A Message to High School Seniors

A Message to High School Seniors

Take time to enjoy it all while you can.

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I truly believe that high school is one of the hidden gems of life. Imagine how many times throughout your 4 years you thought of just getting out. Or got caught up in negativity, drama, bad people, and the works. High school is wound tightly with bad experiences, but also some incredible ones. The thing in high school is no one has it figured out. Everyone is just scratching the surface on figuring out who they are, what they want, and how to get it. And it is so easy to get swept up in doing the same. But what high school really is, what no one realizes until it's over, is a building block of who you will become.

High school is such a transitional time in your life, as much as you have heard it said, do not get caught up in the little things. The day-to-day menial tasks and drama are something which will never cross your mind in the future. And if they do, it will most certainly be in a laughing manner. So don't let it get the best of you. Don't let it ruin what you have.

Senior year is a time for change and growth, but it is also a time to reflect. You have been with these people, walked these halls, and lived in this place most likely since you were in Kindergarten. Give it the respect it deserves. Thank everyone. Thank your teachers, your Principal, your coaches, your peers, they are people you may only know by a distant name in the future. You don't realize how much of an effect they have had on who you are and where you are going until they are gone, so thank them for that.

Appreciate your friends. No matter what drama may ensue, no matter how busy you all are, make time for them. Dedicate as much as is possible during waking hours, because you will miss them more than anything. Let them know how much you appreciate them because they will be the first people you call when you need that security blanket and can't find your way to the library on your first day of class, or your roommate is going off the rails. Even though you may not be there with them during freshman year, they will still be there for you. They aren't going anywhere.

Stay out past curfew with your friends. And when you get home to your parents angrily waiting in the kitchen, hug them. Thank them for everything they have done for you and everything they will do for you in the future. You have no idea how much you will miss them until you come back to your dorm after a late night of studying, way past curfew, to find a dark and empty room. Hang out with your Mom no matter how much she seems to bug you lately. She is just preparing herself to walk into your empty room next year. Cook dinner with your Dad, and let him teach you his "secret recipe" for the tenth time. You have no idea how much it will make his day. Take your dog for a walk, a run, a swim. Because those photos you will get of your puppy playing catch next year are nothing compared to the feeling of them jumping on top of you and barking every time you come home from a long day.

Make time for your family because they are the largest constant you didn't realize you needed until you watch your brothers soccer game on Instagram rather than in person, and see your sister show you her Prom dress over facetime. Go to every family gathering. No matter how far away, how long it is, or what you are missing at home, make the effort. They will be the one group, no matter what, who will never let you down.

Senior year has the ability to put everything into perspective in a way you never thought it would. Take that perspective and use it, find out what you care most about and what deserves your attention. Do everything, and do it with a smile, because next year nothing will be the same. With this, however, don't stress about the future. That will all come in due time and you can be nervous and excited about college on move-in day. Let those worries fade to the back burner. Today focus on yourself, and focus on the people who have made your high school experience what it was. They deserve the recognition.

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I Learned Forensic Science In One Day For HOSA SLC 2019 And Still Placed Top Ten

We all have those days where we have to cram for an exam you know nothing about the night before, but have you tried to study for it the day of the exam? I never knew I would find myself in this situation until I went to HOSA SLC. With minimal study time, my partner, Kasey Park, and I were still able to place in the Top Ten in Georgia.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee
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As a member of my school's chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), I went to SLC (State Leadership Conference), where members all over the state of Georgia come to Atlanta to compete in a variety of competitions in the field of Science and Healthcare. All members can pick only one competition to participate in, and the guidelines and rules for each event are posted on the HOSA website.

The event I chose was Forensic Medicine, which requires a team of two people to take a written exam about Forensic Science (Round 1) and write a death report for a case study (Round 2). You must pass Round 1 to move on to Round 2. I worked with a good friend of mine, Kasey Park, for this event. HOSA recommended two textbooks to study for the event: Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations 2nd Edition and Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fourth Edition.

Kasey and I both had the books, since Winter Break of our sophomore year (2018-2019), and we both agreed to start studying during winter break. Instead, we both completely forgot about it and when we returned to school after the break, we knew we still had time to study, since SLC was in March. We made a game plan of what chapters to read and when to read them, and we agreed to meet for reviewing the chapters we read. But, it didn't happen.

This procrastination continued about a day before we needed to leave for SLC, and we both realized we needed to study two thick textbooks in about 24 hours. We both knew at this point we just needed to cram as much information we could possibly fit into our brains.

The way we crammed was we both read the textbook as fast as possible and absorbing information as we go. Even though will not understand everything, we can still get a lot of information that can help us do well.

We studied on the way to SLC and before the Round 1 exam, so we can have the best chance possible when taking the test. My partner and I took the Round 1 exam during the afternoon, and we both we did alright, but not good, so we were worried about whether or not we made the second round. We got a notification in the evening that we made to Round 2. Kasey and I started to study all night and during the morning to cram as much information as we could. A little before noon, we took the Round 2 Case Study Test, and we thought it was a breeze.

Since we finished our event, we could finally hang out with friends from our school, as well as students from other schools. I meant so many new people at HOSA SLC. The next day, we went to the award ceremony, and my partner and I did not get in the Top 5, so we were not recognized. But later we were informed that we got 9th place, which we were happy with since we did not study very much for this exam.

From my experiences ar HOSA SLC, I have learned many things and met many new people. I would recommend that if you have a testing event, you should start to study prior to SLC to give yourself the most amount of time to study before the test. I feel that cramming last minute at SLC is ineffective and very stressful. I also think that you should try to meet new people since the conference is for members all over the state of Georgia.

If you are a middle or high schooler, I would recommend attending HOSA SLC, as it will be a memory you will never forget.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

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