How to have no regrets from high school.

22 Things Every High School Senior Must Embrace Before It's All OVER

It's almost over, and you're going to miss it.

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To all the high school seniors who have a riddling case of Senioritis,

You are approaching the end of senior year. You are ready to leave. You are looking forward to the rest of your lives - college, work, etc. You wonder why this year keeps dragging on. Most of you have committed to college at this point. Let me tell you - I have been there.

I'm about to end my sophomore year of college, and it's crazy to me that I am almost 2 years out of high school. While there are so many things I am happy I did, there are also so many things of which I wish I took full advantage...

1. Spend as much time with your friends as you can.

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Soon you will be all over the country going to college and exploring the next step of your life. You will regret not making memories.

2. Spend time with your family.

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For the first time in 17-18 years, you'll be on your own without them. It may not seem like it now, but you will miss them!

3. Go to all the senior events.

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It's cliche, but you will regret not going.

4. Actually study for your AP exams.

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Doing this has saved me so much time and money in college. Also, I got a better pick date for classes and housing :)

5. Apply to scholarships.

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Yeah, you're done being in school mode. Senioritis has hit you so hard, but think how much nicer your life will be if you saved some money. Things add up in college.

6. Do what makes you happy.

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Your sport not making you happy? Doing an activity not making you happy? Then quit. You've gotten into college at this point. Do the things that bring you the most joy.

7. Walk the halls of your high school and take it all in.

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You will never be this young and free again. Take it all in. You will miss this.

8. Make crazy memories with your friends before they become your "hometown friends."

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You will regret not hanging out and making amazing memories with your friends before you all go off to school.

9. Thank the teachers who inspired you.

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They will miss you too.

10. Take as many pictures as possible. It feels good to look back on those later.

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You will forget more than you think you will.

11. Dance your heart out at prom.

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This is one of the last times you will be together with your entire class.

12. Embrace your last everythings.

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It is all coming to an end. All good things must end.

13. Start buying stuff for college.

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You will get better deals earlier. Things will be more expensive as college gets closer.

14. Tell people how you really feel.

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This is the best time to take a risk and tell people how you really feel. You most likely won't see most of these people again anyway.

15. Take a personal day (other than senior skip day), and cut school with all your friends.

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Enjoy the last bits of your childhood before you have real responsibilities.

16. Do something fun for senior skip day too.

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Get all your friends together and make memories!

17. Enjoy your parent's cooking. You will miss it next year.

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Maybe you are sick of eating your mom's chicken. You will miss eating it though.

18. Embrace the summer after your senior year. Work hard, but have fun.

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As cliche as it sounds, work hard, but play harder. You will need money for college, but don't spend every waking hour working. Make memories with your friends.

19. Get close to the people to whom you've always wanted.

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Now is your chance to become better friends with people. If you don't now, when will you?

20. Remember that it goes fast.

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I underestimated how fast the end of senior year was. It flew by in the blink of an eye. Embrace every second of it.

21. Walk across the stage at graduation confidently.

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You did it! Be proud of all you accomplished.

22. Stop wishing high school away.

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Yes, it's senior year. Yes, you are so freaking done, but you will miss it.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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