I Thank Sorority Squats And My Sisters For Keeping Me Rounded

I Thank Sorority Squats And My Sisters For Keeping Me Rounded

"I wear my letters in front because my sisters have my back."
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No — I never gained the "freshman fifteen" as a first-year in college. I actually gained the freshman thirty; and trust me, that is something to brag about.

There are three things you must declare before starting your stay at a university — your residence hall, dining plan, and major. Back in the fall of 2014 when it was my turn, I declared all three. The following spring, I declared a fourth

A commitment to a group of women whom individually are walking, rare prototypes of beauty. These women are sober of the desperation to be ordinary, while their minds are bejeweled with the determination to be extraordinary.

This crown, I know, will never slip. This crown, I will wear for the rest of my life, knowing that these women — my sorority sisters — will be there to break its fall whenever I need someone to tilt my chin back up.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, what you see on the outside, is a spectrum of women so diverse, divine and fine.

Class by class, no two sisters contrast. Our shared vision of multiculturalism honors more than the skin tones of our ancestors, and the cultural traditions we learn from each other to celebrate together.

The relationships I have with my sisters are not toxic, rather they are intoxicating. My sisters fuel my urge to be indestructible. My sisters blot away my doubts. My sisters prime my intuition with optimism. My sisters are the artists behind the record deal I was obligated to sign because their pieces of advice are too good to be one-hit-wonders. My sisters tilted cement into the trenches of my heart that I weathered down with my tears. My sisters helped me rebuild the armor I thought I lost completely when I was too weak to admit that I didn't have all the strength to repair myself.

I love you all, and you know who you are. You are and forever will be my sisters, always.

Cover Image Credit: Irysh Concepcion

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Dear Soon-To-Be Seniors

These are a few things we'd like to tell you about Senior year.
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Dear soon-to-be high school seniors,

Goodbye. As the class of ahead of you, we've watched you grow, always one step behind us. As we graduate, there are some things I'd like to tell you about your last year of high school.

Yes, Senior year can be just as amazing as everyone says it is, if you make it that way. But don't think it's a blow-off year with no work. This year may hold some of the most stressful times of your life.Be prepared for late nights writing papers or hard tests that could make or break your graduation status. However, don't stress too much about homework. A question I often asked myself this year was, "in twenty years, will I remember staying up till 2am studying for Econ? Or will I remember a fun night with my friends?" Ok, probably not the best advice if you don't have the best of grades, but most of the time you stress yourself out for no reason and miss out on fun things.

Another thing, try to get on the college grind early. If you haven't already, start looking at colleges and applying! Then narrow it down as soon as you can. You don't want to be stressed about that decision in the last month of senior year. Honestly, the sooner you can make your decision, the happier and less stressed you will probably be.

It's not too late to join new things either; a lot of people join a sport or a club senior year and have a lot of fun because of it. So try that thing you've always wanted to join! Speaking of which, go to prom! I won't tell you prom is the best experience of your life because for some people it's not, but it's pretty amazing. Don't stress too much about getting a date, either the right guy/girl will show up, or you'll just go with your friends and still have a blast.

Don't be too rude to the underclassmen. You were that young just a few years ago. And they're the ones who usually put your senior nights together, so make sure you thank them. Also keep in mind that they are looking up to you. Remember those seniors you looked up to just a few short years ago? Be a good example. Take your place in the school as Seniors and continue where we left off; carry on the legacy of your school and be proud of it.

If your school does Kairos (or a similar senior retreat), be absolutely open to it! If it's your thing, enjoy it! If it's not your thing, still try to be open to it. You don't have to love it, but at least don't hate on it before you've even been. Bonding with your class is a big part of senior year. I made so many new friends this year that I never thought I would if it hadn't been for Kairos.

Speaking of which, be open to new friends. Whether they're seniors or not, talk to everyone. In a few months, you may never see those kids again, so it's worth getting to know them past just being friends on Facebook. Also, don't give up on dating people in your class. Yeah, there's only a few months left and you've spent the last 4 years with these people, but there might be one person out there who could change your whole year for the better if you give them the chance.

Above all, enjoy it. You only get one senior year, so make it count. Go to everything you possibly can: every football game, dance, party, musical, bonfire, etc. Enjoy wearing the jersey of your team for the last time, taking your last bow on your high school stage, and turning in your last final, because it will all be gone within the blink of an eye. You'll find yourself walking down the aisle in a cap and gown of those same school colors you thought you despised (but really, you'll secretly miss). You'll look at your favorite teachers lined up behind you and your family sitting in front of you, and most importantly your class around you, and I hope, I really hope, you don't regret a single moment of senior year.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Skog

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It Took Until My Senior Year To Realize I Might Want To Go To Grad School

I don't think I have learned enough yet.

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School was never something I disliked but it also was not something I was super excited for. I went to good schools growing up, had great teachers and made excellent grades. I was a good student but I also knew that someday school would come to an end.

As high school came to an end I bounced around ideas of what I wanted to. Not one of them involved being a professor at a university or a teacher at high school. It was not meant to come off as me thinking these positions were not good enough for me but rather I felt I could never live up to the teachers and professors I had loved and learned from.

I knew that I could teach and help students but that was only half of being a teacher, the other was being a role model and shaping them into a better person if they needed it. That's what I was nervous about and that was why I never thought about continuing education. I believed I would never make potential students better as students or people. However, this idea simply became just an idea. I should not let one idea in my mind stop me from attempting something and that has not stopped me before but as I think about life after college, graduate school and even a Ph.D. is looking more and more like a better option.

Graduate school was never on my mind when I got to college. I sometimes flirted with the idea but I also stated how I could come back to school after I make a decent salary. I wanted an opportunity to pay with my money or apply for scholarships. I flirted with the idea but it was never anything concrete. I seemed to go back and forth, but finally, there was something that made me consider graduate school: my decision to change my major.

I was always set to graduate a semester later and in my senior year, I made the biggest choice of my life by changing my major. I was struggling in my old major and I was afraid that if I continued to struggle it would disrupt my passion for education or not motivate me to graduate. A year later I can say that this was the best choice for me and it helped me recapture my love of learning.

In my new major it became common for people to be thinking about graduate school and I got me thinking. Some of my friends had already taken the GRE or were in the Accelerated Master's Program. I was not jealous or angry that I did not take the opportunity but it shined some light and got me thinking. What if I did go to graduate school? There was no harm in studying for the GRE or talking about it with family and friends. I brought it up to my parents and they respected my idea but I wanted to know what my professors would think.

Since changing my major I have kept a great relationship with many of my professors and I have a good level of comfort about certain questions. When I asked two of my professors they stated how it would be a good idea and that I should consider graduate school.

Five years ago I would not have viewed graduate school as continuing studies. I would have viewed it as more school and would be unsure if I needed it. I can say that now my perspective is different and I see graduate school as a way to focus on a subject that I love. I know that if I do want to be a professor I have a long way to go but I know that I have some great motivators that I can surround myself with and ask for help. I don't want to be like my professors, I just want to be the best me.

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