big or small. One time I wanted to learn how to knit. Don't ask me why my 19-year-old self thought it would be sweet to sit on my porch in the summer knitting, but I did, and I'm kind of sad I didn't pursue that interest. When might I ever have time to learn how to knit again?

These might sound like quirky things to do, but you're young. Make a bucket list and try to cross one thing off each weekend. If you're like me, then you're a little scared of growing up. Scared you won't be able to accomplish all the things you want to. But, the fact of the matter is no one is going to make you accomplish them but you. So, take some initiative and do them. Summer is for more than just working; it's time to live a little and reset the clock.

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