To The Class Of 2019, College Is Upon You

To The Class Of 2019, College Is Upon You

With one semester of high school left, time is passing by quickly.

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Class of 2019,

Ready or not, graduation is near. May will be here before you know it. You have one semester of high school left. Let that sink in for a minute. Life as you know it is about to change forever. Will it change for the good or the bad? That choice is yours!

You are beginning to face many decisions that will affect your life forever, and that can be scary. Don't let the stress of choosing a college and career ruin your last semester of high school. Go have fun, and make those memories. The simple things you took for granted for the past three years of high school will be gone before you know it. Go to that last sporting event, go to that last choir/band concert, go to that last high school dance, go to any and every event possible! Go support your friends at their high school events because pretty soon, those friends may be gone far away from you.

While you're making those memories, strive to be the best possible person you can be. Don't go through your last semester of high school just doing enough to get by; instead, work your hardest. Show your teachers that you truly care. Thank your teachers for instilling their lives into yours. While it may seem those teachers were trying to make your life more difficult, it was simply the start of a bigger life lesson you need to know.

While this chapter of your life is ending, a new chapter is about to begin. You will learn that those people who you thought were your friends in high school are really not. Things change, people change, and most of all, LIFE CHANGES. Don't let anything ruin this season of your life. Live in the moment because one day, you will look back, and all you will have is memories.

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Seniors, We Had 4 Years, But Now We Have 4 Months

We will soon experience the "last time" for everything in high school.
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Walking through the big, bad, high school doors on the first day of freshman year is a pivotal point in anyone’s life, whether they realize it or not.

Some people may have lost touch with those people that were walking beside them, but luckily for me, I will be walking on the day of graduation alongside the same friends I walked into high school with.

In the beginning, it was a hassle to navigate the same hallways that 2,500 other students were struggling to navigate as well. The daily traffic jams in the halls prove this point literally, but I mean this in a metaphorical sense also.

In such a large school, everyone is struggling to find their classes as much as they are trying to find themselves. Slowly but surely, as the days pass, everyone finds their path in the hall or, rather, their place in the school.

On the first day of freshman year, four years seems like forever. In the second semester of senior year, four years felt like a second. Pretty soon, all the rumors, school dances and big sports' games will come to an end.

As seniors, we are experiencing a “last time” for everything, even if we do not realize it at the moment. It is difficult to even wrap my head around the idea that all the people I have been with since pre-school will be venturing into different paths of their lives.

It comes to a point where we are no longer navigating our path in the hall or figuring out our place in the school, but we have to navigate the real world.

Before we knew it, we stopped taking the bus and started driving ourselves. My 11:00 p.m. curfew transformed into a 1:00 a.m. curfew.

Every semester the amount of studying seemed to decline. The stickers on our laptops started piling on top of each other. Our “favorite songs” seemed to change week by week (with a few exceptions.)

Without us noticing, these things happened gradually.

In high school, hardly anything stays constant for too long. Although at times, it may have seemed like we would be stuck in high school forever, we were blind to see the time flying by in front of our eyes.

We were too busy complaining half the time to even realize we matured and grew every day.

As the spring approaches, I realize we still have the prom, spring break, senior class trip and graduation coming up. These events will fly by too and soon be just an image in our memory.

In order to cherish these last few months, I will spend less time worrying about what prom dress everyone is wearing, what college everyone is going to and who is going to prom together.

I would much rather disregard the mainstream topics of high school conversation and focus on the small yet important details about my best friends whom I will not enjoy the luxury of seeing on a daily basis next year.

My high school career can be defined simply by packing 10 girls in a car daily, McDonald's McNuggets, stealing street signs and hammocking in the valley.

I may have taken these simple pleasures for granted in the past, but I now realize all these seemingly small components of my life may soon disappear.

The “last time” for everything could happen without my knowledge, so I want to ensure I do not miss a second. High school gives everyone a free pass to still act like a kid, but by the end of your senior year, the pass expires.

Little did we know there was an intangible contract hanging over our heads the whole time. The end of high school marks the end of our childhood, whether we are ready to accept it or not.

Cover Image Credit: Lexi Caruso

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Yes, Being 'The Smart Kid' Comes With Its Disadvantages, Too

It is time to create a culture both in and out of the classroom that being smart or doing well in school isn't a personality trait.

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There's always a few you know. She's the teacher's pet, she asks if that homework was due today and she makes a 95% when everyone else failed the exam. It's easy to dislike her because it's much harder to understand her.

I grew up being that girl. And I know a lot of people disliked me for it.

I grew up with people secretly thinking I was unapproachable, snobby or anti-social. They thought I was in constant competition with others to be the best of the best. They couldn't fathom why I signed up for every club and AP class.

Being a top student quickly became a burden rather than a personal achievement. Though I found fulfillment in doing well at a task set before me, I struggled in other areas of my school experience.

The perceptions of other people placed me in a box that I couldn't get out of.

I didn't get invited out to any of the late-night events or parties because obviously, the only thing I can do is study. It was a complete taboo to share test grades because it would seem like I would be bragging. I'd carefully time the number of times I would speak up in class so I would get less dirty looks for prolonging a lecture. Teachers would ask if I was okay if I made less than a B+ on an assignment.

The truth is, being labeled the smart kid was very anxiety-inducing. I was afraid others would think I was constantly looking to brag about my accomplishments when we were talking. I was afraid to offer advice or tips on an assignment, so it didn't seem like I was telling them my ideas were superior.

I've always found strength in doing well in school, but it has also led me to be perceived as a certain kind of person.

It is time to create a culture both in and out of the classroom that being smart or doing well in school isn't a personality trait. Us smart kids do more than reading books and do homework in advance (I swear). We hate assignments, we love all of the current music and we procrastinate, too. We're also young adults or teenagers that go out and make bad decisions.

Yes, we do well in school, but we struggle to talk to other classmates because our name has been thrown around the school and announced for various achievements.

We want to do well for ourselves, but also for the countless people that expect it of us. The truth is, smart kids are people pleasers. We enjoy helping our teachers out and making our parents proud.

And we shouldn't be considered different because of it.

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