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A Letter To My Best Friend On Graduation Day

What are you suppose to say to your best friend on graduation day?
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Have you ever heard of a fairy tale? Where two people meet and then everything else seems to fall into place. Well here’s how this one started: two little girls in preschool, sitting in a little room, with other little people. The teacher comes over and starts to hand out frosted cookies and bunny coloring pages for us all. Somehow, somewhere in here, the two little girls became best friends.

Now, I don’t want to tell you some fairy tale story, because fairy tales aren’t really true, right? So here’s what I really want to tell you.

What do you say? I mean really, what are you supposed to say to someone whom you’ve known for almost 15 years? And this someone isn’t just anyone. This someone is your best friend. Someone you’ve gotten used to seeing every day during the week. Someone you looked forward to seeing every day. What do you say?

Well, I guess I can start off by saying thank you. Thank you for being there when I needed someone to just listen. It doesn’t matter where we are in this world or in our lives, I know you will always be there to listen. As I will always be the same for you. Thank you for always being my best supporter. Thank you for not judging me for my sometimes poor decision-making skills. Thank you for late-night conversations. Thank you for remembering every inside joke we have ever created. And I mean every joke! Even if I don’t always remember them. Thank you for being brutally honest with me when I am being ridiculous.

Thank you for respecting my values and opinions, even if you disagree. Thank you for loving my family like you love your own. Thank you for fighting all of life’s battles by my side. Thank you for celebrating all of the exciting moments of my life with me and the many more to come. Thank you for forgiving me every time I might not have been the best friend in the entire world. Thank you for all you’ve taught me, even if you didn’t realize it at times. Thank you for always sharing your crazy stories with me. Thank you for being there through all of the significant others that I have mistakenly chosen. Thank you for listening to my long stories as though you haven’t already heard them a million times. Thank you for being strong when I was weak. Thank you for sharing your secrets with me, and for keeping mine. Thank you for sharing the past fourteen and a half years of your life with me. Thank you.

I honestly cannot believe that high school is over and soon we will both be going our separate ways in life. It’s hard to fathom that we won’t live a few houses down from each other anymore. Only on weekends when we are home from college. It’s going to be tough, but it’s OK. Because I know that no matter where we go in life, whether it’s a quarter mile away from each other or halfway across the world, you’ll always be my best friend. I’ll never come across someone who will be able to take your spot as my best friend. We’ve just got to remember that even though we change and we are both finding our own places in this world, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we’re not still best friends. Later on in life I know I’m going to be able to look back and remember that you were the one who lifted my head when I was losing faith in myself. I know I’m going to remember how you were that one person who knew who I really was. Most importantly, I know I’m going to remember that you were that one person who made the biggest difference in my life.

There really aren't enough words to even begin to describe how much you mean to me. We have the highest expectations for each other and I know that you will be successful in anything you choose to do. Writing this to you is hard, because honestly, I’m scared to admit how truly sad I am to know this will be the end of school with you. There are so many things that I will miss about you next year, from how much of an angel you were to your contagious smile. There’s no one else who can make me laugh so hard that my sides actually begin to kill with pain. I’m going to miss the countless hours we would spend playing Mario Kart and Wii Fit. I’m going to miss you sitting in my kitchen eating cookie after cookie. While you may be one of the craziest individuals that I have ever met in the last 14-and-a-half years of my life, I know you will always be making others laugh if you’re not there making me laugh.You always manage to light up a room. You’ll forever be the life of the party and you never fail at making everything interesting.

It’s going to be hard not being able to run up to each other every day and share our crazy stories or rant about something that just happened during the previous class. I know there will be times after a long day of classes or work when I wish I could just head over to your house, plop down on your bed in your room and play Mario Kart while we talk about our day. I want you to know that whatever happens, whoever you become and whoever the future shapes you to be, I will always be here for you. Whether a drive or a phone call away, I will always be here. We may not be able to spend the next few years seeing each other every day, but I know that you will make a huge impact on those who meet you in the time to come.

The past 14-and-a-half years of my life have been fantastic. I want to thank you for simply being the person you are and for letting me have the honor of being your best friend. I will see you up on that stage when we sit there in the gym at Carrabec High School for the last time together. As soon as we march out that door, you can bet that I will be the first one to run up to you and hug you, and probably cry, and tell you that we made it. Here’s to an amazing future and to a lifelong friendship.

Back to the fairy tale thing for a moment. Now that I think of it, I don’t see why I called our friendship in the beginning a fairy tale. Fairy tales have happy endings, right? Well, our friendship may be a happy one, but it will never have an ending.

Cover Image Credit: Jeff Pouland

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Ideas On Proper Social Media Use

Social media, like any technology, should be used in the right way.

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Everyone hears conversations about social media every day. Maybe it is about what a "friend" posted or a funny video that got shared. The one I am starting to hear more is that social media is affecting their health and disturbing their sense of inner peace. At one point, I thought the only people who said something bad about social media were older people, especially ones that dislike new technology. Now, I hear my peers talking about deactivating Facebook or Instagram accounts because of how intrusive it is. I myself have felt the negative effects of social media.

Obviously, there is no black and white answer on how to approach this. But social media is just like anything else we enjoy in life, it has to be used with moderation. Just like social media, you can spend too much time eating, exercising, playing video games, drinking, etc. Moderation is something that every human being has to strive for. Moderation with social media has become an important goal everyone should pursue. I would like to share some of my personal suggestions on ways to enjoy social media in a healthy and wholesome way.

My first suggestion is to limit social media use to the weekends. I began doing this after noticing how much I wasted time during the week checking Facebook. It prevented me from focusing on assignments and studying for my classes. Social media also distracts you from paying attention to the friends closest to you physically. If someone needs to contact you, they have your phone number. As a result, I have been more productive and attentive to my friends and family.

Second, limit the number of posts you read on your newsfeed. Depending on the number of "friends" you have, your newsfeed will have a seemingly infinite number of posts to read. You can't read every single one. Consider that when you also post something to your newsfeed and you don't get a reaction or like. It is not because people don't care, it is because of the heavy internet traffic for social media posts that they skim on their feed.

Third, don't have social media on your phone. In the past, when I made a goal to cut down on social media time, I kept failing because it was on my phone. The temptation was too great. Then I figured it out, uninstall it from your phone, problem solved. I only check social media on my laptop. I understand that there are certain situations where it needs to be on your phone, but I believe those situations are rare. As I mentioned before, if it is urgent, people can call or text you. Give your phone number to someone you think may have to contact you.

Fourth, do not use social media for political or religious discussions! The only exception to this is commenting on a political page, like President Trump's facebook profile or a Democrat Party page. However, I stay away from those anyway because people are insulting each other, never discussing the issue. Either way, social media posts are usually short, which makes it impossible to have a productive conversation or even have your mind changed. Let's be honest, when has a tweet or Facebook post changed your mind on an issue? I used to post about politics in the 2016 election, trying to change minds. And guess what happened? Not one person changed their position. I only had the same people agree or disagree with me. The only wholesome political conversations I have had are with people face to face, not over Facebook. Plus political posts are almost always negative. Why go on social media if it only makes you more pessimistic or angry?

These are just some of my ideas. There are other speakers out there that love to share their suggestions. Perhaps you should brainstorm ideas on how to lessen the negative influence of social media in your life.

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