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To My Former High School Classmates, What I Never Told You In The Last 4 Years

Here are a few of the things I've been pondering the past four years but will never get to tell you.

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Dear former classmates,

It's been a few weeks since we graduated from high school. At first, I thought that it wouldn't truly hit me until August when I pack up my things and start the next chapter of my life. However, I was wrong. The transition seems more and more natural every day, and yet I still think of you and what the future holds for all of us.

First of all,

Thank you. Thank you for the best and hardest years of my life so far. You all were my best friends, my bullies, my competition, and some of you were just acquaintances. We may have experienced more strife than average classmates, but I don't think that the friction we underwent was devastating. In fact, I think that conflict made us stronger. It taught us how to fight, makeup, get over it, and face confrontation. I learned that you can't trust everyone, but that makes finding trustworthy friends so much more comforting.

Next,

I implore you to go with your gut because your dreams usually aren't far behind. Our school always pushed us to know exactly what we wanted in the future and because of that, many of us were not able to explore the possibilities. But it's not too late. You don't have to follow the typical post-graduation plan to be legitimate, all you really have to do is keep going. If you love art, music, dance, theater, fashion, or any of the other career paths that have never been accepted as career paths, please take a chance. This is the beginning of everything and you owe it to yourself to turn over every rock that interests you.

Lastly,

Be kind. That may be the hardest thing of all to hear. We know to work hard, stay sharp, show up five minutes early, but there is no class in kindness. If I could go back to my freshman year and do it all over again, I would prioritize my heart over my mind. Don't get me wrong, there is value in diligence, late night study sessions, and pushing yourself to do your very best work. People, however, should always come first. We leaned on each other, but we also made a lot of mistakes. In this next part of your life, I challenge you to love others in a way that is more important than your own abilities and talents.

Wherever you all are headed, I hope that you find the people and things that make you feel most alive.

Goodbye and good luck.

Love,

Lilly

Cover Image Credit:

Lilly Price

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How To Not Be A Terrible Roomie, An 18-Step Guide

Freshmen, take notes.
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Incoming Freshmen, this one is for you,

1. If your roomie is asleep – be quiet.

Don't play music out loud (use headphones), don't make phone calls and if you have to go out into the hallway or common area to make it!

2. Be polite about working late at night.

Make sure the light isn't shining near their bed so it won't be in their faces while they are trying to sleep.

3. Ask before you turn off the light.

There's a reason you have your own personal lamp.

4. Make sure you clean your side of the room.

Don't leave your clothes everywhere, empty your garbage, make your bed, and clean up your desk sometimes

5. If your roomie is studying for a hard test, don't bring friends into your room.

It's just ten times more distracting.

6. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb at night.

This will help with the vibration noises/ringers from your phones. (I attached an example just in case you don't know how to do it).

7. Throw food out in the trash room.

You don't want the odor of old food in your room!

8. Do your laundry.

Don't let your basket overflow onto the floor.

9. If your roomie's parents are coming to visit, CLEAN YOUR SIDE.

Make a good impression!

10. Tell your roomie if you are having someone stay over - don't make it a surprise.

(I made this mistake... it's really awkward).

11. Don't take things without asking.

Even if it is as simple as food.. don't take without asking! IT'S NOT YOURS!

12. Don't talk about your roomie's personal life to other people.

You will hear things when they are talking to their parents, don't repeat it, it's rude.

13. Don't tell people who came over the night before.

This applies ties into rule number 12.

14. Share the room.

If your roomie wants to have a night with someone special, let them. They'll return the favor in the future (don't forget that).

15. Don't bring people they don't like into the room.

It's awkward.

16. If you're pre-gaming with friends, you're responsible for YOU and YOUR FRIENDS mess.

Don't leave bottles laying around - clean up!

17. Talk before changing the room around.

Don't move anything before you talk to the other person.

18. Set some rules when you first move in.

It will make everything a lot easier.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE I Became A Senior

Advice for the graduating senior that nobody tells them.

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As a senior in college, I wasn't aware of the money, the time and the stress that would come along with graduation. After preparing for graduation, paying for everything and having several panic attacks, I've compiled a list of things every college student should know before becoming a senior.

1. Save up money for graduation

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Not only is paying for college expensive, with the University of Washington's estimated undergraduate resident tuition being $3,754 for 10–18 credits in a quarter, not to mention if you live in Court 17, the University's on campus housing, undergraduate rates range from $2,451-$4,221 per quarter, it's a good idea to save a few extra bucks for graduation.

Cap, gown and your major's tassel are about $50 for undergraduates, a guaranteed expense for graduates. However, there are other expenses as well when it comes to graduation.

2. Don't do graduation announcements through the school

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As a senior who has already gone through the graduation process, one option I had available was to have announcements made through the school. Simple, plain, university seal, and expensive!

Personally, I used Shutterfly. They came out looking professional and you are able to add your own personal touches to your announcements. Shipping however can seem a little bit expensive, but nowhere near how much it would be doing it through the school.

3. Have a friend or family member do your senior photos

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If you have a friend that does photography, or even just owns a camera, do whatever you have to in order to get them to take pictures of you. Buy them coffee, lunch — just do something so they will take pictures of you, as it can save you money down the road. A nice lunch or a cup of coffee will be a lot cheaper than paying a professional photographer to take your photo. However, some people want it done professionally or not at all, but it doesn't hurt to save a buck or two when you can.

4. Register for graduation during your Winter Quarter

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While you don't need to meet with an academic advisor until the beginning of Spring Quarter, every senior is going to be wanting to meet with them, and their availability is limited. Meet with them about half way through Winter Quarter, just to make sure your plan will work and you will graduate on time. If so, register for graduation. This will also avoid the crisis of advisors who decide to go on vacation or take a few days off and will be away from their emails while they are away.

5. Plan ahead for you guests

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Walking at graduation is a choice. For those who choose to walk, it's a pretty big deal and a lot of graduates plan on having friends, family and loved ones in the stands to watch. Be sure ahead of time if anyone needs special accommodations. That way, this can be specified when ordering tickets or can be discussed with an advisor. It's your big day, make sure everyone can come!

6. You classwork will pile up

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At the University of Washington, full time is considered 12 credits, which typically means students take three classes since most are worth five credits a course. Each class will have homework, quizzes, tests, midterms, projects, finals, possibly more. With registering for graduation, commencement and your last quarter all happening at once, things will start to feel like they are becoming too much. Be prepared and get organized to make it the easiest last quarter you can.

7. If you live on campus, move out little by little

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Move. Out. Little. By. Little.

I can not stress this enough! With scheduled move out days, so many people will want to be moving out the same day as you, which means little parking and cramped elevators. If you move out of campus housing little by little during the last month or so during the quarter, you will only have to pack up what you were using until the last moment. Making moving day so much easier!

8. Make time for yourself

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Making time for yourself is not selfish — it is key. Everyone needs a little bit of downtime to themselves, even the most social of butterflies. Make time to read, meditate, go for a walk, take a nap or two, make time for you! It gives you a mental break and you'll come back with fresh eyes and more motivated to get everything done on time!

9. It'll be fine!

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While the world is crashing down, your GPA struggles and motivation goes out the door, I promise that everything will be alright! Take it one day at a time, take time to breathe and everything will turn out fine.

10. Have fun and make memories

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While yes, you need to register for graduation, apply for commencement, pay for cap and gown, do your homework and study for tests, you're still in college. It is your last year, make it count! Go on that trip, go see that movie, meet that person, go to that event, make the most of your last year! There is no time like the present and for a lot of people, the undergraduate year in college is their last. Love life and make the most of it. Don't let deadlines become your life. Make time for friends, fun, and memories!

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