I'm so close yet so far away.
"I may actually reconsider dropping out."
"Why is school so hard?"
"I'm not even going to use half of this stuff in life."
"Why is school so expensive?"
"This stress is not worth it."
"Why is school so important?"
"I'd be better off just going straight into the work force."
"Why is school so stressful?"
"School is not for me."
"Why is school so long?"
"I hate school."
"Watch me not even work in my field."
"Why is school getting harder?"
" I do not want to be in debt."
"Why is school.........."
"I'm over it; I give up."
How many times have you thought these statements to yourself? Did you share these thoughts with your friends? Or did you keep them inside?
Do you feel like you were forced into being in school? Has society planted the thought, that you can only be successful if you graduate from college? Did you know what you signed up for when you registered for school? Is high school really the end of your growth?
YOU. ARE. ALMOST. THERE!!!!!
All the long restless nights, all the unsatisfying cafe meals, all the drama and confusion, all the relationships, all the friendships you've kept; and the friendships you've ended, all the hard work, all the doubting yourself, all the thoughts of giving up, all the pressure, all the class work, all the schooling for the year of 2018 is almost over!!!
Can you believe it!? Weren't you just a freshmen in high school or college yesterday?
I know you all are way past the point of exhaustion, because I am not a senior yet I am over school already ( then again i'm not a big fan of school but you get what I mean).
I have two different letters for the seniors in high school and the seniors in college. High school will be in blue writing and college will be in purple.
Two people very dear to my heart are graduating this May!!! My older sister and younger brother! Now I know that you all have heard many times that the race is not over until you cross the finish line. I use to believe that in exact context for soooo long. But thinking about it, when you cross the finish line for that specific race you are running, remember something. It is the only race you are currently running that you are finished with.
Just because you finish one race doesn't mean you won't run or finish another. This means that since you have practiced endurance, strength perseverance, and confidence from this first race, that the races to come won't be too horrible because you have an idea of how to finish.
In this context seniors in high school; you have reached the finish line! You went through most all the weird and awkward stages of life to get to this point. You entered high school dreaming of your senior year and the "glow up" expected to come with it. You've tried new things, traveled on mission trips, played in the orchestra, sang in the choir, played sports, read books, tutored, worked, and of course went to class. Now I know it is very easy to only look at the surface of situations, and to focus on what is handed to you. But dig deep into your growth, into your high school experience, and into the change around you. You have done it!!!! You persevered and get to walk across the stage and get what is rightfully yours. YOU worked so hard for this diploma and YOU deserve it!!!
In this context, seniors in college; you have processed your last set of student loans and though the payments will soon begin- it was worth it. You have made it through many restless nights. You have endured times without a car, times where relying on others is all you could do, times where you had no support, times where you began to lose your way, times when you felt like giving up, times of love, times of experience, times of mistakes, and times of confusing assignments. You have made it. Maybe you were outgoing. Maybe you were reserved. Maybe you gave your all in everything you did. Maybe you shy'd away from opportunities. Maybe you slacked off. Maybe you had emotional breakdowns. Maybe you lost many people. Maybe you were stabbed in the back. Maybe you changed your major once- twice- or three times. BUT YOU MADE ITTTTT!!
What life holds for us is scary. Because we don't know what exactly life has prepared for us. There is no schedule on how to live your life. There is no quiz-let to give you answers to hard situations. There is no blueprint that displays all of the paths you can chose from and their end rewards. But there is something called trial, errors, strength through fearful situations, and learning.
I want you all to take a second to think.
What is something about you that you couldn't stand your freshmen year because others thought it wasn't cool, but have now grown to love it?
How many of you went into high school or college with low- self esteem but are leaving with confidence?
How many of you are leaving with the same friends you started with?
Is the person you are now, prepping you for the person you are to be?
How is your relationship with God?
From this step forward is life and your choices in the hands of your friends, of your parents, and of your teachers? Or is it in your hands?
Who are you?
Does my external appearance match my internal one?
Have I only learned about book work and nothing about myself?
Am I book and street smart?
Are I afraid of " the real world?"
After graduating high school, I realized that it was a safe place. In high school I felt direct empowerment and support from those around me. A huge part of it was because it was a small school, but it helped me to grow in ways I never imagined to grow. Look back at your high school career and commend yourself for your growth. You are at the end of your high school career. No it was not like you imagined it to be. No it was not an experience like those in the movies. No it can't last forever. But it is one race that you have finished. One battle that you have defeated. One victory won. And one step closer to true authentic adulthood.
Coming into college i was miserable. I did not want to go to the school I was regristering for and I did not like where we moved. I was open to doing things because I wanted to make my mom happy. I wanted to distract myself. And most of all I truthfully felt like I had no choice. But I am so thankful that I got involved because so many opportunities and doors were opened for me from my service. After transferring to Oakwood and because of experience prior to the transition, I was a totally different person. I did not like social events. I did not want to be involved. I slacked off in minor leadership roles. I gave up on groups that I promised to stick through the year with. I did not want to be seen. I did not want my name going around campus as "pretty bible girl" or anything of that nature. I came off as stuck up because I was to myself. And it wasn't until yesterday that I realized I changed A LOT since high school. I wasn't sure if I liked who I have become or if i'm ashamed of her. But I know this is only the beginning of my journey. I know you all have been through a lot between the years of high school to now. You may be the same person you started as or someone totally different. There's been a lot of growth, mistakes, and confusion. This will continue for the rest of your life and it is okay. Live everyday making yourself better than the person you were the day before.
Here is some advice based on a few experiences I have faced and watched from the side lines:
1. Do not change for anyone. No matter how sweet their tone may seem or high their relationship status is in your life.
2. Don't let others make choices for you. Your life is your responsibility.
3. Ride the waves of life; stop panicking and fighting against them.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO THE HABITS THAT YOU DROP AND THE HABITS YOU ADOPT> BECAUSE IN THE PROCESS YOU EITHER MAY FIND OR LOSE YOURSELF.
5. Pay attention to what your mind, heart, body, and most importantly what God is saying to you.
6. Life doesn't get easier.
7. Outer appearance can only take you so far.
8. Carrying around dead weight is draining and pointless.
9. Life is what YOU make it.
10. Life won't wait for you. Time won't stop for you. People won't always have your best interest. Expectations lead to disappointment. But I need you to still live every second, every minute, every hour, and every day like it is your last.
11. High school and college, was only a "vacation" in your long journey called life. Never forget who you are. Cherish your school memories. Be thankful for the opportunity to graduate. And most of all; Give yourself a pat on the back because: YOU MADE IT OUT OF THE STORM AND ONTO THE SHORE.
I know that you all are more than capable of being successful. Your past, your insecurities, your mental disorders, your disabilities, your families, your friends, your "friends", and even your own self doubt- will NOT get in the way of your success.
Be observant so that life can be clearer. And when you begin to get tired, when the finish line gets blurry, when your knees get shaky, when your sweat is dripping, when you begin to slack off because the pressure isn't as heavy, and when you are ready to give up remember these things: How far you have come. How strong you are. How close you are to the end. The joy you will feel from crossing that line. How you endured the race for so long- and finish. that. race.
Your biggest question is "What now?"
That is for YOU and GOD to decide. Take some time in nature; in your room; with your headphones plugged in; in a quiet place- and listen to God and your heart. Follow whatever feels right. Whatever YOU feel will make you happy.
You only get one life. You deal with all the consequences to your actions. You deal with the decisions you or people around you make, for you. You hold the key to your success. You do not need to be afraid. You determine who you want to be. You are bold enough to take a risk. You are smart. You are loved. You have support. You will make mistakes. You will struggle. You will have set backs. But nothing will keep you down for too long. How am I so sure of that? Because YOU ARE GRADUATING--- WHICH MEANS YOU DIDN'T LET LIFE HOLD YOU DOWN WHEN YOU FELL; AND YOU DIDN'T LET LIFE STRIP YOUR STRENGTH FROM YOU. YOU GOT RIGHT BACK UP, YOU STAYED STRONG, AND KEPT PUSHING UNTIL YOU SUCCEEDED.
I am so proud of you all and I wish you the best in life!! Please cherish every moment the good and the bad and do not live life in fear. Be yourself. Find yourself. Love yourself. And let life take its course. Don't let time slip away. Make the best of all that you have. AND NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU COME FROM.
Love, Sophie xoxoxooxoxo
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