A Letter To My High School Friends, Now That We're In College

A Letter To My High School Friends, Now That We're In College

A thank you note to the people who helped me grow.

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When I told myself that leaving San Diego and heading across the country to Atlanta for college was going to be the hardest thing I'd ever do, that was the understatement of the year.

As a kid who followed a fairly unorthodox academic path in terms of moving between schools, I found myself socially behind all of my friends for the first fifteen years of my life. As I finished elementary school at an institution with only 150 kids and walked onto my middle school's campus alone and looked around at the 2400 students, I couldn't help but feel scared. It was like showing up to a party solo an hour before it ends and finding everyone already grouped up and deep into conversation, leaving you wondering why you even bothered coming. It felt like I didn't have a choice though, and I did what I could to keep myself afloat.

It is phases like that where you almost lose all hope. You hold onto that little thread of "I mean maybe things will change soon" just to keep yourself from giving up. And that's really, really tough. From trying to focus your energy on other parts of your life to stress eating the feelings away, the coping mechanisms seem endless. But I've found that no matter what, hard work will always bring good fortune.

To the high school friends who I knew would be worth it the day I met them, who dealt with my overly-passionate music obsession, who taught me not to overthink everything, who wasted hundreds of dollars on gas while driving around with me, who binged on pizza, pools, and Black Mirror with me, who climbed mountains outside concert venues at midnight with me, who teamed up in Spikeball with me, who destroyed the subwoofers in our cars with me, who ignored curfew with me, who didn't raise me but grew with me, failed with me, and graduated with me, thank you doesn't do it justice. You changed my life more than I can describe and I still can't believe I get to call you family. Yes, leaving California was extremely difficult, that'd be difficult for anyone who spent their entire childhood there. But leaving you was harder, and I can only hope that we all find each other again while paving our own paths.

Five years ago I wouldn't have believed it, but there are some people that you will meet in your life that truly change everything. People who make you fall over laughing just by being themselves or make you throw on a wide smile just by looking at you. When people say that only you can create your own happiness, I understand and agree with where they're coming from, but it's the other people in your life that help you discover what happiness means.

To my high school friends, I hope your life gives you everything you wished for and more because I cannot wait to watch you succeed.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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