To High School Seniors, From A College Senior

To High School Seniors, From A College Senior

It feels like just yesterday that I was in your shoes.

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Dear senior in high school,

It feels like just yesterday that I was in your shoes. I didn't know where I wanted to go to college, and was unsure of what I wanted to major in or do. I was overwhelmed by everything and was utterly lost my freshman year. Over the years, I have had a great time here at college, and I wish I could just go back and experience it all over again.

For me, and for most people I know, high school seemed to drag on forever. College, however, flew by faster than I could blink. That being said, don't waste any of your moments in college. Be adventurous, because you're not going to be able to experience this again. Make mistakes, but learn from them. Try a bunch of new clubs, and throw yourself outside of your comfort zone. College is a time to learn, and grow. Moving away from my home for the first time was intimidating, but I'm glad that I did it. I would've never met so many amazing people, or found out that I love learning about economics.

One thing that I wish I would've done more in my freshman year was to venture out more in what I was involved in. During my first year in college, I thought that I would merely want to continue with the activities that I did in high school. Thus, I sought out a swim team and thought about joining an orchestra. However, the same clubs got a bit boring, and I was glad to expand on my horizons more my sophomore year. I'd strongly encourage looking at all the different clubs that your school has to offer and join one that you usually might not consider. You could find a new hobby, and learn more about yourself.

Don't be afraid to take different classes, either. Just because you hated math in high school, or thought history was boring doesn't mean that the same will happen in college. When I took an economics course my freshmen year of high school, I thought the subject was incredibly dull. However, during my sophomore year of college, a friend advised me to take it, and I enjoyed the class so much that I majored in it.

Also, while grades are significant, don't limit yourself to just the classroom. Aside from joining clubs, just be active in your community. Get to know those around you. Maybe experience the world by studying abroad. Just remember that in four years, you might not be in school anymore, so enjoy the experiences of life while you still can.

Sincerely,

A senior in college

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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I Never Realized How Hard It Is To Be A Teacher Until I Took EDU 211

Being is a teacher is a superpower that I never realized until I spent weeks teaching at an elementary school.

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At Elon University, we are given the option to take a winter term class that is included in our tuition. Our break begins as soon as we finish our last final, and ends, if we take j-term, in early January.

For this j-term, I took a class called Education and Society that fundamentally changed how I see teaching and education. I spend 15-20 hours a week as a student teacher in a classroom near Elon, and although I have experience working with younger, elementary children before, I did not understand the full extent of what being a teacher means until I was forced to spend three hours a day for over three weeks talking about education and society.

I have listened to innumerable podcasts and read countless articles about exactly what it means to be a teacher in today's society. However, it is impossible to understand how we got to where we are today without looking at the history of education in the United States.

Almost everyone learned about the Brown V. Board of Education decision in middle school and high school, yet it wasn't until I took this class that I realized the decision isn't as pivotal in education and society as it is made out to be. The specific language used in the decision is very racially charged, and integration was not mandated following the decision. More problems came to light surrounding white parents and the possibility of education resources for black children. Although children are an important foundation for education, the teachers are the foundation without which education cannot exist. No one thought to discuss the impact of Brown. V Board of Education on the teachers, and the impact that the decision still has today.

My classroom is part of an A+ school, which means they integrate art into almost all aspects of the day. My kids are amazing, and I can see the passion for learning in their eyes when we are teaching. But many children have parents who are low-income, and many simply do not continue to prioritize education when their child gets home. I know how I felt about education while I was growing up, but to see education from a teacher's perspective completely changes my view on what education means. Many of the children in my class face obstacles that I cannot fathom, and through my class, I have been absolutely heartbroken about what some children in the United States face outside of school.

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