A Letter to the Graduates of 2017

A Letter to the Graduates of 2017

From a Graduate of 2016
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Dear 2017 Graduate,

You are about to embark on what I consider one of the most eye opening experiences of your life - so far. Your senior year of high school has finally come, but before you know it, it will be done in a flash. This ultimately is one of the most importants years of your life, so take advantage and embrace every second of it.

Senior year has by far been my favorite year of high school, the first day especially. You get to come in early for the senior breakfast, scope out the new freshman class, see all your friends who you haven’t seen all summer and basically run the school. You’ll go to your last-first football game of the year, your last-first tryout for your sport and your last-first homecoming pep rally. I promise you, it will all fly by.

There’s a bunch of things that will all make sense senior year. Like yes, Senioritis IS a thing and it does affect every single senior. And teachers actually DO care about you. I have grown so close to many of my teachers throughout high school, but especially my senior year. They’ve watched you grow throughout the past four years and they have helped shape you into the student you are. They only have good intentions for you and they want you to succeed after you graduate. Another thing that I’ve learned is that every friend you make along the way is not always permanent. The girl you thought would be your best friend for life might end up being just an acquaintance and the girl who used to just be your lab partner could end up being your future maid of honor. And that’s okay, people change.

Another piece of advice I can offer you, is make time for your family. This is something I wish that I had done more. As a student, you should be going out with friends having fun, but you should also be with your family. I know that just because you’re a senior, you’re considered an “adult,” but you never know what could happen. If I had one regret during my senior year, it’s that I wasn’t as close with my family as I wanted to be. Never act like you’re too cool for them. Hug your mom, tell your dad you love him, let your sister borrow your clothes and don’t yell at your brother when he leaves the toilet seat up - you’re going to miss it all when you leave for college.

As I now enter my freshman year in college, I regret being too discouraged to live my senior year to the fullest, so my advice to you, get involved. Dress up for spirit week, participate in the powderpuff game, join clubs and committees and step out of your comfort zone. You only have one senior year, so do it right.

In the end, the tassel is worth the hassel, I promise!

My best wishes,

A 2016 Graduate

Cover Image Credit: Google.com

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10 Shows Netflix Should Have Acquired INSTEAD of Re-newing 'Friends' For $100 Million

Could $100 Million BE anymore of an overspend?

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Netflix broke everyone's heart and then stitched them back together within a matter of 12 hours the other day.

How does one do that you may wonder. Well they start by announcing that as of January 1st, 2019 'Friends' will no longer be available to stream. This then caused an uproar from the ones who watch 'Friends' at least once a day, myself including. Because of this giant up roar, with some threats to leave Netflix all together, they announced that 'Friends' will still be available for all of 2019. So after they renewed our hope in life, they released that it cost them $100 million.

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How Can We Be More Clutch?

Look back on past events in your life where you were resilient, where you did succeed in high pressure and high stakes situations. What did you do then? What can you learn from it now?

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Each of us, deep in our souls, has the gift of clutch. Look no further than the last time you had a paper due in less than an hour with more than two pages to write, and you were able to finish the paper (surely with phenomenal outcomes). That's what you were in that moment: clutch. Clutch as an adjective is defined as being "dependable in critical situations."

Jeff Wise, the author of Extreme Fear , a book about performance in moments of high pressure and danger, said that "there's no question that when pressure is intense, skilled performance are able to tap abilities that are otherwise kept in reserve." I'm sure myself and many of my peers, with final exams and papers on the near horizon, would like to tap into our deep-seated reserves of clutch to lift our grades.

Some believe that the idea of being clutch is a myth, that it is just a statistical anomaly that perhaps we notice it more when people succeed seemingly impossibly in high-pressure situations. According to Wise, to some extent, clutch is a myth - but it is only a myth for those that are not experts in their fields. Professional athletes are the best of the best in their respective sports, and in that context, clutch is not a myth. The truth behind clutch performances is that those we see as "clutch performers" have " a rich store of past experience, organized into a deep intuitive understanding.'

In Dr. Mark Otten's sports psychology lab, the researchers concluded that we can all be clutch, "provided [we're] in the right mental state." Those in high-pressure situations need to feel like they're in control, as those who felt like they were in control were the most likely to succeed under pressure. Obviously, confidence also helps. So those who feel confident and in control are the most likely to succeed in clutch situations.

I do not, however, find the psychological explanations of clutch performance satisfying. To me, clutch performance is not just a psychological phenomenon, but an art, and to me, an art is something that can never be adequately explained, but instead interpreted. There is no one-size-fit-all explanation, and so I will interpret the two most clutch plays in my favorite professional sport, the NBA. Both these plays took place in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

The two plays are as follows: Lebron James's game-saving block on Andre Iguodala's open layup out of nowhere, and Kyrie Irving's game-winning three pointer.

One thing is clear: the last two minutes of the game were absolute chaos. By this point in the series, both teams had been worn out and absolutely exhausted. The plays were nothing short of miraculous, as Lebron James was located at half-court while Iguodala was at the free throw line, and Irving's shot was heavily contested. When the stakes were highest, the two players succeeded and thrived. While neither team had scored in more than five minutes, the two players pulled through and won a championship for their team, on the road.

Clutch, for the, constituted not cracking under pressure, but thriving under it. The two of them have faces of laser focus indicating their confidence and sense of control in their situations. That is clutch. The game comes naturally to them, and it seems like they stop thinking as hard and just let it come. The two players slow down, and don't freak out. However, I don't know what is actually going on. in their heads. I am merely speculating, and I will never know unless I'm able to sit down and talk to Kyrie and LeBron one day.

I want to take a lesson from LeBron and Kyrie, too, and learn how I can become more clutch in a phase of high-pressure exams and papers. I want to be more clutch in job interviews, in times I'm usually afflicted with overwhelming anxiety, or in social situations that are incredibly awkward.

So to be clutch in our own lives, the formula in high-pressure seems to be this: feel more confident and in control. Slow down and let things come naturally. I have been able to reach these phases using a mantra that taught me to allow life to come naturally: "no surge." I am not saying the formula or even the mantra works for everyone, but it is a mantra that has worked for me given its emotional and historical significance in my life.

Approaching finals, deadlines at work, or difficult life events, find what works for you. Find out how to be clutch your own way, which is much easier said than done, but I don't need to be telling you how to do things you know best yourself. Look back on past events in your life where you were resilient, where you did succeed in high pressure and high stakes situations. What did you do then? What can you learn from it now?

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