What I Wish I Knew As A Second Semester High-School Senior

What I Wish I Knew As A Second Semester High-School Senior

Welcome to the beginning of the end.
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So, this is it. You're in the home stretch, my friends.

You're in your final semester of childhood. It's insane, I know. Time is going to fly by faster than you ever could have imagined it would. It's the little moments and the seemingly insignificant memories you're going to miss the most. The spontaneous nights with lifelong friends, or the thought-provoking conversations with teachers. The bus rides home with teammates, or the laughs shared with classmates. Make lots of moments, have a TON of fun. Here are a couple of tidbits of advice I gathered from my now washed-up-freshmen-in-college friends. Enjoy.

SEE ALSO: Why My Hometown Friends Are My Forever Friends

  1. The familiarity you're feeling right now isn't going to last that much longer. Enjoy it, love it.
  2. Have so much fun (within reason)
  3. Work hard (within reason)
  4. Rebuild your burnt bridges
  5. Don't hate on prom, we all know you somewhere deep down love it
  6. Confess your love to your longtime crush
  7. STUDY FOR YOUR AP EXAMS!! #downwithcore
  8. The petty stuff will not matter in four months, don't waste your time
  9. On graduation day, go back to the places you loved growing up
  10. Eat at your favorite restaurants as often as you can, you may as well start the broke college life early
  11. But also enjoy your mom's cooking, you'll miss it
  12. Take pictures...and videos!!!
  13. You don't have to watch the bachelor alone. Hang out with your friends on school nights
  14. It feels like everything is the last time, make that a positive thing
  15. Eat that donut but...
  16. You're never going to be skinnier than you are now
  17. Thrive in the excitement and uncertainty of the entire semester
  18. Don't waste your energy acting negatively towards others
  19. Say hi to people, you may never see them again after graduation
  20. Enjoy it while it lasts, because believe it or not, you will miss it someday
  21. Go to the game or the party or the play. Netflix isn't going anywhere
  22. Don't be afraid of anything or anyone
  23. Revel in the nostalgia, but live in the present too
  24. Again...take pictures!!!!!!
  25. Graduation day will be one of the best days of your life
  26. Go on an adventure with your friends, some of them won't be around forever
  27. Take one last lap through your high school with your closest friends
  28. Take a high school musical kinda jump if you're feeling really adventurous
  29. Laugh. At everyone, at everything
  30. The people you want to stay in touch with, you will
  31. Hang out with your younger siblings. they're going to miss you.
  32. Tell your parents, truly, about your day
  33. Go out of your way to say thank you, to whoever that may be
  34. Take pictures of your hometown. You'll want those someday.
  35. Live life like you're 80 looking back on your teenage years
  36. Get involved
  37. Have lots and lots of sleepovers
  38. Blast your favorite songs and drive around town with your best friends
  39. Your teachers are really, really sad to see you go. Hang out with them too
  40. Don't forget about your dog either. take him/her for a walk or something
  41. Take trips to the city wherever that city may be
  42. Take lots of pictures of those city trips, ok?
  43. Give blood. Because why not
  44. Learn to pick vegetables, even when there's a plate of fries in front of you
  45. Do random things with random groups of people. A lot of the time those are the best memories.
  46. Enjoy those friendships that are strictly in-class-ask-for-homework-kind-of-friendships. Their expiration date is coming up quickly
  47. There's no reason you have to wait on the waitlist
  48. Make your friends birthdays a big deal. It may be the last time you're all together for it
  49. You'll know where you want to spend the next four years. You'll get a feeling, trust me.
  50. Regret literally nothing, no shame no gain am I right?
  51. Talk to someone you never would've struck up a conversation with
  52. It's okay to go random or pick a roommate out on facebook, there are pros and cons to both
  53. Get a job over the summer!!!!!! You'll be happy when you don't have to call your parents every week for money, and your 2 a.m. drunk self will thank you
  54. Talk to your friends about everything, they're probably feeling the same things you are
  55. College is awesome, but there is nothing like memories with your childhood best friends
  56. So make more.
  57. Oh, and did I mention to take pictures and videos??
  58. Long story short, welcome to one of the best times of your life so far. Enjoy every single second.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Adult Woman Has Told Her Best Friend

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Teaching Is An Amazing Career, It's More Powerful Than We Give It Credit For

Teaching is a career that is heavily overlooked — it is much more powerful than people realize.

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When it comes to teaching, it's not always easy or fun. But, let me ask you this: what career really is easy or fun all the time? Being challenged can beneficial. Otherwise, you are just going through the same routine over and over. Teaching will definitely keep you on your toes because there's always something happening.

People seem to think teachers just lecture on information that they hope their students remember for the test. You know what? Those people are dead wrong. Teaching is more than that. Teaching means having the passion and drive to educate children. Teaching is turning something dull to something that students will find more interesting and enjoyable.

Teaching is also about providing tools and other resources for students in order for them to succeed, especially the ones who tend to struggle in school. Being able to give those tools to help them accomplish their goals is extremely rewarding. A teacher will work with a student who is behind on his/her reading skills to have him/her be right at the level he/she needs to be by the end of the school year. Not many jobs provide a reward quite like guiding a student, if not more, to success.

Although it focuses on academics, teaching is not just about that. Sure, being an effective teacher is key, but there are other aspects that are just as significant. As a teacher, you also have to connect with your students. Knowing your students on a personal level is so important. The connection can build respect that will, in turn, help them to succeed. Plus, students spend more time with you on a day-to-day basis than they do with their parents — isn't that frightening? So, you have to be able to support them and let them know them that you are there for them if they are having trouble.

Additionally, that connection you build with your students can last a lifetime. You can witness the growth of a student right in front of you. In fact, I am still very close with some of my teachers from elementary school. Many of them inspired me to become a teacher. Because of those great bonds I built, I had the opportunity to intern with some of my past teachers, which was a rewarding experience for everyone. Being able to develop such a connection with someone so different in age is something that is so powerful and that doesn't come with many other careers.

Teaching is so amazing. There are so many layers and beautiful aspects to it. Again, it can be difficult, but it's also a lot of fun. Not many people can say they have fun and laugh every day at work. I also truly believe that not many other people can say their careers provide as rewarding of a feeling as teaching does. To be able to make such a difference in someone's life is an incredible thing. Teaching is my passion. I know teaching will not be only gratifying but something that will bring me pure joy.

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