I'm Not Missing Out Because I Go To School Close To Home

I'm Not Missing Out Because I Go To School Close To Home

I discover more about my school-and my city-with each passing day.
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The college search process is filled with web searches, phone calls and campus visits. We ponder on whether or not we want to live on an urban campus or to reside somewhere a bit more isolated or rural. We decide on how many students is too little or too many. We explore what colleges and universities have the best programs within our desired fields of study. We spend countless hours researching schools far and wide, and for some of us, only to find that the school of our dreams is right down the road.

I attend school about 20 minutes from my house, and I also live on campus. It's convenient for me in terms of my academic pursuits as well as my social life. I am very well aware that I have spent a ton of money on room and board and dorm necessities, but this is my college experience.

I firmly believe that college is what you make it, and it doesn't matter how far you go from home. Some people may desire to leave home and to blossom on their own elsewhere, but I think you can progress and develop just as well in your home area.

People consistently tell me that I shouldn't miss home when I go off to school, or that I should have gone somewhere further away. I still don't get to see my family (including my dog) and friends from home on a consistent basis. I'm still responsible for waking myself up every morning and putting myself together. I pick out my outfits and plan my days just as if I was hundreds or thousands of miles away.

It's not that I'm not capable of dropping everything I have here and picking it up and starting completely anew somewhere else. I have dreams of traveling and seeing the world as my life goes on. I simply wanted to transition into this new part of my life in a place where I felt I could grow to be the best person I could be.

I have lived in my beautiful city of Pittsburgh for almost 20 years, but I still learn more about it every day. I didn't know about half of what was in the city until after being on campus for a semester. I love exploring this place I call home, as I fall more in love with it by the minute. Around each corner is a new adventure (and a different pizza place), and I love being able to share it with the family I have found for myself at school.

So sure, perhaps I like to go home every once in a while. I like seeing my family and any friends who are around. I go home to work to ensure that I have some extra cash to pay for things I want to do during the school year. Other weekends, I will stay down at school to spend time with those friends or to be in a better location for a specific event happening that weekend. I approach everything I do with a purpose.

I am more than able to balance my life at school with my life at home; I don't feel that I'm "missing out" on anything. I wake up every day proud of my decision and the person it has made me, and I couldn't thank my school or my city enough for that blessing.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To Those Who Feel The Need To Tear Down Others, Take A Seat

You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.

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I recently wrote a super controversial article, which I'm honestly very proud of. In the comment section, there were plenty of people criticizing me because of what I believe in, mainly because they didn't believe in the same thing as I put out there.

I would just like everyone to know that the people that write for this amazing company are just that — people. They are real, they have opinions, and they have feelings. There is nothing different about them than you. Would you like someone commenting hate on your Facebook post or anything like that? No, no you wouldn't. When you comment rude things on something that someone worked long and hard on, you are just being rude and inconsiderate of their feelings.

If you just go to the comments to leave a rude comment, you can write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You're being a bully. These writers more than likely will go to the comment section, just like I did, and will be hurt by your arrogant, inappropriate comments.

Ever heard of if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deliberately go and try and tear me or anyone else down. You're just being rude and you have no reason to be, all I did was write an article on something I believe in.

Also, don't let anyone rude enough to do this tear you down or diminish your self-worth. There are people out there who are still kind and caring, don't listen to the negativity this world brings. Just keep doing what makes you happy, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

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