Don't Leave Senior Year With Regrets

Don't Leave Senior Year With Regrets

Senior year of high school is supposed to be one of the most exciting years of your life -- don't let things you can't control take that away from you.
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At this time last year, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today. There’s some excitement in saying that, but also some disappointment. I never imagined that by December of my freshman year in college I would already have such a strong group of friends. I never imagined that I would have done so much self-growth in just three months, getting that much closer to realizing what I really want out of life. On the other hand, I also never imagined that I would be going to a university only 25 short minutes from home considering, for as long as I can remember, I planned on leaving Texas. All my life, I defined success by getting accepted into every college I applied to. I thought the April of my senior would be spent making a tough decision between my two dream schools, rather than feeling more disappointed in myself than ever. However, twelve rejection letters and a lot of tears later, I was forced to realize that these successes and failures are all relative. While I would have never guessed I would be spending the next four years at The University of Texas, I could not imagine being this happy anywhere else.

Unfortunately, my senior year of high school was filled with constantly trying to predict my future, just to realize that in the end, I have no control over it. While my senior year was one of the most fun, rewarding years of my life, I spent many days filled with bitterness. The bitterness that came from situations beyond my control such as college acceptances and distanced friends. But it is only now that I realize that these situations could not have been changed by anything I could have done.

I spent my free time evaluating each and every second of my life saying well if I would have done this differently, I would have gotten that role, or if I would have gone out that night, I wouldn’t have lost that friend, or if I changed the topic of my essay, I would have gotten into that school, if...if...if...if. That kind of thinking led to many sleepless nights where I just wondered why. Why put everything I have into achieving something, just to not get it? All through this past summer, I continued to wallow in self-pity. I worked so hard in high school only to be going to a college that at the time, I considered less than my ‘dream’. It wasn’t until move-in day when I talked to my roommate for the first time about my high school experience that I realized how utterly stupid it was for me to have become consumed with the decisions of OTHER PEOPLE.

She and I talked for hours about our friends, our families, our successes, and our failures. About three hours into the conversation I realized the only things I had really talked about were my failures. I went to sleep that night with more regret than ever. She sat and told me that she too was not accepted into her dream school and she too has had dramatic fights with friends that stemmed from things that were not her fault, but she spent more time telling me about the things she loved: funny stories about her best friends, her crazy prom stories, and just what she enjoys doing with her life.

That night I wanted nothing more than to go back to the first day of my senior year and do it all over again. Not to change the outcome of an acceptance letter, a cast list, or a friendship, but to tackle all of these disappointments again and handle them in a different way. Rather than being bitter, I would have understood. Rather than acting entitled, I would have been grateful. Rather than focusing on all of the things I hated, I would focus on all of the things there was to love.

I say all of this not to attempt to remove all of the guilt from my conscience, but to hopefully help another senior who is feeling like the world is out to spite them. If I can give you one piece of advice, it would be to let it go. If you’re anything like me, you think you can control every aspect of your life. Hopefully, this article helps you realize this now, but if not, you will eventually realize there is so much out of your reach. At first, that’s a hard lesson to learn.

Trust me, it took me a long time to figure out how to motivate myself to do certain things if, in the end, the outcome I worked for isn’t even guaranteed. But after I figured that out, I’ve felt freer than ever. Regardless of your religious beliefs, your future has already been determined by something so much larger than yourself. So sit back, and let go. Work hard, but not to the point that you’re no longer enjoying yourself. As I’m sure you’ve already heard, senior year is full of lasts. Sadly for me, many of those lasts are clouded with regret. Because I was so focused on feeling cheated by the world, I didn’t enjoy the things that make senior year so great.

Work hard, play hard, and love hard. It’s okay to be disappointed, but don’t discredit your hard work because an outcome was not as you anticipated. You are so much more than the opinions of others. After all, the only thing in this world that you can control is how you react.

Now get out there, and enjoy your lasts, because you have a lot of amazing firsts ahead of you.

Cover Image Credit: Graduation Wine Company

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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