To My Younger Sibling As They Graduate

To My Younger Sibling As They Graduate

You've made it.

Hi there,

It's me! You know, your older sibling who just can't seem to wrap her head around the thought of you finishing high school.

I am in utter disbelief. Just two years ago, I was in your shoes -- an 18-year old, ready to take life's next giant leap. Now it's you who's preparing the post-secondary plans.

Whereas I decided to stay close and cozy to home, you've decided to move a couple of states away. Arizona State University will be honored to have you as an art student. Part of me wishes you were a freshman in high school again, so you wouldn't have to leave so soon. But the other part of me desires that you get as much out of college as you possibly can. I know that this is an exciting time for you, and the thrill of adulthood is right around the corner.

You've been insanely supportive of me over the past couple of years, and now it's time that I return the favor. Nothing will make me more happy than to see you flourish in college. I can't wait to hop on a plane and visit you at ASU. I'm relieved that I know your roommate already, because I know that she'll be good to you and hopefully alleviate any pangs of homesickness you may experience.

And thank you.

Thank you for being my best friend and thank you for the glorious years growing up. I couldn't have been what I am without help from a younger sibling, and you were the perfect person for that position. You won't be around near as much as I'd like, as you'll be off following your true passion.

I know that this isn't a permanent goodbye, however I can't help but think that talking to you face-to-face won't be in my control anymore. And that slumps my shoulders. Even sparse visits can be heavy on a heart. But I almost can't wait for you to go so I can hear all about Arizona's happenings.

By the time you will have read this, you'll have already been a graduate by a day or two. You were the last of our parents' four children to walk across the stage and receive what's rightfully yours, and you'll be the last Croucher for at least 16 years (when our nephew graduates) to grace Mitchell High School with your presence.

The bottom line is that I love you dearly and hope that graduation season is currently lively and exciting, all the while becoming a fond memory for you.

I know you'll read this, maybe cringe once or two at the cheesiness, but hey, you only graduate from high school once. You better not be a stranger. Don't forget about home! For now though, enjoy this life-changing event.

To my always-little-sister Emily and the class of 2016 in its entirety, congratulations.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Croucher

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.



I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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