Finally after walking the same hallways for four years, you take your final stroll through these beloved halls. You close your locker door for the last time. You head out the doors to the outside world for the last time. In a few short days, you attend you'll be seated in the Penn Highlands Auditiorium. As you sit there, you eagerly wait for your name to be called and to walk across the stage to get your diploma from the bishop. As someone who has just finished her freshman year of college, and has been an alumnus for a few days short of a year, there's so things I wish to say to the Bishop McCort Catholic High School Class of 2017.
First of all, be humble. McCort was small and it wasn't hard to be a star in this, and a leader of that. College is a whole different game. You are no longer the top of the totem pole. You have, once again, fallen to the bottom of the pile. There's a lot more people competing for the same positions you are. I knew someone who dropped out of a show this year because they weren't given a lead role. Don't become that person. Be humble and accept anything that is given to you during your first year of college
Moving on, be yourself in college. Being true to who you are and what your values are is important. Don't try to conform yourself to the type of person you have to be to get along with those around you. If people don't accept you for who you are as a person, then you should probably find some new friends to be with. In addition, being yourself will help you find your true friends that are probably very similar to you. If you be who you really are, people will see that.
Getting involved on campus was probably one the best decisions I made during my entire freshman year of college. By being involved in the theatre and campus ministry, I made some of the closest friends I have from college. McCort's small size made it easy to get involved, whether it was clubs or athletics, so continue your involvement in college. But this also comes with a warning. Don't spread yourself too thin. When signing up for clubs, pick ones that you are truly able to devote time to them. If that means only signing up for two or three clubs, that's okay. It's better to be active in a few than be barely present in a bunch. Also, on campus involvement presents you an opportunity to try something new. Maybe branch out of your comfort zone by joining a club that is different from what you did in high school, you never know if you like something unless you give it a shot.
College is completely different, especially in academics. While you think that AP and Honors Classes are really helping you, truth is they only help slightly. Your study habits will greatly change, and may even vary from class to class. In college, that hundred dollar text book probably won't end up as a paper weight on your desk. Unlike high school, you actually have to read your books. Yes, McCort will give you a great start and doing well, the rest is up to you. You really have to devote yourself to your studies. If that means locking yourself in your room for several hours, or hunkering down in the library for multiples days before an exam, do it. Speaking of exams, college exams are, most of the time, not ones you can just study the night before, without staying up to odd hours of the night. Start studying several days before and constantly review your notes, it will be beneficiary in the long run.
In college, you will probably face difficulties. You may struggle in a class, have relationship problems, or even roommate problems. When these types of things come up, you can't bottle them up and pretend that they don't exist. If you have problems in a class, go see your professor or go find a tutor. If you have problems with your roommate, try to work things out one-on-one and if that doesn't work go to your prefect or RA. If you feel lost and don't know what to do, pray about it. Luckily for me, attending a Catholic College gave me plenty of chances to pray about my life, and I was also lucky to go on retreats and be able to talk with a seminarian too. God is watching over every steps of this journey you are taking, don't be afraid to go to him. He'll be there, trust me.
Lastly, cherish your final days together as a group. Even though final exams are over, and what stands in your way of graduation is senior retreat and graduation practice, cherish those last few moments together. It will be one of the last times you are all together as a group. Make memories in your final days that you can look back on for the rest of you life. You never know when thinking back to a fond memory from high school will brighten up a dreary college day. Your last moments as a current Bishop McCort student are exciting and rapidly happening. Cherish these days together and make them days you won't forget. After all the alma mater does say, "Pal of mine, dear Catholic High School, I'll never forget you."
Congratulations, Bishop McCort Class of 2017, you survived fourth year of high school. These years filled with highs and lows, tears and laughter are now behind you. After graduation, you pass from being a student to being an alumni. At this point everything changes. When you go back and visit and take in a sporting event, you are no longer on the bench, but in the stands. You are no longer on that stage looking out into the audience, but instead part of that audience. This might feel strange at first, I know it was for me. But after a while, you get used it. Congrats on the completion of your high school careers, and I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endevors. Oh, and remember that your forever a Crusher.