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.
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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.

Sincerely,

Someone Who Has Been Through It

Cover Image Credit: Fremont Public Schools- Lloyd Smith

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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I Wish My Big Ten School Was Known For Education, Not Football

College football is great, but education is the reason that most students choose their university.

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College football is a big deal to lots of universities. At schools like Ohio State, it is a really big deal. Although I personally don't care about football, I think that it is a great way to build a sense of community and camaraderie among students. It is fun, gives many schools a worldwide presence, and allows us students to have a sense of overwhelming pride in our school.

I just don't want that pride to outweigh the pride in the education itself. Unless you're a football player, you go to college primarily to learn and build your future. Football is fun, but sometimes I wish that society associates my school with an education rather than a single sport.

I cannot count the number of times that I told people that I go to OSU, and they responded by saying something along the lines of "Oh no, I'm a Michigan fan!" If they're referring to how The University of Michigan has some academic programs that are usually ranked higher than those at Ohio State, then I wouldn't blame them. Heck, it is ignorant not to acknowledge the truth in that-- if Michigan hadn't cost a thousand times more than what I'm paying now, I honestly might have chosen to be a student there.

Back to the point, though. I'm proud to go to OSU. At this time in life, I wouldn't want to be going anywhere else. Attending a school known for football was ultimately my decision, but that factor itself wasn't the reason. Admittedly, since I started college, I came to realize that all students aren't as football-crazy as I anticipated. One game day when I was studying in the library, a handful of guys came in yelling "OH" and expecting an "IO" back. They were met with silence until someone studying a few floors above them shouted back "F*** off!"

That story always reminds me that big schools like Ohio State really are for everyone. OSU excels in its education and wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. I don't love my school because of football-- I love my school because of the challenging academics, amazing faculty, and strong community. I think that it is time for the general public to see it that way too.

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