A Realistic Letter to High School Seniors

A Realistic Letter to High School Seniors

#Sorrynotsorry, but I don't miss high school and neither will you
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I’ve seen a lot of articles lately – a ton more than I expected I’d see and I should see – directed at the incoming class of high school seniors. Many of my fellow Odyssey authors have written to you, #Classof2017 - which I guess we all call you at a desperate attempt to relate to your adolescent trends, like putting hashtags in front of literally #everything - instructing you to cherish this last year of your high school career.

They throw country song lyrics at you, telling you “You’re Gonna Miss This,” and they have you missing your classmates before you even settle on what college you’re going to be attending a year from now. I’m assuming all of this is also an attempt to psych you up for the “best year of your life” while encouraging you to stop and smell the proverbial roses during your final year – which is fine.


Get psyched up for senior year. Go to Homecoming football game, go to the pep rallies, dance like fools at Prom with your best friends, kiss that one kid you’ve had a crush on since middle school – do all that crazy stuff you were too scared to do as a freshman, too shy to do as a sophomore and too cool to do as a junior, because, they’re right, it is your last time to do those “high school” activities. But whatever you do, do not get caught up in those Darius Rucker lyrics that “it won’t be like this for long” that’ll have you crying for hours on end when you start thinking about graduation. No, it won’t be exactly like that for long…It’ll be better.

Now, before you go thinking I’m some bitter, jaded loser who hated high school and everything it stood for, let me just say I loved my high school.

I had a fantastic group of friends, I went to all the football games, I went to junior and senior prom and had a blast; I was a part of the best organization a gal could ask for (shoutout to GHS Marching Highlanders); I had a good rapport with my teachers and got good grades. I keep in touch with those people today because they truly did mean that much to me, and they always will.

Did I experience some drama? Well, duh, of course. Did it ruin my good time and should it ruin yours? Absolutely not. But, I had no idea when I was in my soft, cushiony high school bubble, how different – how incredible – my life would become after I left. (News flash: That's how you are supposed to feel.)

The people who try to scare you out of going outside your comfort zone by telling you, "Nothing will ever measure up to that senior year," or who try to convince those were the best four years of a person's life, are miserable in their own college experience. And you know what they say about misery: it loves company. They are the type of people who try to cling to the glory days of high school because they were disheartened with their own college or real-world experience without really giving it a chance.

If you set unrealistic expectations for yourself in college – to get straight A’s without studying, to instantly have that same close-knit group of friends you had in high school, to feel like you’ve found your place the second you step foot into your first college class – of course you’re going to have a bad time and in no way will it measure up to when you were a senior in high school. You’re at the top. You’re the oldest, the wisest, the fiercest; anyone would have a hard time leaving that feeling behind. But that’s all part of growing up and moving on.



Don’t worry: there’s still Homecoming at universities, there’s still clubs and organizations you can find your niche in; there are still football games and tailgates (that are even more fun in college), and there is still that one group of people that will be there for you, through thick and thin, for the next four years and beyond.

When you get there, you can’t be caught up in how it used to be. That’s something I wish somebody had told me long before I ever set foot on a college campus.

You will be so busy, you’ll hardly miss all those silly things you did when you were in high school. (Side Note: if no one has told you the things you do in your high school age years are silly, then wait until you look back on your Time Hop in three years. Take it from someone who has experienced it; it won’t be pretty.) Besides, social media and smartphones make it way easier to post and look back on special moments and stay in touch with your childhood best friends.

Love this last year, cherish these memories and have a great time because it really is a time in your life like no other. And when the time comes for you to graduate and move on from high school, you’re allowed to bawl your eyes out.

But don’t ever be too scared to move forward because you’re afraid it won’t be like high school. It will be nothing like high school, and that’s the beauty of it. More than likely, you’ll always have a soft spot in your heart for your high school, but in another four years, you’ll feel exactly the same way all over again.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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20 Important Reminders For All You Girls About To Turn 21

The early twenties can be an extremely stressful time for women.
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I have come to find that the years of my early twenties have been among some of the best years of my life.

Moving away to college, going to concerts and bars with my friends, wild frat parties, beach days, becoming a college cheerleader, getting my first real job as a personal trainer (offering potential for a career).

While these have been some of the most fun and exciting years of my life they have also been some of the most stressful. Pulling multiple all nighters in a row, and still getting a D on an exam, constantly taking two steps forward and three steps back, feeling a want to be independent, and the struggle it takes to get there, quitting cheerleading, anxiety about my post college plans, and fading in and out of friendships and relationships.

The early twenties can be an extremely stressful time for women. Women are two times as likely to suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder than men. Additionally, research shows that depressive disorder may be appearing earlier in life in people born in recent decades compared to the past.

I've compiled a list of things for all girls in theirs twenties to remind themselves.

1. No one knows what they're doing and if they say they do, they're lying.

So many women compare themselves to others, when in reality, you can't actually know what anyone is thinking, or more so what actually goes on in their life. So stop worrying about feeling like a hot mess comparing yourself to the girl who seems to have it all together.

2. Every minute you spend thinking about someone else is a minute you lose to spend working on yourself.

Facebook and Instagram stalking your ex-boyfriend or ex-best friend is pointless, especially if they're no longer in your life. Focus on yourself and the people you currently have around you supporting you.

3. You don't need to find your "future husband" right now.

You have plenty of time to find someone to spend the rest of your life with, which is a long time. Your life timeline is longer than you think, and looking for someone rather than looking for the right someone can be the difference between a happy marriage or a divorce.

4. Don't think of relationships as, "if we're not getting married we're eventually gonna break up."

Be thankful for the time you spent with or have to spend with that person. Cherish those memories while they last even if they may eventually come to an end. Remember, "when one door closes another one opens."

5. Do the things you love, break the rules.

Don't settle for a job you hate just because it makes you a lot of money. At the very least, continue to do the things you love on the side; painting, singing, dancing, football, whatever it may be.

Keep doing the things you love. It will be your saving grace and will keep you sane.

Don't be afraid to be who you are and break free from societal roles, it's OK to be different, the most successful people don't care what other people think and aren't afraid to be themselves and stand out from the rest of the world.

6. You need and deserve a break.

Work hard but don't burn yourself out. It's easy to get caught up in your daily grind, but take the time to do things that relax you, or go out with your friend.

Remember, you're twenty-something, not forty-something.

You're not tied down. Now is the time to have fun, make mistakes, and be reckless once in a while.

7. Put the time in.

With whatever you wish to achieve, put the time in don't expect life to give you handouts. Don't quit when it gets tough or you think you won't make it. If you put the time in and get what you want to do done, you will be successful in life.

8. Relationships are the hardest part of life, don't dwell on them.

Relationships whether its family, friends or a romantic partner, relationships are the hardest part of life. Just be attentive, listen to other people and hear them out.

Use your intuition and leave behind the relationships that are negative. Being nostalgic never helps, if you don't let people go you'll never be happy with your current life.

9. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If the first two times you try something it doesn't work out, take a different approach. Trying to get something done the same way and failing each time means you're doing something wrong.

You'll ultimately just pick up learned helplessness. It's not that you're incompetent, you just need to take a different approach.

10. You most likely won't marry your first love.

This is generally the case, and it's OK. Sure, being "high school sweethearts" sounds all nice and mushy, like the perfect fairytale, and for some people, this is the case.

But it's good to experience different people. If I never had breakups I would have never found out what it felt like to be treated well.

11. You're not 16 anymore. Don't expect your body to look like you are.

You're no longer a teenager, your body is different, your hormone release is different, don't expect an effortlessly flat stomach, thigh gap, and size zero.

It's not gonna happen.

Your bones are bigger and your structure is wider and it gets more difficult to stay in shape as you get older. Focus on being healthy, not a size zero.

12. People who want you in their life will be in your life.

Don't waste your time on people who don't care, or constantly blow you off, put you down or hurt you. You don't deserve it, and neither does anyone else. If they don't make you a better person, if they don't make you happier, let them go.

13. If someone tells you "you can't" show them that "you did."

Don't let anyone interfere with your dreams, they're your dreams to achieve, and if you want something, and you put in the work it takes you will get it!

14. Someone will always have more.

There will always be a girl who's prettier, smarter, funnier, skinnier, richer, more athletic. Base your success off of how much progress you have made, not by comparing yourself to someone else.

15. Things are just things.

Things do not equal happiness. Experiences and successes do! Sure that new Triangl bikini is nice, and you deserve to treat yourself to tangible items, but at the end of the day, they are just things.

16. People change, and so will you.

Your life changes dramatically year to year, especially during your early twenties, a time of many new beginnings and opportunities. Things are inconsistent, and people change and move away. Don't let this upset you, and don't base your happiness on other people.

They're just people after all, and they make mistakes. People can't always be reliable.

17. Take it one step at a time.

I like to look at my life like driving at night. Your headlights can only light up a small portion of the road ahead of you. You can let what you can't see coming scare you, or you can follow the road as you see it and worry about the obstacles when they come into view.

This is something I try to focus on when I have anxiety.

18. It's OK to be selfish.

To an extent, yes. Sometimes I have a problem with putting others before myself, and yes this is a good thing in moderation. You need to be well for yourself in order to help others.

19. Follow your intuition.

Your gut feeling is more accurate than you think. If you have a good feeling about something, take a chance on it. Failure is better than wondering if you would have succeeded.

20. You will figure it out.

I know it's a time of so many uncertainties and financial instability, but just keep treading water and you'll eventually make it to shore.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr.com

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How To Get Out Of A Traffic Ticket

Nobody Likes Being Pulled Over

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Let's be honest, you've mostly been pulled over once, especially if you are reading this. And god knows you never want to go through that again. Seeing those unmistakable, flashing red-and-blue lights makes anyone tremble in fear. Here are 5 tips to get out of that pesky ticket.

1. Be Respectful

This sounds obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people have an attitude or argue with an officer. Make sure you have your license out immediately, clearly answer every question the officer asks, and do not move suspiciously whatsoever. Sometimes comical, light conversations help humanize you, making it increasingly difficult for some officers to give you a ticket.

2. Don't try to flirt or bribe your way out 

Despite it seeming like many police officers are corrupt, very few are. They will not fall for blatant attempts at flirting or bribes. This will only encourage them to give you a ticket as it questions their integrity; therefore, is insulting.

3. Play the sad card 

Hysterically crying and hyperventilating while yelling at yourself really shows an officer how shitty of a day you might be having. Sometimes officers will pity you. This a huge advantage as it makes an officer feel like a huge asshole in making your life worse.

4. Know the law

Few people know their actual rights. Call the prosecutor that is going to present the case against you to the judge to request a pretrial conference to negotiate. Additionally, you can prove that what you got a ticket for was legally justified in the context of the situation you were in. This helps your case as your now raising a legal point instead of implying the ticketing officer was wrong.

5. Never openly confess 

Confessing to an officer that you were speeding or doing anything illegally forces them to give you a ticket. Acknowledging your guilt makes it almost impossible to prove you were innocent. You can't take back words.

6. Play the mistake of fact card

The phase "Mistake of fact" refers to an error made due to circumstances beyond one's control. Tickets can easily be dismissed if it is deemed such. For example, you could argue that you did not stop at a stop sign because something like a fallen tree obliviated your view of it.

7. Don't pay the ticket right away 

Paying immediately shows voluntary admittance of guilt, eliminating any chance of you getting out of the ticket or possibly reduced. One usually has 90 days to plead guilty or innocent; and therefore, pay. You have plenty of time to figure out an alternative solution. Plus, often times people who attend court get their fine reduced.

Getting pulled over always feels like the end of the world. However, these tricks will at least help you get out of paying that pricey fine.

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