My Advice For High School Seniors

My Advice For High School Seniors

When it rains, it pours.

­Senior year of high school is a roller-coaster. There are days when you want nothing more than to get away from your school, house, or even town. Then there are days when you can’t bear to think about leaving. This time last year, early in first semester, I had applied to all the colleges I had considered, and had received responses from all of them. For me, those letters were just the tip of the iceberg full of life-changing experiences.

You should feel proud when you get accepted to a college. Tell people -- no matter how much more put-together or smarter you think they are than you. Tell your teachers, after all, they’re the ones that helped you get where you are today. Even if it isn’t your top choice or one of the most selective schools in the country, be excited about the fact that an institution that looked through your grades and accomplishments thinks you are worthy to be a student on their campus. Acceptance, and not just the physical letter-in-the-mail kind, is a feeling worth cherishing. This is your first real-world experience of accomplishment.

If you are like me, deciding where to go to school is the first decision you have to make alone, and I had a love-hate relationship with that kind of freedom. Talk to your friends -- your real friends. People who won’t tell what they’d do, but what they think you should do to make yourself as happy and as comfortable as possible. You might find that these conversations you have with them during lunch or after school are the only things that calm you down during the decision process. And while we’re on the topic of friends, make an effort to plan gatherings that everyone can attend, even if you have to start convincing you parents weeks in advance.

Go to the events that your school plans for its graduating class, especially if you go to a small school. You all probably know enough about each other’s lives to be classified as a family anyway, so why not go and be reminded of all of the memories and experiences you’ve shared while also getting excited about (and more accustomed to) the future that lies ahead of you?

This may be the most difficult advice to take, but don’t get too stressed. Remember to look past the moment you find out your standardized test scores and the hours of anxiety leading up to making your housing deposit on your future college’s website. Make sure you make your decision for the right reasons because you are capable of becoming a successful and confident human being; and this process starts with an independent choice based on the consideration of all the facts and opinions in front of you.

Most of all, cherish the moments you have left, good and bad, because they’ll never come again.

Cover Image Credit: Maggie Boyd

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We So Often Rush Our Lives That We Forget To Enjoy It

We rush almost everything we do. We rush into things. We rush time. We rush to get somewhere.

Rush. We rush almost everything we do. We rush into things. We rush time. We rush to get somewhere. We rush through assignments. We rush to get ready in the mornings. We rush to get to work or school, and we rush to get home. We rush through the week to make it to the weekend. We rush through the winter to make it to the summer. We as humans are always in a rush.

We even rushed to grow up. And now we would do anything just to go back to when it didn’t feel like time was running away from us like we weren’t trying to grasp it just to watch it slip back out of our hands again. Time seems like it went so much slower when we were young. It felt like there were so many hours in the day. Now I feel like there are walks I haven’t walked, laughs I haven’t laughed, songs I haven’t sung.

Don’t you ever wish you could just slow down? Don’t you wish you could just be still and be present? I get tired of being in a rush all the time. Obviously, there are things we can do to not be in such a rush; perhaps we could wake up on time, leave the house earlier, etc. But what about the things we can’t change? We can’t help anticipate the future. We can’t help rush through the bad just to get to the good, even though that bad is what is preparing us for what good is held for us. I am world’s worst about rushing things; I always want the rainbow without the rain... As does anybody.

I just wish for stillness. I feel like stillness is fake. Being alive means constant change, and I really wish I could just be still. Everything is moving all of the time, so even if I feel stagnant, I am definitely moving in some godforsaken direction.

Life moves so quickly as it is. It moves even faster when we coast through in a hurry. I’ve learned that time means so much. Spend every minute of it in the moment. You will very surprised how much time you have for life whenever you slow down.

When was the last time you sat and let the wind blow through your hair? When did you sit on your front porch step and listen to the birds' chirp? When was the last time you laid your head on the backseat window and enjoyed the passing scenes? We never enjoy the little things; we always focus on the bigger picture.

I feel so often that I’m running out of time. It always feels like there aren’t enough hours... But sometimes we need a nice reminder to just take it easy. This is your reminder. Enjoy your life. Find your stillness. Your hourglass will eventually run out of time. So dip your feet into the river. Go to the art fair. Compliment those crooked eyebrows. One day, your golden paint will be black.

Cover Image Credit: Rachael Crowe

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