To The High School Seniors Who Can't Decide, Just Follow Your Heart To College

To The High School Seniors Who Can't Decide, Just Follow Your Heart To College

It is not that far away when you have to make a decision for yourself on where you are going to in the fall or spring semester, but I am here with some simple advice: just follow your heart.

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November 9th — the day I got my email saying that I got accepted into Louisiana State. I woke up from a nap completely in a daze and was confused when I saw the end of the email saying that I got accepted, I thought it was fake. I ran into my sister's room and asked her to make sure this was real, and sure enough, that day changed my life completely.

I had no idea where I wanted to go my heart was set on LSU, but I wasn't sure if I was ready for the change. All of my family and friends were still back at home, I had the opportunity to stay close, but anytime I would think about going to another school, the thought of "what if" always entered my brain. Once more and more options started to appear, I had no idea how I was going to choose. Everywhere seemed to have the best program and academics. I couldn't pick a clear winner in my mind.

I remember the night that I had heard back from all the colleges and universities that I applied to. I sat in my bed feeling overwhelmed, that at that moment, I was going to have to make a final decision in the next couple of months. I figured it out. I decided I was going to go to Penn State. It seemed to be a perfect choice, not too far from home, friends, and family would be there with me, and the program was amazing. Not to mention that it was my Dad's alma mater. I wanted to see the campus one last time before I made my final decision. When I went, I could picture myself walking around and living in a state college for the next four years.

But, I didn't get that moment that everyone talks about…

Two weeks after that, I went to visit LSU's campus. When I drove up to the campus sign, I immediately got the chills. I had the chance to get a tour of my major and college; everything about it was what I was looking for. The skies were bright blue, and the weather was perfect. I was so happy being there, and I knew that was "my moment."

Since then I have been having more of these "moments." The moment when I knew I found my best friends, my TD gals. Through thick and thin these ladies have inspired me to be a better friend and have been with me through every college win and fail. That "moment" when you find your core group of friends from your classes and extracurriculars, and you can't stop laughing endlessly and being so grateful for every second that you get to spend with them. These "moments" compile and that is what your college experience is made out of. I am so grateful for all the lessons I have learned, the friends I have made, and the first experiences I have gotten to have since moving in August.

I promise you that if you listen to your heart, you'll know when it's the best decision that you could make. Cinderella always said, "a dream is a wish your heart makes", and until now, I realized that my heart was wishing to come here, but until I woke up from my dream, I didn't realize that this was truly the best place for me to be. I am so excited to come back next semester and to experience so much more.

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To All Student-Athletes Beginning Their Respective Seasons, Remember Why You Play

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

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Dear athlete,

The season is by far the most exciting time of the year. Big plays, good memories, traveling new places, and winning championships... But yet another promise is that season is also exhausting.

You are going to get tired. You are going to get worn out...

But remember that this season of your life doesn't last forever. Remind yourself why you play.

You play this sport because you love the game. You love the competition, you love your teammates and the friendships that you've formed, you love the lessons you learn aside from the physical aspect.

So each day, continue to choose the game.

It's not easy. But if it was, everyone would do it. But discomfort is where progress happens.

Quit dreading practices, quit wishing for rain, quit complaining about conditioning, and quit taking for granted a busy schedule that is literally made just for you. Tens of thousands of young girls and boys would do anything to be in the position (literally) that you are in. Take advantage of being a role model to those young kids who think the world of you.

Freshmen, this is what you have wanted for so long. Take advantage of the newness, take advantage of the advice, encouragement, and constructive criticism that your older teammates give you. Soak it all in, four years goes by really quickly.

Sophomores, you now know how it works. Be confident in your abilities, yet continue to learn and grow mentally and in your position.

Juniors, prepare to take the lead. Use this season to, of course, continue to sharpen your skill, but also recognize that you're over halfway done, so mentally and physically ready yourself to take the seniors' lead next year.

Seniors, this is it. Your last year of playing the sport that you love. Be a good leader, motivate, and leave your mark on the program in which you have loved for so long. Encourage the athletes behind you to continue the traditions and standards set by the program. Lay it all on the field, leave it all on the court, and leave your program better than you found it.

Take the season one day at a time and, each day, make it your goal to get better. Get better for your team, for you pushing yourself makes everyone else work even harder. So even if you don't get a lot of playing time, make your teammates better by pushing yourself so hard that they have no other choice than to push themselves too. And when a team has every single player pushing themselves to the max, success happens.

Take advantage of this time with your teammates and coaches, for they won't be your teammates and coaches forever.

No matter what year you are and no matter what your role is this season... GROW. You are an integral part of your team and your program.

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I Went To An All-Girls High School, And It Was The Best Decision I Have Ever Made

Yes, I'm serious.

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When I talk to my college friends about high school, they always say the same thing: they HATED it. But I always say the complete opposite, which surprises many people.

I attended an all-girls private Catholic high school! There were uniforms, a Dean of students, name tags, the whole nine.

Even with all of these extra elements most high school students don't experience, I still really enjoyed high school.

Almost every time I mention that I went to an all-girls high school, people give me a look like I told them I went to prison. Their jaws drop and their faces squelch up like they are in dire pain. They say things along the lines of "Oh my god that sounds terrible," "Yikes I bet there was so much drama," or my personal favorite, "THERE WEREN'T ANY GUYS?!"

Despite the stereotype, going to an all-girls private school really wasn't that drama filled.

In my personal experience, there were some arguments among friend groups and rumors like every other high school. Fortunately, there were no cat fights or cliquey mean girls. The uniforms were not cute either and girls did not come in with hair done up and a full face of makeup.

Just to paint a picture, every girl would roll into school with their hair in a messy bun, Dunkin' coffee in one hand, and a textbook in the other. Girls played sports, stressed over college essays, and all the other normal things all high school kids experience. Surprise, surprise, it was just...high school.

As for the "no boys" thing, it's completely possible and quite refreshing honestly.

The absence of the male species actually made the environment much more open. All the students could relate to one another because the entire student body consisted of teenage girls! There was less distraction and because we were all teenage girls just trying to get through high school and we could all be more empathetic towards one another. We understood what each other was going through and that brought the girls in the school together.

Since my high school was all girls, there were some experiences you would only find at an all-girls school.

For example, I don't know many other high schools that blast "Hannah Montana" or the "High School Musical" soundtracks. There is also the added bonus of being able to walk into a classroom and openly ask anyone in the room for a tampon. It is one of those luxuries that you take for granted.

One of the biggest takeaways I received from attending my school is the lesson of female empowerment. Of course, I learned about World War 1 and what a thesis statement is, but I also learned about some other nontraditional high school subjects.

High school is where I learned about women in the workforce, in literature, and in history. I discovered the things I valued and wanted to strive for in the future. I learned about supporting other women and equality.

Most importantly, I learned about leadership and what that means to me.

Not only did I learn more about myself, but I was blessed to have met some of the most incredible people as well. From my amazing friends who I still hang out with, to the teachers who have impacted my life in more ways than I can explain. My high school helped shape me into me!

So to the people who pity me when I describe my high school: no, I do not regret going to an all-girls private Catholic high school. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and there are days when I genuinely miss it.

I credit my high school for making me the strong, confident, and educated woman I am today.

Padua Academy, thank you.

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