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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.


People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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