Senior Year Thoughts

5 Thoughts Every High School Student Has During Their First Week Of Senior Year

It's the beginning of the end...

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So, you've made it! You're finally a senior in high school. The next few months of your life are going to be crazy, and before you know it, you'll be wearing a cap and gown. Here are some things you're probably thinking right about now.

1. "Wait... I'm already a senior?! I was a freshman just yesterday!"

After years of working your way up the high school totem pole, it can take some time to adjust to finally being the big man on campus. You still sort of feel like a freshman, but now the freshmen look like babies to you. It's a pretty strange feeling. Where did all the time go?

2. "I honestly do not know if I can handle another year of this."

As you re-enter the world of homework, essays, and tests, you find yourself with this thought. Suddenly, all the sleepless nights of studying and stress breakdowns come flooding back into your memory. But don't worry- you can get through it!

3. "I thought junior year was supposed to be the hardest!"

Most people say that junior year is the most academically challenging year of high school, but others argue that each year just gets harder and harder. As a senior, you also have a lot on your mind (school, college applications, etc.) and it feels overwhelming at times. Just remember, the stress is temporary.

4. "Honestly, I pretty much have no idea where I'll be a year from now."

Probably the most irritating and exhausting thing about being a senior is dealing with the constant interrogations from family members. Everyone wants to know, "What colleges are you looking at?" and "What's your plan after you graduate?" These questions can be difficult to answer, especially since you're not even sure where life will take you. treat these questions with patience. Chances are, these people are asking because they genuinely care about what you're up to. And don't be afraid to admit that you don't have all the answers just yet!

5. "I might actually miss this place."

Amidst all the stress and schoolwork, there are so many wonderful things about high school: the friends, the fun, and the memories, to name a few. Whether you've loved or hated your high school experience so far, try your best to savor these last few months and make the most of your senior year. Before you know it, it'll all be over and you'll be moving on.

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The Burning Of Notre Dame Has Actually Strengthened My Catholic Faith

Corinthians 5:17 says, "Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

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Every year, Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week in the Christian faith. As the most sacred time of the year, those who believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins hold these days dear in our hearts. 2019's Palm Sunday, however, is now held in infamy. The very next day, the precious Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris started to burn.

As the world now knows, the famed and historic Notre-Dame de Paris was spontaneously engulfed in flames on April 15, 2019. The cause has not yet been identified precisely but is most likely due to complications during the $6.8 million renovations the cathedral is currently under. Completed back in 1345, the nearly 800-year-old church has withstood the test of time relatively well.

Until now.

The modern world watched as one of the biggest treasures of the past burned away before our eyes, Twitter even erupted in an unprecedented coverage of this world-wide tragedy as many took to social media to pour their condolences and share memories of this French icon. Religion, race and personal beliefs aside, the world collectively grieved and lent support.

While this is truly a loss on a global scale, the blow comes as a particularly harsh one to the Catholic community after a particularly difficult season of Lent. From the Pope addressing allegations of sexual assault, to backlash over the controversial theatrical release of the film "Unplanned", this latest development seemed like a cruel joke in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. I myself felt affected by this fire hundred of thousand miles away in North Carolina. One of our most beloved holy churches was ebbing away in front of us and all God could do was watch.

However, despite all that, we must look forward.

Despite much of the church being reduced to ash, some of the priceless artifacts and objects that were hidden away in the cathedral have been able to survive the ordeal; such as the crown of thorns, numerous pieces of art, the rose windows, the altar cross shown above and the iconic bells of Notre Dame. Once news of this broke out, I was strengthed to my core knowing God was indeed there.

It seems like such an oxymoron to see such a tragedy as a sign of hope, yet the Bible itself is full of those. The 7 plagues that tormented Eygpt, the Great Flood, and even the death of Christ as examples.

As children of Christ, we are told at a very young age to never question his plan. He is all knowing and has a way of making everything fall into place. God sensed that Catholics were in the midst of a troubling time and brought us this opportunity of a new beginning. The burning taking place during Holy Week can also be taken as perfect timing.

The whole premise of this week revolves around the death of Jesus at the hands of Pontius Pilate, yet miraculously returned three days later before joining Our Father in Heaven, the cathedral can very well do the same and return better than before.

It is a devastating loss but already we are seeing evidence of joyous aftermath. As I noted before, people from all walks of life are offering support and condolences to a faith they were scorning just a week prior. Priceless artifacts have miraculously been recovered and plans for rebuilding have already started. This is a sign of a new beginning, that God is backing us through it all.

Do not question His plan, just have faith. The rest will fall into place.

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How I Found My Voice Through Storytelling

"I have always been captivated by the power of good stories because they connect people to one another and enrich our experience of life. For this reason, I write my story every day."

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Storytelling is an art that is at the core of our humanity and it has been a passion of mine from a young age. Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by the narratives of my family. The practicality of my dad's voice rings in my ears when he shares the lessons he learned from my grandfather. I can still visualize the vivid tales conjured up by my grandmother, whose words had a magical essence that made them seem surreal. These distinct moments are like video clips that are ingrained in my memory to this day.

My parents and grandparents always took pride in sharing their stories with me, and I was eager to learn about the traditions of our family history. Growing up in this environment completely influenced the person that I am today. It had finally occurred to me when I was a little bit older that not everyone had the same relationship to their ancestral past that I did. Not everyone had insight of into the life shaping experiences that affected their loved ones. Not everyone knew their story.

I thought that was the worst thing in the world. I tried to imagine a life in which I didn't know my story or where I came from. Without this information, it was difficult for me to identify a purpose. From the perspective of my life, my story is attached to my drive to succeed. These components of my identity are entwined like fibers of the common thread that ties humanity together. I have always been captivated by the power of good stories because they connect people to one another and enrich our experience of life. For this reason, I write my story every day.

To the people who haven't discovered where they want to go in life or how they plan on getting there, start writing your story. Even if you have no where to start, just pick up the pen and start writing about where you envision your future. Create your purpose, manifest your ideas, and you will begin to become your narrative. Above all, be prepared to use your voice because the best way to add meaning to your work is to share it with others.

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