Get Off Your Phone And Have An Experience

Get Off Your Phone And Have An Experience

Your snap story can wait.
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Picture this: you're at a family barbecue, halfway through the cheeseburger that your uncle just finished firing up on the grill. The ketchup is oozing out of the bun. You feel a cold rush as the sour flavor of a pickle attacks your taste buds. Suddenly, your little cousin begins to speak--it's essentially jibberish--utterances of half-words and almost sentences. But rather than soak up the moment for all that it's worth the people on every side of you instantly whip out their phones. They are too focused on making sure the camera is focused to actually enjoy the moment right in front of them.

I'm not ignorant, I recognize the importance of preserving memories in the form of pictures. There are countless occasions that my nostalgia makes me yearn for a picture or video of a time in the past. However, these past-life replicas do not replace real life, and should not hinder your ability to enjoy a moment in real-time.

I have countless occasions in which I have been too preoccupied with trying to document something that I forget to actually enjoy it in the moment. For example: my first One Direction concert (at the peak of my life-consuming obsession) all I could think about was videotaping every single song. This caused me to completely miss THE Harry Styles waving in my direction because I was trying to start my video camera. I could not fully enjoy the songs because I was so concerned about have enough space on my phone and pointing the camera in the right direction. Or take the first day of senior year of high school. All I could think about was getting the perfect "Insta" that actually soaking up the moment was impossible. Or being on vacation, when you take 800 pictures of the SAME building yet somehow can't say you even remember seeing.

I'm not crazy, and I'm not saying that we should all throw away our phones and cameras and camcorders. I'm just saying that the next time your baby cousin does something cute or your friend does something ridiculous, forget about putting it on your snap story and simply enjoy the moment.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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5 Things To Look Forward To Even In The Middle Of End Of The Year Stress

There's always something to look forward to.

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School is so close to the end. Seniors will be graduating really soon and juniors are now either nervous or excited about senior year. 8th graders are scared about entering into the most important 4 years of their lives so far. And of course, a yearly stress every high schooler will go through are AP exams. But, even with all these things in mind, here are 5 things to look forward to even in the middle of everything else.

1. Weather

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Summer comes with so many amazing things. But, one of my all time favorites is weather. The weather is perfect for a nice picnic or a pool party. The sun shining always puts people in a good mood.

2. Sleep

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Summer is the time to catch up on all the sleep you've missed this past year due to studying or doing homework. Now, you can freely sleep in and stay up as long as you want while getting the full 8 hours or more.

3. Vacations/ Stay-cations

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This is the time to go explore and travel the world and experience new things. Seeing new cultures around the world and trying new foods is a great part of going on vacation. If not going on vacation, staying at home and relaxing is always a great way to rest your body and brain from everything.

4. Hanging out

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This is the time to go explore and travel the world and experience new things. Seeing new cultures around the world and trying new foods is a great part of going on vacation. If not going on vacation, staying at home and relaxing is always a great way to rest your body and brain from everything.

5. Movie nights

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Even though you have the option to sleep, obviously a movie marathon would be highly considered because sleeping in is always the right choice during the summer.

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