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

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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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.

Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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Remember To Live In The Present, There's No Reason To Be Concerned About The Past

Constantly thinking about the future will cause you to neglect the present.


Everyone pretty much does this. During a moment when you're bored and you suddenly start daydreaming about the glamorous life you'll have in maybe five to ten years is not a problem in my eyes. It's normal to think about the type of life you want in the future. However, if thinking about the future causes you to ignore and miss out on what is happening at the moment then that kind of is a problem. Even though I know that constantly thinking about or worrying about the future is not good, I still seem to do it. It's a habit that is hard for me to break.

I have read many blog posts and watched many videos about how living in the present will make you happier. I've always been the type of person to constantly think about the future; whether it's about something as important as my career or something not as important like which set of pajamas I'm going to wear to bed. I've caught myself multiple times missing out on something due to zoning out and most of the time thinking about something that doesn't matter until later to come. I'll never forget the time I went to see pop and r&b; singer, Yuna, perform during my sophomore year of college. I remember I couldn't wait for her to perform my favorite song of hers. When she finally did I unintentionally started thinking about which classes I was going to take in the spring semester! As if that even mattered at the moment! I realized that I was missing the song and brought myself back to earth before it was over.

There have also been many times where I would lose some sleep because I would think about the future, and at times the past as well.

It has never been to the point of me not being able to sleep for so many nights in a row, but I know constantly thinking about the future or past, especially if there is stress added to it, could cause sleepless nights to occur. To me living in the moment is the way to live. Thinking about the future and preparing for it is not at all a bad thing. Even bringing up the past, as long as it is positive or it will be used for teaching is okay too! I believe that it's bad when thinking about the future and past stops you from enjoying what is happening at the moment. I am definitely going to try harder to be more in the present and to enjoy the moment myself.

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