An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

We are now starting another chapter of our lives.
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My fears about college are few, but they seem so big to me. I think that I can sum my fear up in about one word: unknown. I, like anyone else, feel more comfortable when I don't know what I am getting myself into. Unfortunately, no matter how much people tell me about what college is going be like, I won't really understand how college will be until I experience it for myself. I find myself thinking of things that in the scheme of things, are so small. "What will my room look like?" "Will my roommate and I get along?" "How much free time am I gonna have?" "How often will I be home?" I question myself constantly in my head about college. I'm also afraid of living away from my friends and family because they are all I have ever known. "What if I don't make any friends?" But then I remind myself, "Okay slow down, you're being ridiculous." I know that everyone has these conversations and fears in their heads. So, it is so comforting to know that none of us are alone. Yet, all of us can feel so alone and scared.

I think that the only way to go about this change is to close your eyes and jump. Take a leap of faith. We can all acknowledge our fears about going away to college, but the important thing is to not let it cripple us. Maybe even talking with people that are experiencing the same thing will help. We all must take this change head on with confidence that we are well prepared and that there is a reason that we are going wherever it is we may be going. Sure, we won't be around all of our family and friends, but home is just a drive/flight away. Will we lose some friends? Yes, but I believe that is how we know who our real friends are. Although growing up can be so bittersweet, I am choosing to focus on the positives.

We are now starting another chapter of our lives. We get to chose what we will be. If we are willing to work hard and focus, we can accomplish our dreams and we will be able to make the family and friends that we miss so much, proud.


Cover Image Credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d0/bd/19/d0bd19820443b7d8506a1ba47aed90a2.jpg

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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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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Dear Senioritis, You Have Taken Many Of My Bretheren, But You Shall Not Take Me

Bring. It. On.

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It is one of the deadliest diseases known to high schoolers around the world. It takes the lives of thousands every year in high schools big and small. It rampages and destroys grades and social lives everywhere. Even worse, it is one of the oldest plagues with no known cure that every generation has dealt with.

What could I possible be talking about?

Senioritis, of course. Senioritis, as described by Google, is a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. Basically, it's the last semester of high school, and no one cares about anything but graduation. Symptoms include countdowns written on classroom white boards, college commitments and having no care in the world about anything. In severe cases, students fall so sick, they have to skip school for days on end. It is truly a nightmare. All attentiveness in classroom goes downhill.

There is only one medicine shown to have some effect on the illness, and that would be final exam exemption. A motivation for seniors to keep their grades above an 80 or 85, depending on the school, so they can exempt their final exams. While it is not a complete cure, it does help remove side effects as students are now forced to work hard enough to maintain the necessary grade for exemption.

The past semester, I have lost many friends and foes to senioritis. It does not discriminate between male or female, big or small, rich or poor. I am afraid. I am afraid I will be next. As the next semester begins, I am afraid I will be its next victim. It is only getting stronger by the minute. And as the days goes by, it will gather its forces: school field trips, prom, spring break. I pray that I will be spared, but that is rarely heard of.

I was able to avoid Senior Skip Days last semester. Others were not so lucky. But in this war, it is all for themselves. I have done much research, but they are all inconclusive. Nothing seems to work. Changing sleeping schedules, hanging out with friends, setting goals — it all depends on the person.

As college application season has passed, we now only wait for results, but until then... what? What will happen? Will a cure be found, or will we all be doomed to this plague? If there is anyone out there who reads this, I forewarn you — save yourself. Find a cure. If not, you will end up like me or worse. For now, all I can say is that it is unavoidable. Sooner or later, it takes over. The real question is: who's next?

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