Dear High School Seniors, Live Your Best Life Now, While You're Still Young

Dear High School Seniors, Live Your Best Life Now, While You're Still Young

Live while you're young because what comes next is life.

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Hello seniors! I have some exciting news to tell you. You are graduating in just a few weeks and high school is officially over! Now for some that may be a very sad thing, and for others, it is a very exciting thing. I know for me, I was so happy and excited to finally be done, grow up, and move on. At that time a lot was going on in my life that involved typical high school drama and I just wanted out. I have often looked back on my final moments in high school and realize that I was so caught up in trying to get out of the negative, I didn't take time to find the positive and enjoy the time I did have left being young.

Something that I want to get across to you, growing up may sound great, but don't try to grow up and chase what's next without taking the opportunity to appreciate what you have now. Honestly, when you are a senior in high school it is common to feel superior and like you are grown and know what you are doing. You feel grown and "responsible," but the reality is, you don't really know what "responsible" means. When I started applying to college and then got accepted, I felt great and felt like I knew how my life would go and felt it was going to be a breeze!

Oh, how I was so wrong.

College is a whole different ballgame and even when you are in college you don't get that sense of responsibility until you move off campus into a place by yourself and your name is the only name on the lease (I know this from experience). You also have to actually call people, like financial aid or maybe your landlords and just, in general, you realize that calling someone is a lot more efficient than texting. I'm sorry to burst your teenage bubble but it's time to get serious. What I am trying to say here is, the older you get, the more responsibility that comes with it and there is no going back.

Another thing, friendships will change, it is a part of life. I remember during the months my friend and I were not talking, I was so sad and upset that I wanted to just give up and it felt like the end of the world. I wanted to stop enjoying my life because I was so convinced she was the only friend I would ever make and that limited my perspective for a while. It wasn't until we had both started college that we got back in touch and sorted things out and I'm so thankful for that, but during those months without her I kept myself from really living because I was so focused on how sad I was and the lack of friendship that I didn't really give anyone really the opportunity to grow a friendship with. Along with friendships changing, you still have time to create lifelong friendships in these last few weeks if you want, but that is up to you.

The last thing I want to mention is, do what you can to learn how to have a relationship with your parents, because it may surprise you, but at some points in your life, you are going to wish you did exactly that. What is so funny is since coming to college, I believe our relationship has become stronger and is just a whole other type of relationship. I consider one of my best friends with the additional understanding she still is my mom, but I know that at the end of the day, everything that used to annoy me about her telling me what to do when I was younger, was just her trying to prepare for me for the life I am currently living. And I have learned to appreciate her in a whole new way and she sees me as an adult that is at the point of learning what life is like for myself.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to move forward, but sometimes in that thinking, some may forget to live in the present. After this, life changes and it can be great but it can be hard. Tale this time you have left living young, to appreciate your opportunities and life now. The present only happens once, so treated it as though it's the limited edition it is because these moments are precious. Don't forget to celebrate the fact that you made it! Life hits hard after this point, are you ready?

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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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How High School Destroyed My Self Esteem

Where did the confidence go?

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Not too long ago my parents recovered a collection of home videos from my childhood, and recently, myself and the rest of my family have been taking the time to watch them. It has been quite an experience watching footage of a baby me crawling across the carpet or taking my first steps, but the videos of myself that I find I am most interested in watching are the videos of me when I was a little older, around elementary school age.

As is demonstrated in the multitude of videos featuring me dancing around my kitchen and finding ridiculous ways to get the attention of the camera, I was an outgoing, funny, and lively young girl. I didn't shy away from being the center of attention and was something of a comedian when the camera was turned my way. However, the reason I found these videos so interesting to watch was not just because I found my younger self hilarious. Instead, I was fascinated by the smaller me's enormous personality, because it is such a deviation from the way I am now. This led me to wonder, where did that girl go?

High school is a difficult time for all who experience it. Students face pressure to do well in their classes and meet expectations so that they can get into a good college, which often results in massive amounts of stress and anxiety. However, there are other, social, factors that make high school feel like a battlefield, factors that I, personally, had a difficult time overcoming and still affect me to this day.

When I look back on my four years of high school I realize that I placed far too much importance on popularity and fitting in. I had a set group of friends throughout high school and our group could be considered decently popular, which, at the time, quelled my anxieties about being unliked or alone. Because of these anxieties, I was desperate to keep my friends, even it meant spending time with people I didn't like or didn't make me feel good about myself, and had to teach myself lessons like hiding my true self in order to fit in. This resulted in much unhappiness because many of the friends that I had chosen to be with weren't great at being friends. They were mean, selfish, and often tore me down instead of showing me the support an insecure teenager needed from her friends.

As a result of having mediocre friends, it was often hard to feel like I had a support system when it came to dealing with the problems every teenager faces. Insecurities and lack of understanding about my own body led to weight, which didn't help boost my confidence either. To add to this, my friends, who I believed to be skinnier and prettier than me would often express dislike for the way they looked, which led me to believe that I had no reason to be confident in myself.

This culture of insulting oneself also increased my insecurity, as it left me feeling like I wasn't permitted to have confidence in myself, and instead had to tear myself down whenever I got the chance. Reflecting these negative feelings about myself instead of promoting body positivity warped my mind and made me feel unable to like the skin I was living in. There was no one to tell me that I was allowed to let myself feel good, to look in the mirror and like the girl that looked back at me. Instead, I felt pressure to conform.

So, to answer the previously posed question of where the little girl in the home videos went, here's the answer:

She didn't disappear. She was simply torn down by too many people, especially herself.

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