An Open Letter To All High School Seniors

An Open Letter To All High School Seniors

Pieces of advice from someone who recently was one.

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To All High School Seniors,

Congratulations! You have taken your last finals in high school, most of you have probably gotten in to at least one school, and you now can cruise into graduation. My senior year of high school was an amazing end to my high school career and time in my hometown and I know that the next couple of months will be just that for you too.

I want to give you some advice for your next couple of months in the city you will soon be leaving. It seems so long ago that I was in your place but at the same time I know how quickly those last months flew by.

Go to as many sporting events at your school as you have left. One day you will look back and wish that you had more memories cheering on your high school basketball team or eating a hot dog above the football field. Being the oldest, you can start all the cheers and chants and support your classmates in what will be for most of them their last athletic contest.

Thank your teachers. These men and women show up every day to teach you. Whether you believe it or not they want you to succeed and I doubt that any of them became a teacher just to be mean and give you an F. They have dedicated their time to helping you and even if you hated their class, thank them for their time and commitment to you and your classmates.

Make time for your family. Over the summer, when it feels like you only have a handful of weeks left, it's normal to want to spend all your time with your friends. But you are probably leaving your hometown for school and you can't forget about your parents and siblings because you're leaving them too. Just make a point to stay in one night to watch a movie or even have another home cooked, family meal.

Go to all of your favorite restaurants. Yes they will be here for you when you get back but it will be really fun to make a trip one last time before heading off to school. Go with your friends, sister, or dad and make a day or night out of it each time.

Take a lot of pictures but don't let it be the focus of your night. I wish that I took more photos every night when I was with my friends. I never focused on taking photos just because it seemed to take away from actually experiencing my last moments but now I find myself wishing I had just a few more. I love looking through my photos from my trips, dances, and nights out because it makes me smile remembering it all. I'm not saying put a bunch of makeup on and make sure your outfit is perfect every time you go out. I'm suggesting taking candids and random selfies whenever you want to remember a moment. Don't let it be the focus, just an extra.

Really, my biggest piece of advice is to cherish the time you have left and be grateful for your high school years and everyone that allowed you to be there. Senior year of high school is a special time for everyone and also scary. One of my teachers last year told us on our last day of class how special our time is in the moment we were at. He told us that we will never again, for the rest of our lives, be with these same people under the same circumstances ever again. His speech frightened me and it made my eyes swell because I realized my time living at home, being with my closest friends in a familiar, safe environment I had known for the past six years of my life was coming to an end.

This time is one of celebration, reflection, and excitement. Celebrate with your loved ones in the places you cherish the most. Reflect on the memories you have made and who you have made them with. Get excited for the next chapter of your life and know that it is okay to be nervous. Have fun and know that even though everything will never be the same, it will still be amazing in a different way.

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A Thank You Letter To The Best Teammate I've Ever Had

There's no "I" in team.
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We all have those amazing memories when it comes to sports. Sometimes it is from winning tough games, but most of the amazing memories that we have come from the teammates that we shared those wins with. Teammates are the people who you spend so much time with that you eventually become a family. Teammates do more than help just win a game; they can be there through everything. There's always that one teammate that stands out from the rest, and this letter is for you.

Thank you for being selfless.

Looking back, I remember a lot of teammates. Some were great and some were not that great. I've had teammates who have only cared about their playing time. I've had teammates that have only cared about if they score more goals or more points than anyone else. You did not care about that. If the coach told you to play a position that you did not want to play, you still played it without a complaint. If I was tired at a certain position and wanted to switch you, you did it. You never complained about where you were playing or how many goals you had; you just wanted the team to win.

Thank you for having my back.

The best kinds of teammates are the ones that support you no matter what you do. I got a red card? That referee is stupid. I got into a fist fight during a game? You were the first one next to me swinging. Some girl makes fun of me on social media for messing up in a game? You were roasting her in her mentions. Even if I was right or wrong, you always supported me no matter what I did.

Thank you for seeing me at my worst and building me back up.

There are always times in an athlete's life where we run to the point to where we need to throw up. There are times where we go through games and miss too many shots. There are times where we get a little too mad at our coaches and feel as if we cannot deal with it anymore. You were the one that got me through it. When I was in the middle of a run and my lungs were burning, you stayed right next to me and reminded me that there wasn't much longer to go, even if there was. You always reminded me how capable I was by yelling at me and telling me to go score. You've seen me tired, sweaty, crying, screaming and throwing up. After all that, you still went out of your way to build me back up and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Thank you for making me love the game.

Without people like you, I would have had a very rough ride through my sports career. I have had teammates that have made me go home crying because they were so mean and rude. I have had teammates who have only cared about themselves. Without you, I would've forgotten what a good teammate is. Looking back, all I remember is the celebrations, the screaming random songs in cars and us hating each other's exes automatically... Then talking about all these things at practice. Thanks for being a leader with me. Without you and the rest of the team, I would not have loved the sport that I played.

Cover Image Credit: Cheap Seats Photography

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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