Buying gifts on a budget can be tough, but it's even tougher to show up without a gift. Leave the gift giving to Santa and reach for one of these stocking stuffers that will leave Santa himself in shock because they're all that good!
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To help get you walking across that stage.
We've all heard the phrase, "Time flies when you're having fun." But I don't think people really understand how quickly your senior year comes and goes before your eyes. We're all so focused on finally being the top of the food chain and filling out college applications that we don't notice senior year slipping away.
Now that I'm about to enter my second semester as a college sophomore and have seen my younger brother graduate and heard about how some of my college friends survived their senior year of high school, I thought it'd be nice to give out some advice to current high school seniors.
1. Don't be afraid of goodbyes.
Throughout my senior year I avoided thinking about saying farewell to friends I saw every day. It scared me, knowing I had a limited amount of time to be with people I went to school with for all these years. The thought alone saddened me. When graduation and "All-Night Grad" came, I finally said goodbye to people I knew I wasn't going to see anytime soon, and I was surprised at how their reactions were. They all said they'd keep in touch and talked about wonderful high school memories we had together. So don't be afraid to part ways with people you've seen in class every day. You realize that a goodbye doesn't mean forever if you're saying it to someone who'll end up being a forever friend.
2. Where you choose to go to college isn't as important as you think.
We all hear about how amazing it is to go to Ivy league schools or other popular colleges. Chances are a lot of your high school friends got acceptances from huge universities that everyone would love to go to. But truth be told, the university or college that you end up attending doesn't have to be top-notch. If you're getting an education in a field that you love and are enjoying your college years, that's all that matters. Companies really just want job applicants to obtain a college degree; their focus isn't on what school you went to.
3. As tempting as it may be, try not to skip class.
Everyone experiences symptoms of "senioritis" -- the feeling seniors get where they skip class and don't do their work because they believe they are done with school and don't have to worry about it. However, it's important to still go to your classes. I understand it may be tempting on multiple occasions to just not go (we've all been there), but you're still required to go to class. Depending on the county you live in, there are a certain amount of classes / days a student is allowed to skip (excused or unexcused), and if you go over that amount, your high school is allowed to prohibit you from graduating. So do yourself a favor and just go to class.
4. Apply for scholarships and colleges early.
I know it's common sense, but it's always a good reminder. Research scholarships and colleges in the beginning of your senior year, and try to apply for scholarships and college as early as you can, so you don't have to worry about it towards the end of the third and fourth quarter when you have to worry about finals and school.
5. Your grades are important.
One of the main things that college admittance committees look at is your GPA and whether you challenged yourself in the classes you took in high school. But don't think that they won't check your grades from senior year -- that's the first thing they look at!
6. Develop friendships with your teachers.
Towards the end of your junior year to the beginning of senior year you will have to select around two or three teachers who know you enough to write you a recommendation letter. These teachers should know you academically and personally; enough to know your work efforts and what kind of person you are. So try to talk to your teachers. They're there to help you and they want to be your friend. Would you rather have a recommendation from a teacher who barely knows you outside of your grades or a teacher who knows you so well they'd fight for you to get into the college of your dreams?
7. Who you are in high school doesn't matter in college.
Whatever your "stereotype" in high school is (jock, cheerleader, nerd, popular, unpopular), I want you to know that in college no one really cares about that. College gives you the chance to start over and really find yourself. So if you don't really like your reputation in high school, I'm pleased to tell you that it doesn't travel with you to college.
8. Cherish your family.
You may be getting excited that you won't be around your family every day and get to be "free" when you go to college, but you'd be surprised how much you'll end up missing and calling your family when you're away from them. Especially since you won't be eating your parent's amazing home-cooked meals every night. So savor every day you have with them until freshman move-in day because you may end up missing them more than they miss you.
9. It's OK to not know what you want to do after high school.
Not everyone knows what major, career and college they want to pursue after high school, and that's OK. Everyone is on different paths of life. If you aren't sure about what college you want to go to after applying to a bunch of schools, or if you're still unsure about what your major is going to be, that's OK. You could go to community college and get a sense of what you really want to major in. Do more research on the colleges you applied to, or tour the campus if you don't know which one you want to attend. If you think you want to work the year after you graduate to save money or take a gap year, then go for it. People at every age go back to college every day. If you're not ready for college, then take a break and figure out what you really want to do in life.
10. Some high school friendships will fade and some won't.
Enjoy the time you have left with people you see regularly in the halls and hang out with in class because you won't see half of them after graduation. We all go in different directions after graduation. Some friendships will fade and may catch you off guard. The people you stay in touch with after high school and the people who you don't talk to will also surprise you, believe me. If you were to ask me who I was going to be friends with after high school during my own senior year of high school, I would have made a list of people who I no longer talk to and haven't talked to in a long time. So enjoy your time with your friends this year, and by the end of the year you'll have figured out who's worth your friendship and who isn't.
11. If you're not already, get involved.
Kind of self-explanatory. If you aren't involved in any clubs, sports or after-school activities, then I would highly suggest asking around and getting more involved. Colleges love seeing well-rounded students who know how to manage their time well with school and other activities. Doing so also allows you to meet new people and figure out what kinds of clubs and sports you actually enjoy.
12. Enjoy your last year of high school.
Senior year of high school is one of the best years of your life. No responsibilities, no worries (yet), you still live close to all of your friends and the whole school looks up to you. Have fun, but also, get ready for the next stage in your life.
Always remember to look at life through your optimistic lens.
Recently I have done a lot of reflecting on my life and the things that I have happened. Some of them very good, some alright, and others not so good. I have found that in life it can be very hard to deal with the not so good things that have happened. You can tend to feel defeated and discouraged. At the beginning of the school year I was struggling a lot because a lot of changes had happened, some of them good and others challenging. The biggest challenge I had was not working due to an injury that I had that kept me from doing my job. I was also trying to adapt to a new school, sorority life, and rugby. I ended up not doing as well as I could have academically. All these events made it hard for me to see that things will be just okay. So when the second semester came around I had to fight my way to better my outcomes and to basically get right back up on the horse. This didn’t come so easily.
The hardest task was finding a new job. I applied to a few places, had an interview or two, but nothing got me anywhere. It was this point that I really had to push myself to stay optimistic about finding a job and to just succeed in general. Which in time worked, I was able to find a job and to get back to my “natural flow” of things. It’s important for all of us to recognize that being an optimistic person can get us wherever we need to be. Allowing for all the negative energy to overpower any amount of positiveness. But the most important thing to remember is that everything will be okay. Everything will work out. Call it faith or fate, but these things happen for a reason. Even if that reason is unclear. It’s important to maintain an optimistic mindset. This is something that I try my hardest to do so. But let me tell you it’s not the easiest, nor should it be. In the recent school year I struggled with this a lot. Dealing with a lot of changes and challenges. There were countless times when I wanted to just give up and throw in the towel. But I have found by not giving up, I really was able to appreciate the good things as they came. Such as when I would interview for a job and didn’t get. It never feels good thinking that you aren’t a qualified person. But I had to remind myself that I am, and that I have so many amazing attributes about myself. I had to believe that I would find the right job. And I did. I couldn’t be more grateful that I did. I’ve found that I truly appreciate this win more than I would have if I didn’t persevere and stay optimistic through it all.
A zombie game with many surprises.
"The Last of Us" is a video game that is made by Naughty Dogs. Now Naughty Dogs is a game developer that I am familiar with because of the "Jack and Daxter" series of games. So I have played some of their games, not many, but some. In this game there is a lot of detail, which makes it quite fun. Now like with any review, it will have some spoilers.
Ish is fun detail that is in a part of the game. He is a character that you never meet, but with notes that he lives behind or the ones that he lives with. The thing that makes it better is the fact that he is a reference to the main character to "Moby Dick," and to the protagonist in "Earth Abides." Yes, I did some research on this because it is truly a vast game. The reason for the two is in the game he was a sailor and so was Ishmael and to Isherwood Williams who started a group of survivors.
Now to the story of the game. It has a bit before the zombie outbreak. You start playing as Sarah, Joel’s daughter. Now it begins with her waking up to bombs going off, so you search the house for her dad. He rushes into the kitchen with the neighbors that have turned behind. He than kills them and the uncle was there to take you away to a safe spot. The way is blocked and a few zombies attack so you guys run into the nearby woods. Where Sarah breaks her leg and you switch over to play as Joel.
You carry her as you run from the car. You run into a restaurant and one breaks in, the uncle, Tommy, stays to kill it as you take the back door. You run into a solder and they get ordered to kill them. He starts to shoot and you drop Sarah. The two of you roll down a hill where the soldier goes to Joel, but before he kills him, Tommy kills him. Then Joel runs to to Sarah as she bleeds out. This is a game that makes you feel a lot of emotional attachment to it's characters
The game then jumps twenty years after that, you work with Tess as a smuggler. You live in a military control that has an iron fist rule. They go to pick up weapons from your dealer who sold it to the Fireflies, who are somewhat seen as the bad guys. When you do meet up with him, Tess kills him and you meet the Leader of the Fireflies, Marlene, who takes you to her base of operations. Because she wants to give you weapons if you smuggle something out of the city. What it is a girl named Ellie, who is immune to the infection, to a another group of Fireflies. The only reason she is having you do this because she was shot.
So the three of you head to the location however you run into a problem on your way to it. Tess gets bitten and you run into soldiers in the area that follow you into the building. Tess gives up her life to save Joel and Ellie. Then after some time you get to the city before the meet point and you get jumped. You escape with two others, one gets infected and the other kills himself. You get there and the Fireflies are no longer there, but leave where they are going. However Joel gets stabbed in the side and Ellie saves him. She stays with Joel in a house in the city.
You play as Ellie for a bit you run into the leader of a group in which you killed a lot of the members. He tracks her back to the house and kidnaps Ellie. At this point, you go back and forth playing as Ellie and Joel. Joel saves Ellie and stops her from hacking away at a dead body. They then head to meet Tommy and they find him.
Ellie runs from Joel because he was going to hand her over to Tommy. They find her and Joel and her head to find the place that the Fireflies. They find the place and Marline is there and she greets you. She tells you that how they are going to find the cure was going to kill Ellie. So Joel kills her and saves Ellie from them. He also lies to Ellie about what happened as they head to Tommy’s.The game had it’s flaws, but it is one that you should play. It has a good story to it and I made sure to leave some things out of it so I don't give away too much. There are surprises to it. Now it has many layers to it some you have to look for them.
Admit it, these gross you out too.
I'll admit it. I'm a germaphobe.
If you got sick as often as I did you'd be one too. Not to sound like a wacko, but going out in public can be gross sometimes. If you're a germaphobe like me these thoughts probably go through your head on a daily basis.
1. Door handles
Truthfully, if I'm about to enter a building at school and there's someone walking in front of me, I'll pick up the pace to make it in the door behind them so I don't have to touch the door handle that thousands of other sick, non-handwashing, nasty college kids have touched today.
2. People coughing and sneezing
I feel like this should be a given and is just respectful, common knowledge that you should sneeze into your arm and not cough on everyone around you. Unfortunately, I'm reminded that I'm wrong when the person next to me coughs a tornado my way, or sneezes into their hands, then asks to borrow my pencil with their mucus-covered paws.
3. Dressing room floors
This one I really don't understand. I could shop, and I mean shop all day. But dirty dressing rooms that haven't been cleaned since the store first opened screams unsanitary and is not a pleasurable shopping experience. It's not very hard to sweep the 3x3 dressing room stall a couple times a week or throw a Lysol wipe around.
4. Really any floor, actually
Speaking of dressing room floors, I'm such a germaphobe I won't put my purse down on the dressing room floor, public bathroom floor, and even in classrooms. Call it snobby, but it grosses me out when people leave their purse around everywhere, then throw it on their bed when they get home.
5. Public toilet seats
This is a huge one. Good thing I was a catcher for 8 years because lord knows I'm not sitting on any toilet seat that's not my own. Squatting has become my best friend, and I'll leave it at that.
6. Unwrapped straws at restaurants
As a server, I'm guilty of contributing to this, but hear me out for a minute. Bartenders and servers run around all shift like a chicken with their head cut off. Most are lucky if they wash their hands 2-3 times a night (except me, as I am hand sanitizing every other second). They are touching money, dirty plates, pens that everyone and their mother has been handling, and so on. Then when it comes time to make your drink they grab an unwrapped straw and place it into the drink that you'll directly drink out of... eww!
7. Wearing shoes in a bedroom
Maybe this one gets to me because my mom always taught us to take our shoes off as soon as we enter someone's house, but I don't understand the reasoning behind wanting to keep shoes on inside a house when you could be comfy?? Remember all those gross floors, and areas I previously mentioned — yup, your shoes are tracking all those heebyjeebies and more into your house and bedroom when you walk around with shoes on inside. And don't get me started with people that sit on couches or beds with shoes on.
I hope this article could relate to my fellow germaphobes, and for those of you who could care less, maybe you'll at least wash your hands more often now?
There's a lot of wisdom shared here.
"Never regret a day of your life: The good days give you happiness, the bad days give you experience, the worst days give you lessons, and the best days give you memories."
1. Have a firm handshake
2. Look people in the eye.
3. Sing in the shower.
4. Own a great stereo system.
5. If in a fight, hit hard and hit first.
6. Keep secrets.
7. Never give up on anybody.
8. Always accept an outstretched hand.
9. Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
11. Avoid sarcastic remarks.
12. Choose your life's significant other carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery.
13. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
14. Lend only those books that you never tend to send again.
15. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.
16. When playing games with children, let them win.
17. Give people a second chance, but not a third.
18. Be romantic.
19. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
20. Loosen up, Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
21. Don't allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It's there for our convenience, not the caller's.
22. Be a good loser.
23. Be a good winner.
24. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret.
25. When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
26. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
27. Keep it simple.
28. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
29. Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
30. Live your life so that your obituary can read, No regrets.
31. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
32. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
33. Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you.
34. Take charge of your attitude. Don't let someone else choose it for you.
35. Visit friends and relatives when they are in the hospital; even if it is just for a few minutes
36. Begin each day with some of your favorite music.
37. Once in awhile, take the scenic route.
38. Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, "Someone who thinks you're terrific."
39. Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
40. Keep a notepad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
41. Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.
42. Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later.
43. Make someone's day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you.
44. Become someone's hero.
45. Marry only for love.
46. Count your blessings.
47. Compliment the meal when you're a guest in someone's home.
48. Wave at the children on a school bus.
49. Remember that 80 percent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people.
50. Don't expect life to be fair.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign