Go Visit Your Old High School Teachers During Break

While Home, Take Time To Visit Some Of Your Biggest Fans, Your Old High School Teachers

Never forget those who have been there for you every step of the way.

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While you're home for the Holidays, don't forget to visit the people who have been there for you since day one. The people who supported you and your wildest dreams. The people who stayed up many sleepless nights grading your papers and meeting with you when you needed help. The people who never get the amount of credit that they deserve.

Your old High School teachers.

When I was leaving after graduation, I had to walk up a long staircase to get outside. On the way up on each side of me and every other stair was one of my old high school teachers. To me, my old teachers being on the steps as I went out was symbolic. The stairs symbolized my life and with each step, there was a teacher there who had taught me more than I could have ever asked for. Yet, when I reached the top of the stairs, there were no more teachers because it was time for me to start a new chapter of my life without them. This explains why they seemed so happy but still sad to see us all go. The kids that they had grown to love and teach were leaving them behind and starting a new chapter of their lives. For many teachers, this moment would be the last they would see of us for good.

But it would not be the last moment they would see me.

While home for Christmas, I made it a mission of mine to go back and see all of my old teachers and guidance counselors. Other than my parents, they have always been people I looked up to for advice and wisdom. Before graduation, they told me to come to visit them, but they doubted that I would. I wanted to show them that they were wrong. When I visited them, they immediately got excited to see me and gave me many great hugs. They were so happy to hear that I was doing well in college and that my personality and work ethic had never changed. I loved getting to see them as well; it brought back so many good memories. I was also happy to see that they never changed as well and never lost their passion for teaching the younger minds of today.

So, students, I ask this simple favor from you.

When you're home, go visit your old high school teachers. Let them know how you're doing. Show them you haven't changed, or maybe you have changed. If so, show them how you have changed for the better and grown as a person. Visiting them will make their day because whether you believe it or not, they still love you even if you aren't their student anymore. My mom is a former teacher and she talks fondly about her past students all the time and how when she sees them it warms her heart to know that they're doing well. Make your former teachers day and go visit them while you're home for break. I guarantee that it will be the best gift you can give them this Holiday season.

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To The Girl Who Wears My Jersey

Now that you wear my jersey, here's what I'd like to tell you.
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To the girl who wears my jersey,

As an athlete, a jersey and number is more than just something you wear during a game. It means something more to an athlete.

One of the saddest parts of an athlete's career is when they have to give that jersey up for someone else to wear when they move on in life. After sitting in a box for a couple months after graduation, another athlete comes along and takes the jersey as their own. So, here's some things I would like to say to the girl that is wearing my jersey.

I hope you are working hard at the game. I hope that you are putting in extra hours when practice is over, and going 110% doing whatever you are doing. Enjoy the time you have now because soon it will be gone. It goes by in the blink of an eye and before you know it you will leaving your jersey behind just like I did, so cherish every moment. When I wore that jersey, I thought that the games and practices would never end until it got close to the end.

That jersey you're wearing has been through everything. It's gone through winning streaks, heartbreaking losses, comebacks, and blowouts. It's full of memories that I made with my teammates for years. There were the long bus rides or the pre-game traditions. There were the times we went out to eat and I got food on it, and times where it held my tears after a tough loss. That jersey you have has literally been with me through blood, sweat, and tears. It's seen all of the hard work I have put in on the field or court. I met so many different and amazing people in that jersey. I've played for coaches that have showed me perspectives of the game that I never saw before. I traveled to small towns, big cities, beaches, and other places I never thought I would see. It's an exciting time when you have that jersey on. You will meet new people, learn new things, and travel to places you never thought you would go before.

The jersey you are wearing means something to me, because I picked it for a reason and wore it for so many years. I picked the number on the jersey because it has a story, like every athlete's number does. The story can be as simple as it was picked for me and grew on me, or it could be your role model wore that number, so you chose it too. Another story could be that a family member wore it so you carried on the tradition. Whatever the story was, it's your turn to add your story to the jersey.

Be legendary. The truth is sometimes when someone thinks about that jersey you're wearing they'll think of the people that wore it before you. They think of the way the ones before you played, but that's all going to change. You are going to be added to the legacy and tradition. It's time for you to make your own legacy and name for yourself. It's about making people think that whoever wears the number next will be as great as the one before. Play to the best of your ability and work hard every day to be better than the next girl. Play with heart, be humble, and don't disrespect the tradition, team, or organization you are a part of.

Finally, play for someone other than yourself. Play for the name on the front of your jersey more than the one on the back. Play for everyone who got you to the point you are at now. Play for the ones who don't have the opportunity to play the game you love. Play for the little girl who watches you. Play for all the ones who wore the jersey before you.

Above all else, be your own player, create a name for yourself, and be humble.


Cover Image Credit: Caroline Showalter

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For The Perfectionists Out There, It's OK To Drop A Class

There are a million reasons why it is OK to drop a class.

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Since I can remember I have prided myself on my academics. In grade school, I would get perfect attendance and tons of kind remarks from my teachers. In middle school, I would get unbearably flustered if I forgot even one homework assignment at home. In high school, I loosened up a bit when it came to the marks I received, but would still study for long hours into the night.

My habits haven't changed much now that I am in college. I study hard and strive for a 4.0 every semester. I have always been under the impression that I needed to be perfect.

Though I have come to terms with the fact I will never be physically or emotionally perfect, one thing has remained the same: the need for perfect grades.

I am not sure what it is about getting good grades that make me so proud. My family has always told me to just do my best. They have never reprimanded me if I disliked my teachers or did poorly on a project. My biggest critic is myself in my academics, no one else.

With that being said, this is the semester I have been the closest to a 4.0 GPA than ever, but it didn't begin that way.

At the beginning of the semester, I decided to take the max amount of 18 credits. I took the remainder of my prerequisites, my major classes, and even decided to take a course to continue my minor in Marketing. I have LOVED all my classes this semester.

I was thriving, doing really well. Still getting A's on exams, turning in all my homework and going to every class until suddenly, I asked myself if the classes I was taking were actually something I liked to participate in.

I noticed I loved all of them more than ever this semester, besides one. It was the class that was going to help me achieve my minor in Marketing. Don't get me wrong, I really like marketing and the concepts involved in it.

However, the past two semesters each Marketing class I have taken happened to be my least favorite. You wouldn't think it looking at my grades, however, it was the truth.

Compared to all my classes, these classes just seemed like a chore. Instead of being excited to head to class I felt exhausted and unenthused. The creative juices weren't flowing and the classes were not what I anticipated.

I thought to myself that I couldn't just withdraw or drop the class, I needed to push through.

Until I realized, I didn't.

I took a good hard look at the minors offered at my university and the requirements I needed to fulfill my marketing minor. After reading the descriptions I knew it just wasn't for me anymore and I needed to come to terms with that.

Although I was thriving in all my courses, including my Marketing ones, I just didn't have a passion for it anymore. I just didn't want to conform and do the normal minor for my major in Communications.

So, instead of pushing my limit and taking on 18 credits, I decided it is OK to drop my minor. It is OK to drop a class.

There are a million reasons why it is OK.

Maybe it would help your GPA if you dropped a class. Maybe you just don't have the passion for that minor anymore, like me. Maybe your workload is already too heavy to continue you the suggested courses.

Whatever the case is, you are not a failure for dropping a class. It doesn't make you dumb or "less than." It is not embarrassing knowing what you can handle and what you cannot, I think it makes you stronger.

Ultimately, every student is different. We all learn differently, interact differently and can handle different workloads. I for one could not handle walking into a class every day that was no longer going to serve me or my future degree.

So, if you have found yourself feeling disengaged or unchallenged or discouraged by a class, maybe it is time to consider taking a step away, no matter how much a perfectionist you are.

Focus on your required courses and find out the number of credits that work best for you, not what you have convinced yourself is best to do. Society tells you that you have to take a full semester worth of classes, you have to graduate in four years and you have to have a minor.

In reality, you don't. Take an extra semester if you need, drop that minor, take classes you're interested in so you can find what you actually love, and for God sakes, it IS OK to drop a class.

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