More than just a Diploma…

IMG_1684So a few weeks ago, my whole family came into town as I have two cousins that graduated from high school. Class of 2017, both made honor grad and both had a higher GPA then I could dream of in high school. (Not that I don’t think I couldn’t have achieved it, but I seemed to have other priorities ranked above school back then). I’m so proud of both of them and they each have so much potential and drive that I can’t wait to see what they achieve these next few years.

high3-e1497248068900.jpgHigh school graduation is a rite of passage that so many achieve and look forward to as kids. It symbolizes the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. You leave with so many memories, possibilities, and a sense of change that makes you want to try new things that you would only dream of. The world is yours for the taking!

Many people will tell these graduates that, “It’s just the beginning” and “You have so much more to learn”. These comments start to sound like those posters and quotes you see in the halls at school. They’re there everyday, and everyday you walk by and don’t even look twice because you see them all the time and have heard it before. It’s as if you hear these things so much that they don’t even mean anything by the time you walk across that stage. Some people think that being 18 makes you too naive and egotistical in thinking that you know everything already and what it takes to be an adult with responsibilities and obligations.

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Adults have a popular saying for teens that they’re “Too cool to care, too young to know”. For me, this wasn’t entirely the case. Yes, I learned so much after getting that diploma and getting older and Yes, I’ve changed a lot since high school. Gone are the days when all I had to worry about was homework, soccer games, and what I was going to be wearing to Prom. Flash forward nine years and now my worries are work life, buying a house, taking care of my pup, and how to pay for a Masters program. (Eeekk!) Things have certainly changed, but with this change, I can’t help but remember that there were things I learned in high school that I still carry with me to this day. Things that I think everyone can take with them throughout life because sometimes you’re not too young to know.

  1. You’ll never know EVERYTHING and your not ALWAYS right. People come from all walks of life and have different experiences, different backgrounds, and achieve different levels of education. A person who grows up in a big city and gets a college education is not going to know what it’s like  for a farmer who got his high school diploma and runs his own ranch. Like I said, you’re never going to know all there is to know and it’s okay to be wrong in life and make mistakes. Life is about the journey and owning up to the mistakes that cause you to learn about yourself and the world around you.
  2. DON’T Compare yourself to others. In high school, I was never the overachiever and my version of studying was 10 minutes of reading a day and the rest of the time spent hanging with friends. I knew I’d never be valedictorian or make the honor roll, these kids studied more than me and they knew things I did’t. But I also knew things these kids didn’t and I learned to love myself for it. I never wanted to make straight A’s, I just wanted to understand the material and try my best. I learned that it’s normal to feel different; To not ever think that because I wasn’t the smartest, or most popular, or the prettiest, that didn’t make me less or inferior to those that were.
  3. Be driven, be active, and say YES to adventure. Life is all about opportunities. It’s about trying new things, loving who you are, and doing your absolute best. I never would’ve met the people in my life if I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that I was given. I’ve been to amazing countries and experienced so much culture. I’ve tried several different meals that were very questionable as to what exactly I was eating. And to be quite honest, I also failed at things that I wish I had done better with. If there’s anything that I’ve learned from my experiences in high school, it’s to say yes to an opportunity that might otherwise scare you. Those are the best types of challenges you can overcome!
  4. Never take your parents for GRANTED. I’m pretty close with my mom. We might not have gotten along all the time, throughout my high school years, but I’ve always been grateful for her and all she’s done for me. I can’t begin to describe how much she means to me. I watched some of my friends and classmates treat their parents in a not so nice way. I always thought that it was such a shame, because someday they’re not going to be around and you should enjoy every moment that you have with them. Even the ones where they drive you absolutely insane! 😊
  5. ENJOY the moment. Live in the moment. Laugh in the moment. And always enjoy and take the time to take everything in. You’re only young for so long, and learn to appreciate it while you can.

*** I know this is late from last month so I owe myself 2 posts for the month of July 😉***

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