No One Cares What You Did In High School

No One Cares What You Did In High School

An open letter to the class of 2015.
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Well, Class of 2015, congratulations on graduating high school. In a few short weeks, you'll be headed off to college. When you get there, you'll be met with an interesting concept: no one cares what you did in high school. This sounds overtly negative when you first read that no one cares, but the main point of this statement is in high school.

Commencement, a noun, means "beginning" or "start." The day you walked across the stage and got your diploma, your future started. Doors were opened to you on graduation day that you can't yet fathom. When you left high school, you embarked on the journey you've been preparing to take for the last 18 years: college. You're ready, but to better understand this transition, here are some thoughts on preparing for the changes college brings.

1. You can be whoever you want to be.

Your hallmates, people in your classes, and your professors know little to nothing about you. There's something freeing about this idea. No one knows about that embarrassing hair cut you had in fifth grade or the horrible nickname your friends called you. This doesn't mean that you need to reinvent yourself or lie about the past, but rather that you get a fresh start. If you played sports in high school, try out for a play. If you were Student Council President, go out for an intramural sport. College brings so many new chances to get involved and find your passions, but you have to be willing to try.

2. College is not 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Long gone are the days of asking to use the bathroom or even being required to attend class. You shouldn't walk out on a lecture or watch Netflix instead of going to class, but you have a newfound freedom. Your professors can teach classes about the importance of Beyoncé or how to brew beer. Better yet, you get to take those classes. You could have a night class or a Saturday lab too, but your schedule is much more flexible than it was in high school.

3. College is a whole new league.

Are you used to being the smartest kid in class? Get in line, my friend. You and your new peers are all National Honors Society members and High Honors students. While this may seem intimidating, it's also exciting. You'll be pushed to question your beliefs, conduct research alongside a professor, and go far beyond your high school academia. Don't get intimidated by a rigorous syllabus – rather, embrace the all-nighters you'll do to finish a 25-page research paper. If you don't like coffee, start now.

4. The "popularity contest" is over.

You were a cheerleader in high school? Great. You threw all the parties on Saturday nights? Awesome. You had the most friends? Congratulations. No one cares who you were in high school. Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." This is so important because 10 years from now, people won't recall a conversation but a feeling instead. The "popular" people in college are the friendly, kind, and hardworking friends you can count on. There will always be someone prettier, smarter, and more athletic than you, but no one will ever be you. The best thing you can do is be your true, authentic self, and everything else will fall into place.

5. College is a time for exploration.

Never left the country? Try studying abroad. You're a business major? Take an art class. You'll find that on the surface, business and art classes couldn't be more different, but pushing yourself to think outside the box and create connections through various disciplines will make you more adaptable. Adaptable means employable; the job you'll hold in 15 years might not exist yet, so become as adaptable as possible.

6. You're in charge of your future.

Being in charge of your future brings a new expectation: grow up. Your professors will not hold your hand though every assignment and make sure you've turned in the homework. That doesn't mean they don't care, and by all means visit them during office hours if you need extra help, but it's your turn to take charge of your education. You get to decide your future, take classes that interest you, and, most of all, pursue something you love. High school gives you very little wiggle-room in your curriculum, but college allows you to try out new classes and find your passion

Everyone and their brother wishes they were in your shoes. As a college freshman, you have a whole world of opportunities right at your fingertips. It's okay to love the things you did in high school, but now you have the chance to find new passions. College gives you the opportunity to break out of the box you've stayed in for the last four years – remember, no one cares what you did in high school.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Bobbitt

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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My Lake Elsinore Poppy Field Experience

This past weekend I had the chance to visit the super bloom of golden poppies, and they were quite breathtaking.

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Hill after hill, California's golden flower blanketed soft sloped grassy tops that seemed to continue what felt like forever, far into the valley. The hills looked as if they were painted a bright Garibaldi orange, or coated with layers and layers of Cheetos. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the almost glowing-orange flowers swayed back and forth in the breeze. I felt like I was in a story book or a scene from the Sound of Music. The rare infamous poppy field explosion was right in front of my eyes, and it was absolutely breathtaking.

I had gone to see the flower fields because of how much I adore flowers, and have never experienced a whole field or valley of them like this before. I wanted to be able to respectfully walk alongside the flowers, and see their blinding beauty with my very own eyes, which I did. However, MANY people at Walker Canyon, a.k.a social media influencers and Instagram addicts, were quite noticeably there just to have photo shoots and stare at their phones, checking the lighting and if they're amethyst was glimmering in the sunlight.

As wonderful, beautiful, and bright as the poppies were, and as much as I enjoyed feeling their soft silky petals, and sitting and walking beside them, taking a few photos here and there, I was annoyed with how many people were there just to strike a pose for their social media.

This magical and very RARE moment of a poppy bloom should not have people looking down at their phones, and asking their friends which pose looks better. Smell the flowers, open your eyes look up at the sky, and blind yourselves with the beauty of this natural wonder. Go outside, and actually live a little.

Despite the many people who were there just to get the photos for the likes and followers on Instagram, I am so fortunate and grateful to have had the chance to see these golden flowery fields. If you have the chance to go, look into traffic conditions, and bring a hat and lots of water! It sure was warm on that walk, so always a good idea to come prepared. I also noticed some people picking the flowers and putting them in their hair. As pretty and cute as that may look for your photo, don't do that. Please respect all spaces, and let the precious elements of life be.

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