An Open Letter To My High School Best Friend

An Open Letter To My High School Best Friend

We went our separate ways but you're still my person

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You know absolutely everything about me and more. You know my favorite foods, my favorite ice cream flavor, and my favorite tv show. When I needed a shoulder to cry on you dropped everything to be by my side and would drive across town to make sure I was always safe.

This past year we have gone our own ways and have grown in different ways. We both have found our new people. We both have new friends and we both are moving on with our lives. My favorite tv show has changed and I don't really like chocolate ice cream anymore.

Just because we have grown does not mean we have grown apart. Twelve hours down the road can't bury a friendship. We always find time for that facetime call even if we play phone tag for a week. There are even weeks when I do not hear from you but I know you're living it up and I am doing the same. But when we both text that code red we drop everything to call each other.

It was hard leaving everyone I knew and the town I grew up in. It was especially hard leaving you and all the memories. All the crying and the laughs and the midnight adventures when we first got our licenses.

While I have met new friends and have great new people in my life, my best friend will always have a special place in my heart. You were my person growing up who was my backbone when I needed one and attached to my hip for years.

I am sad that I don't get to experience any of these college adventures with you. Taking on the adult world for the first time is difficult and I wish almost daily you were right beside me. I wish you could meet everyone that I have befriended and I wish you could see this amazing campus that I live on. I wish you could buy a plane ticket and sleep on my floor for the next three years.

I count down the days until I am able to see you again. No one said how busy the real world is and making time for people. It was a lot easier when we were ten and you lived down the street. It was even easy when we were seventeen and the drive to your house was only eight minutes. Now we both have to wait for a free minute between our classes to call.

I also need to thank you for my childhood. From kindergarten all the way until graduation to us crying in my driveway the night before I left. You will always be my person, my best friend, the aunt to my kids and the person I call when I'm having a breakdown.

You will always be the person that knows me best, even if my favorite foods have changed. You will always be the first person I call when I have any sort of news, and the person I ask when I need any advise. Even if we do not get to talk to each other for weeks, I write down all my crazy adventures and fill you in later. You are more than my high school best friend, you are my lifelong best friend.

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High School Seniors: Breathe It In And Don't Let It Go Until It's Over

Graduation is coming up quick, slow down and enjoy the moment.
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For most of us, it starts out the summer after junior year. Basketball, wrestling, football, cheerleading and any kind of camp you can think of. For me, it started with basketball. Open gyms a few times a week, going out to get ice cream with the team afterward, and then hanging out together at someone's house. Those things seem so insignificant when you are in the moment, but after the fact they are memories you would kill to go back to.

Next thing is the first day of school, a syllabus from every teacher (except the one or two teachers that are just as unprepared as you are), girls that just saw each other last week screaming and running through the halls as if they hadn't seen one another for months, and of course seeing your favorite teacher. A few weeks in, and it's football Friday night. All day at school, everyone's talking about the team we're playing and the girls are talking about their outfits'. Again, something that seems so unimportant but when you're looking back and reminiscing those are the things that you miss most.

Onto the first football game, you're getting ready either in the locker room with the team or maybe at home with your friends. Painting your face, putting fake tattoos on, cutting up tee shirts and taking a last minute trip to find some knee high socks and beads that match the theme. As for me, I was the student section leader. I led all the chants, I got everyone pumped up, and most of all I had to out-do any other kids in the student section. Half time, leading the "roller coaster", listening to the bands half time show, and cheering as the boys re-entered the field. Taking an insane amount of pictures with your friends, borrowing hoodies, and holding hot cups of hot chocolate just to keep your hands warm. Countless trips to Waffle House after games, filling up the entire dining room with football players and kids from the student section-- it goes faster than you think.

At this point, you may realize that time is flying. Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and then it's a whole new year. Now it's your graduation year. That midterm that you dreaded taking? You'll actually miss that. You'll miss running through the hallways early in the morning to ask your teacher a few questions about what could possibly be on the exam. You'll miss getting to leave early after the test and going out to eat with your friends. You'll miss things as simple as sitting at lunch with all of your friends, probably the same kids that you've sat with since freshman year (or at least close to the same people). You'll miss gym class, your math teacher, speeding into the parking lot because you're going to be late, skipping the first period of the day to sleep in your car because you just couldn't sleep the night before-- enjoy every second of it.

Now let us get to the core... slow down, guys. Don't wish it away. Enjoy that football game, and scream your heart out. Participate in the theme, and under no circumstances should you stay home. Wake up early to go out to breakfast with your best friends a time or two before school. Don't miss a single basketball, softball, or any sports practice. Play your heart out in every single game. Honestly, just take the time to do your homework. Partake in spirit week, and dress accordingly for every day. Really enjoy your favorite classes, take the time to work extra hard on projects. Do something to be proud of and make memories you'll never forget. Don't let any single person or group dull your personality and most importantly, truly let it be one of the best years of your life.


Cover Image Credit: Macey Mullins

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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