A Letter To The Graduating High School Seniors

A Letter To The Graduating High School Seniors

A letter of the things I wish I knew before I began college.

Dear Graduating High School Seniors,

After you walk across that stage in May and proudly receive your diploma, your life begins to change. You will probably experience the best and saddest summer of your existence as it all comes to a close.

There are a few pieces of advice I want to give to the incoming freshmen next year that I wish was shared with me before my first semester.

The first is to consider another's perspective. Looking at life from one view will create a closed, negative mindset that will lead them to no growth as a person. There are always two sides to every story, and spreading hate by glancing at the surface (and not what’s inside) is the worst thing someone can do. We are all in a new environment trying to survive together.

Talking negatively about others will not show who they are, but rather show the true character of yourself. Enter college bringing people up. When we live in a world that tears others down, be ready to be there to pick them up and help them move on. Take the time to get to know someone, because you will never know if you will become their person in this world. Quite possibly, they could become your person too.

Turn to others in times of need. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you cannot do this all on your own. Go see your professor when you need help, go call your parents when you’re stressed past your limits, and go to your friends when you need someone to hold. This world was never made to be conquered alone. There will be times where you don't want to admit you’re struggling, but I can assure you that it's alright to be open. They will understand sharing the pressures of this world. Don't be afraid that you’re all alone, because you’re not.

The best piece of advice I could give to you future college students is that things will get better. Putting so much pressure on yourself in the moment will be the way things simply are. I just want to remind you that, in the future years, the one quiz you didn't do so well on? It will mean nothing as long as you never stop applying yourself and working for your goals.

I can almost promise to you that those little things that made you stressed, or cry, will be a minor detail in your constantly changing life.

Set the highest goals you can. Look far into the future and the life you want to live, because it will motivate you to keep moving forward. College isn’t easy. There will be times you want to just give up and declare that it’s not worth it, but it is. This is the time where you discover who you are and what kind of life you want to live. Push yourself to be a better person than you were the day before. Walk out after these four years being able to say, “I made a difference."

You don’t have to change the world, but changing one’s life could change the world for them.

There is so much I wish I could tell you, but I'm still figuring it all out myself too. There is not a set path, and I still have the many years ahead of me to find my own. These next four years are a time for you to figure out the person you want to be. You direct that path you want to take.

Try out for different sports, sing your lungs out at the open mic night, make new friends, and do your best everyday. The time you spend here is actually the fastest four years of your life. It might not seem like it, but cherish every moment you can, because in the end, there are no second chances. Take them all now, and college will be the greatest time of your life.


Someone Who Has Been Through It

Cover Image Credit: Fremont Public Schools- Lloyd Smith

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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