To A Second Semester High School Senior, From A Second Semester College Freshman

To A Second Semester High School Senior, From A Second Semester College Freshman

I wish you all the best.
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Dear High School Senior,

Springtime is around the corner, and you have most likely applied to or are in the middle of applying to colleges (if you plan to take that route). Whether you have heard back from the school of your dreams or are still waiting to get a letter in the mail, you are probably a mixture of nervous and excited for this brand-new chapter in your life. Once you get your diploma and toss your cap, everything does change, even if you don't think you're ready, but I'm here to tell you it'll all be OK.

You will adjust to living away from your family. A lot of people are most excited for this part, but I'll tell you that the days will come when you miss your parents and your siblings more than anything in the world. When you call them at night, you'll wish they could stay on the line forever, and when they send you letters and cards in the mail, you will hold them close to you like you never thought. After a couple months, you will find your niche in school and feel less homesick, but you will forever appreciate your family in a way you never could before.

Enjoy the next couple months you have with your childhood best friends by your side, because you might not be as close to them once you all go your separate ways. We would all love to say we stayed as close to our old friends as we were the day we graduated, but that's just not true. Although at first the distance might make you a little upset and you will miss all the crazy times you had together, you will meet amazing people in college who can fill your heart in a matter of minutes, and you will make countless beautiful memories with them.

College is a chance to re-invent yourself, truly. It doesn't matter if you go to a big or small school, because there is an incredibly slim chance you will know everyone there (I'm willing to bet big money on that), so you have an awesome opportunity to become whoever you want to be. You can get involved with whatever club or team you want to and not be ashamed or embarrassed of your quirky interests because I assure you there is a group for everything and tons of other people who love the same things you do.

You might have gotten lucky and known which school you wanted to go to for years. For instance, I knew when I was a little kid that I wanted to come to UMass, and I strove to make it happen with everything I did. You might go to a school you have been dreaming about, whether it's because you have family there or specifically because you don't, or because you want to play for a specific team or get into a specific program, or for any reason in between. If you don't know which college you want to go to, that's OK. I encourage you to go on tours of campus, but not on those that are directed by tour-guides (though those can be helpful too). If you're unsure, I encourage you to take a trip to the campuses you applied to and just walk around, or do an overnight with someone you might know who is older, to spend time there when no one is trying to impress you. The right college exists for everyone, and when people say you will “feel at home" when you are there, they're right. You will know, and a lot of your fears and worries will disappear.

College can be stressful, but you will have the time of your life. I am still new to this experience, but in a year you will be too, and you may be offering the same advice to someone who looks up to you. The next four years of your life (at least the next year, because that's all I can be sure of), will be full of new adventures, people, and things you never knew before. Cherish your last few months of high school, because things do change once you receive your diploma, but don't stress too much about the future, because you will do just fine. I wish you all the best, and I'll always be here if you need me
Cover Image Credit: Colleen Ward

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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An Open Letter To My RA

Thank you for not being the absolute worst.

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We've all heard stories of resident assistants, the horror stories of them being the absolute worst. When you move into a dorm room one of your biggest fears is your resident assistant.

Will you get along with them, will you be able to talk to them, will they write you up for the littlest thing? They're all different but somehow, I got lucky with the best resident assistant that Missouri State University has to offer.

My RA has the brightest personality and knows how to make the best of any situation. She knew how to click with all of us the day that we moved in and made us all feel so welcomed and at home. Almost immediately after we had moved in, she was putting us all into a group chat and creating group events for all thirty-some girls, and I am forever thankful for that.

My RA was a rock to me and always stuck by my side when I needed her most despite what happened to be going on in her life at the time. She knew how to calm me down, how to keep my secrets, and how to laugh with me when I needed it most. She helped all of us create this bond that I feel wouldn't be there if it wasn't for her. She created group dinners and craft nights, movie nights and study nights, and so much more.

I was scared when I moved to college that I was going to have an RA that wouldn't really care about the experience that I have my first year. I've met many people that rarely have interactions with their RA unless they're required to attend a floor meeting. They don't feel they have someone to talk to, and the only person they really know on their floor is their roommate.

I got lucky with an RA that has a genuine passion and concern for us and for what she is there for, and if we don't feel safe and okay then she feels like she isn't doing her job right.

I have so much to thank her for that I'm not really sure where to start. I want to thank her for never really getting upset and always being reasonable with us no matter what the situation was. I want to thank her for including us on details in her life and gossiping with us even when she doesn't have to. Not only that but listening and being involved in our own drama and gossip.

I want to thank her for all of the hour or so talks whether it was crying or laughing, and reassuring us the most when we think we're going through something alone. I want to thank her for all of the dinner dates. All of the movie, song, tv show, local restaurants, attractions, and all the other suggestions she's made to us.

I want to thank her for the Women Empowerment Wednesday's when we all need it the most. I want to thank her for all of the cookie and buff dip pick-me-ups, and the shoutouts that we deserve on our birthdays.

My RA has shown me what it is like for someone to go above and beyond when honestly, they don't need to at all. My RA has inspired me in more ways than she'll ever know and has made me comfortable to do things I never imagined myself doing.

Not only this, but she has inspired me to be an RA in the future, to help all on-campus students strive to do and be the best they can even when it feels impossible. So, to the best RA that Missouri State University has to offer, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. #FreddyHouseBestHouse #FYBForever

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