An Open Letter To The High School Class Of 2018

An Open Letter To The High School Class Of 2018

Are you ready for the beginning of the end?
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Dear class of 2018,

This is it: senior year. In about 7 months, you’ll be walking across that stage to receive your high school diploma. Graduation is the most anticipated day of high school. You just can’t wait to get those cap and gowns and throw your caps in the air. I know.

What I didn’t know was how fast it was about to go. Each day felt like an eternity and it seemed as if June would never come. But before we knew it, we were cleaning out our lockers of four years, signing our last yearbooks, hearing everyone’s future plans announced.

It’s your last honor society ceremony, but this time it’s you who’s receiving those gold cords. This time, the announcer says your name. “Anna Kropov is escorted by her parents. She will be attending Ohio University in the fall to major in biology pre-med.” We’ve all watched our beloved seniors walk across the stage. We all know what to do, except that it’s our turn now. It doesn’t feel real when the principal lays those gold cords around your neck, as you stand arm in arm with your family.

One month later and we’re trying on our caps and gowns, walking through those halls one last time. How is it already here? Is this real? Am I really walking into the gym for my graduation ceremony? I swore I would never cry leaving high school. I was so ready to leave, to start a new life and move to a place where nobody knew me.

What I didn’t think of was the 12 years I spent here. Not all of those years were good but not all of them were bad. The funny part about graduation was that I cried saying goodbye to my favorite teachers and not my classmates. (I don’t exactly miss them, except for a handful of special people. They know who they are.) I remember that everyone was just an emotional mess. Underclassmen laughed at us, telling us how we were so sentimental. Shouldn’t we be rejoicing? We’re done! We did it! We’re free!

While all of that is true, we realized that this was a big step in our lives.

It was time to walk away from everything we’ve ever known and step into a big, scary world. This past year was a roller coaster of emotions and stress, which hasn’t exactly escaped us. College lies ahead. A new school with strangers will become our new home in the fall. Not going to lie, it scared the heck out of everyone. We had to step outside our comfort zones and leave our childhood memories behind to become adults. It was a lot to take in at once.

So enjoy the time you have left in high school.

Go to those last football games, enjoy your last homecoming, participate in your privileged “senior skip day.” Thank your favorite teachers, because they’ll miss seeing you every day in the halls over the past four years. It’s okay to be scared and nervous about college searches. We all went through it.

My advice is to keep an open heart and mind. If you want to go to school far away, do it. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from living your dreams. Your friends will love you if you’re five or 500 miles away. You will make new friends in college if you just branch out.

Senior year is a fun and exciting time in life, so live it up to the fullest. Try something new, cherish those memories and do what makes you happy. I know you don’t believe me, but trust me when I say that you’ll miss it a little bit. You’ll miss your home and your annoying parents who just want to look after you while you’re in college.

Don’t try to push through this year with an “I don’t care” attitude. Live a little, be sentimental, give your teachers a gift on graduation day. They’ll keep that little card on their desk for the upcoming years. It means more to them than you think.

I hope you all find your dream schools, but don’t get too caught up in the future. Focus on the present. Make the most of the time you have left. I hope all you Paupack seniors back home are living it up there. Enjoy it, you deserve to have a little fun on our beautiful lake. I love looking at your pictures and seeing those precious smiles. It makes me reminisce about my days spent as a cheerleader on those Friday nights.

Take it all in and finish strong, my loves. It’ll be worth it in the end.

Sincerely,

An alum who moved to Ohio to follow her dreams.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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15 Signs You're A Full-Time Working Girl, 40 Hours A Week Or More

Forty hours a week really changes you.
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Forty hour work weeks, 5 days, 8 hours per day. Full-time jobs require a lot of dedication and consume the majority of your time. I love my full-time internship, honestly. It's a lot of fun and I get to experience what it will be like when I grow up and work at a company. Here are some signs that you work full time.

1. You're always tired

Waking up at 6, being at work by 8 and not leaving until 5 can really make you exhausted. Waking up early kicks off your exhaustion while everything in between 8-5 can make you tired as well so by the end of the workday, you're ready for a nap. Except if you nap, then you won't sleep later and be even more tired the next day. Thank God for coffee.

2. Your body adjusts to waking up early

I don't seem to really sleep in anymore on the weekends. My body thinks I should be up early so I'm now waking up at 7 or 8. But hey I get to lay in bed until whenever I want so I don't mind too much.

3. Weekends become your summer

You try to squeeze your normal summer days into two days. Because they are the only days you have off, so you try to make the best of them.

4. Plan out your outfits

You tend to plan out your outfits every night because if you don't, you will be late to work. You can't just throw on any old shirt and shorts. You got to look good and professional.

5. Don't do anything during the week

You're dead after a day of work, so you dedicate your off time to resting and relaxation. You probably won't make major plans during the week.

6. "Sorry, I have to work."

This phrase is used a lot. If someone tries to plan something during the week: "Sorry, I have to work." Or if there's a late night party: "Sorry, I have to work [the next day]."

7. Love three day weekends

Three day weekends are a blessing from God. But the Friday before is an absolute killer and all you want to do is leave. Or the Monday after is even more worse than a normal Monday.

8. TGIF

Fridays have a whole new meaning when you work full-time. You can have a successful day at work and then you're able to party hard because you don't have to work in the morning. They also are the day that people can easily leave early on because hey, it's Friday.

9. Friends on the weekend

You won't see your friends until the weekend most likely. And sometimes you want to see them all at once but it's tough when you have only two free days. So hopefully all your friends are able to hang out together so you can see them all.

10. Have more laundry

I basically wear two outfits a day. My work outfit and my after work outfit. And they both are washed differently so I have to do separate loads. It actually sucks.

11. Super good at keeping track of time

You're always looking at the clock and become very aware of what time it is. It's weird but sometimes helps you get through the day.

12. You're always hungry

I've noticed that I am absolutely starving by the time 11 am rolls around. Then, when I get home, I am starving for dinner. Not sure why or how because I sit at a desk all day and don't have any physical activity but I eat a lot.

13. You're going to be pale

If your full-time job is in the summer, there's no way you'll get your usual tan if you work inside. Tanning is only for the weekends now so soak up the sun.

14. You may spend a little bit more

You're making good money at this job, so why not spend a little extra on some things? But everyone is different, so others may not even change how they spend their money.

15. Hump day has a whole new meaning

Took me from the time I first saw that commerical to when I started my full-time job to realize Wednesday is hump day because you're over the hump of the week.

Cover Image Credit: Kelly Toncre

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The Art Of Messes

It's just as strategic as organization.

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It's unplanned (most of the time). It's unsettling (for some of us). It's unnecessary (especially when it takes the place of organization). But it's precise. And it's impressive. And it really is ok. After being a camp counselor for less than a week, I have come to embrace the artistic element of a mess.

Children are inevitably messy. Give them a box of crayons and watch each crayon tumble to the floor, their wrappers swirling to the ground and their sturdiness unmatched by tiny fists. Give them a granola bar and find a corner of it here and a piece of the wrapper there. Give them a board game and uncover pawns three days later on the opposite side of the room. There is no organization to (most) of their little lives; there is no artistic intent. Yet a child can create the most outlandish inventions and ingenious games amidst, and I am coming to believe partially because of, the mess.

Not every child is messy. I was quite the opposite, in fact. Everything had it's place in my world, and it would in everyone else's if I had anything to do with it. However, I was not concerned with perfect labeling or hiding unsightly objects or color coding or picking up every little thing. If kids color-coded their crayons, how would they have time to use them?

I am, of course, still a strong advocate of organization. But I have come to realize that it can have its superfluousness. We organize to the point of disuse. Life becomes too pretty to touch. We sit on the outside when we could be in the middle of it all.

When the end of a camp day rolled around and the kids were disinterested of any more structure, I gave them paper and crayons (which mostly ended up on the floor). When clean-up time rolled around, they put all the crayons back in the box. Everything was organized - but it really wasn't. The crayons had been organized in a giant cardboard box with dividers, separated by color. It wasn't my box of crayons, and I began to fret. Seriously?? Seriously.

What is the point of organizing crayons by color? I asked myself. Nothing. There is no point. Maybe it makes each color easier to find, but what's the fun in that? When you can't find a pink, you use a magenta, and all of a sudden, your picture becomes a little more unique.

And such is life - you're not always going to be able to find a pink, even when that's what you really wanted. Part of the game is about what you set your heart on, but the other part is what you end up with and what you choose to do with that. An organized crayon box has no adventure; it has no surprises. An organized crayon box is pretty predictable.

I'm not encouraging you to embrace being messy but rather to simply embrace the mess. You will come across one every now and again, no matter how organized you are. There are days when I sweep the cafeteria at camp five times a day and still manage to find a Lego as soon as I am about to leave for the day.

There will always be something else to find on the floor. There will always be another mess to clean up. So maybe we should just let ourselves live in that mess for a little longer next time rather than be so obsessed with restoring structure. Who knows what we could find.

Cover Image Credit:

KaboomPics

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