To My Senior Friend Who Is Graduating

To My Senior Friend Who Is Graduating

Here is to your next chapter.
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The majority of the time, being a freshman again sounds like the worst thing ever. Going back to who you were before you found yourself, stumbling aimlessly around for friends and taking boring, 100 level classes with no relation to your major is not desirable.

But then I think about the first college graduation that happened when I was a freshman. I knew nobody. The people who were leaving didn't impact my life. I wasn't going to tear up at the idea of never seeing them again. They were faces in a crowd, faces I never knew. But now, I know those faces. The people who will be throwing their caps up in the air are people I know, people I love. So sometimes, the idea of being a little freshman again, having graduation come and go without feeling a thing, isn't so bad.

Getting older is not all its cracked up to be. Getting older means a lot of new experiences, but it also means a lot of goodbyes. College is cruel that way: It introduces you to the best people you'll ever meet, but at the same time it is shaping them into a person who will one day leave and take all they've learned somewhere else. It gives you 4 years to create friendships and make memories and then takes them all away from you.

I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss the nights out with you and the nights in with you, the drinks at the bar and the pizza on the couch, and every single memory in between. And it isn't lost on me that when you throw that cap in the air, when you receive that diploma, when you buy that "alumni" teeshirt, everything changes. You won't be within a few miles of me, I won't run into you on campus. The structure of the friendship we built will be completely different.

But it won't be gone, and that's what is important. Friendships change. Dynamics change. But just because you're off to start your life doesn't mean that it ends. In these 4 years, you've made memories (and forgot some) and you've had the time of your life... But you've also been preparing and studying and going crazy in pursuit of becoming something. Now you get to do that. And the sadness I feel is well worth it knowing you're off to chase your dreams, to become who you want to be.

It sucks that you're leaving and that I'm still here, but I am so proud of you. Here's to the next chapter!

Cover Image Credit: Jorge Flores

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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I Chose A Major That Won't Make Me Millions, But I Would Not Want It Any Other Way

Because if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

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As high school comes to a close, your parents, teachers and friends start to ask you what you want to do with your life. They tell you it's time to start deciding because you'll have to pick a major once you get to college.

Some people start their college career without declaring a major. Some choose a major, only to change it months, or even years, later. I went into college with a declared major. I may have changed my specific career a few times, but I have never changed my major.

I chose something that I was passionate about.

I chose something that I always enjoyed. I chose something that I knew I could make a career out of, while also knowing I can enjoy what I do because it is something I care about.

I may not have chosen to be a doctor or a lawyer. I may not be rolling around in money as an adult. I may not make a top-notch salary.

But money isn't the most important part of choosing a career.

I chose a career path that I knew I would enjoy. I didn't want to wake up every morning and dread having to go to work because I chose something just for the money it could bring me.

So, don't let anyone talk down on you for your chosen career. Every career out there has some kind of importance. Doctors, lawyers, salesmen, teachers, writers, first responders...you're all important and you all contribute to the building blocks of society.

My major may not lead me to make millions throughout my lifetime, but I will be doing something that I love. That is what is important.

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@jakkaiser/Instagram

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