It is officially your year, class of 2017! This is your time to grow up and go off on your own. Here is a list of 17 things that you have to look forward to this year!
1. Last Week of School
That last week of school where you get to goof off, turn in your books and make fun of the underclassmen one last time.
This is the last time in your high school career to go the full nine yards by getting dressed up, taking pictures and dancing the night away. Prom also means the creative promposals. But like most things involved with high school, do not set your expectations too high or try to micromanage the night, just enjoy yourself.
The day you have waited for is finally here. You have been looking forward to commencement since freshmen year and now you are sitting in a room with everyone in your class for the last time. Enjoy the moment, take it all in, look around and move that tassel from right to left!
4. Grad Parties
Now that you have graduated, it is time to celebrate with your family and friends!
If you are going to college, you will have to go to a summer orientation to sign up for classes, see more of the campus and meet others who will be going to school with you. This is a time to meet new people so you don't go into college completely blind knowing no one except students from your high school.
6. Summer Nights
This is most likely your last summer that you and all of your friends will all be home at the same time. Enjoy and spend as much time as you want with the people you care about because chances are, you and your friends will be going in different directions when it comes to school.
7. Back to School Shopping
If you are a fan of regular back to school shopping, this year's back to school shopping is on the next level. You can finally buy things for your dorm room that you can plan and design by yourself or with your roommate. Along with this, you still get to buy all of your favorites: binders, folders, notebooks, pens, highlighters, etc.
8. Move in Day
While rather stressful, this day you'll meet who you will be living with on your floor, your RA and possibly your roommate. And if your parents come to help you move in, this will be your last time with them until you come home again. Move in day symbolizes the first day that you will be on your own without parental supervision.
9. Meeting New People
You are finally at college! It is now time to meet new people!
10. Freshman 15/Getting in Shape
During this new stage in your life, this is one of the only times that it is truely "okay" to gain weight and is even labelled "The Freshman 15". During this time though, with most schools offering free recreational centers to students, you may take matters into your own hands and actually get in shape.
While your high school may have had a lot of clubs or sports, college will offer so many clubs you will be amazed. There will be clubs that you would not even think about along with recreational sports that do not need tryouts. It is all for fun so go out and try different sports and join clubs and meet new people with similar interests as you.
12. Trying Something New
This is the time to experiment with new things. Try new activities, dye your hair or anything that you have always wanted to do (within limits, do not do anything illegal or something that will get you in trouble). There are no parents at college so who is stopping you?
13. School Spirit
While you could not pick/were forced to go to your high school, you picked your college. Before you even move in, you will have an entire wardrobe full of school apparel and school colors.
14. Finding Yourself
Your time in college will allow you to let your true colors show. Try fashions you want, change your hair and find true, life long friends.
15. Coming Home Again
After months of not being home, it is time to come back for break. Your family will stuff you with food, you will hangout with old friends who are also on break and you will look back at your high school and see how far you have come in just a short couple of months since graduation.
16. You Are One Year Older
This year you'll be getting older, possibly turning 18 (YAY? You are an adult finally) or maybe even older, and it is time to celebrate!
17. Simply Enjoying it
This year is your year! Relax, enjoy it and make the best of it. You can say that this will be your year, but it will only be your year if you make it your year.
Happy New Year!
(All photos courtesy of Giphy)
That's right folks. To be considered for many scholarships and financial aid, many college applications are due November 1st to be enrolled in the fall 2017 semester. Since I am your local overachiever, I have already applied to my colleges and have done my research to help you get through this stressful time.
Eeek! Due Dates
What is scarier than Halloween this year for high school seniors? College application due dates. What you must first do, is figure out what colleges you will be applying to. Once you have this list, decide if you are doing early decision, early action, regular decision or rolling admission. Do your research! Depending on what you choose, the deadlines for applications will change. Early decision and early action are typically due by November with acceptances and the unfortunate rejections coming in December or early January. Just remember that applying with early decision means you will be obligated to enroll while early action gives you until May for your final decision. Regular decision applications are due around January and February with a response from the college in March. Rolling admissions give many months to apply, but you will not hear back from a school for a longer period of time. Schools however will continue to accept students as long as they have open space.
Applying: Common App vs. Directly
With your list of schools and your application deadlines now in your heads, it is time to start applying. Look into your schools and see if they accept the Common App or only accept applications directly through their website. If your schools accept Common App, I HIGHLY suggest that you take advantage of it because it will make applying 100% easier I guarantee. By using Common App, you will only need to fill out the main application once and then just little bits of information specific to each college you apply to. If you do have to apply directly through a college's website, investigate what information you will need so that when you do sit down to apply you have everything readily available.
While the actual application is generally not stressful, if you need an essay, that is a whole different story. When researching schools you are interested in, look into whether you need an essay, multiple essays or what the essay is on. Common app provides three "common" essay prompts that schools accepting the college app will accept. Personally, one of the colleges I applied to did not need an essay, but the specific school that I was applying to within the college had a specific essay that I had to turn in with my application.
Letters of Recommendations
You are almost at the finish line when you realize you need letters of recommendations. Even if your school does not need letters of recommendations, depending on the competitiveness of the school, it is highly recommended that you get at least one letter. Depending on your high school this can be done through sites like naviance or can be turned in directly to your school of choice. When picking teachers, DO NOT wait until the last minute to ask because they have MANY other students asking for letters. Also keep in mind what your major will be when getting letters. If you plan on majoring in Journalism, have an english teacher, journalism teacher or school newspaper advisor write you a letter. If you plan to major in political sciences, have your government teacher write you a letter. When you ask, be polite, do it in person and have a résumé with where you want to go and major ready to give them. When a teacher completes and turns in the letter that they wrote you, send them a thank you. You can email them, bring them a gift or what I did was printed the attached file, cut the sides down and taped it around a Hershey's chocolate bar and left it on my teacher's desk with a hand written, personalized thank you on the back.
But Wait There's More: Honors College
PLEASE figure out if you are applying to your school's honors college. Often times, schools require separate applications, essays and letters of recommendations for their honors college. Do not miss the deadline because you did not do your research. Other times, schools will request/suggest you apply to their honors college after you have applied and been accepted based on your grade point average, test scores or other factors.
Please remember in this stressful time of your life to stay calm, cool and collected because this is not the end of the world. Relax, millions of other seniors are going through the same process and before you know it, you will be packing up your car to move into your dorm.
When you finally get that acceptance letter, celebrate fam you have earned it!
(All photos courtesy of Giphy)
Senior year. The year of everyone's last firsts. Last first day of school, sporting events, spirit week and school dances. On October 8, 2016, I experienced my last high school Homecoming.
The past three years, I have always gone to homecoming without a date and went in a big group. Of course, some of the girls would have dates. Depending on the year we would hangout afterwards and eat food. I always had fun before, during and after Homecoming, but I was unable to compare it to going to a dance with a date. I have always been told, "You don't need a date to have fun at Homecoming," but I want to share the best Homecoming that I have every had thanks to my date.
Let me give a little background information about my date. I have known him since first grade and went to school with him until high school. He then went to a private high school while I stayed in the district at our public school. During the summer of 2016, I reconnected with him at my friend's birthday party. We talked a little and then went our separate ways at the end of the night. A while later we had added each other on Instagram and Snapchat and that was the last time I talked to him.
This all changed when three weeks before my senior Homecoming, I sent him a message on snapchat simply saying, "Hey wanna go to my Homecoming on October 8th?" Although nerve racking, I figured I had nothing to lose and the worst thing he could say was no. Shockingly enough he said sure. We got the guest form signed (since he went to a different school), I bought our tickets and we ordered the flowers.
The day of homecoming he came over to my house first and we exchanged flowers and took some pictures of just us. We then went to my friend's house and met up with the same large group of around 20 kids that I have been going to Homecoming with ever since freshmen year. We all brought food and ate dinner and then took some group shots and silly pictures.
Conveniently enough, my friend is dating my date's best friend. Before the dance, us four went to a local frozen yogurt shop so we could arrive "fashionable late" to the dance that did not start until 7. Once at the dance, we met up with the rest of our group, took off my heels and got dancing.
My biggest fear of the night however were the slow dances. This may surprise everyone, but the last slow dance I had was in seventh grade with a boy the same height as me and with plenty of room in-between us. The idea of dancing with my date who I had not really talked to in many years made me so anxious. What could have been awkward though was made adorable and hilarious. While I am a short 5'1, my date is a very tall 6'3. Even standing on my tippy toes I was still so short. During the first dance I looked up and said, "Wow you're really tall," and he responds, "Yeah I get that a lot". We kept it close and it felt right, not weird at all. The cherry on top was the hug he gave me after each slow dance we had.
As the night was coming to a close, my date, my friend, her boyfriend and myself left a little early, changed and went to TGIFridays to get food. We all talked and laughed the night away before we left and my date drove me home. I thanked him again for coming as my date and he thanked me for inviting him. He then waited to make sure I got into my house.
Reflecting on my night, I would not change a thing. Everything went better than planned. While some have said, "who cares about senior homecoming, you've already been to three before." I can confidently say that this was by far the best Homecoming I have attended due to my date. I just want to thank my date again for being the amazing gentleman that he was and for treating me like a lady. 💕
Homecoming for those of you who do not know, is a tradition mainly found in American schools to welcome back students in the fall. While every school has different customs, many have a sporting event (football), spirit week, pep rally and dance. Homecoming should not be confused with Prom which is a dance that occurs in the spring often held only for upperclassmen or seniors, while Homecoming is in the fall and held for all students.
It is the week before the big game and dance. Most schools will participate in a "spirit week" in which everyday has a different theme for students to dress up. This helps "pump up" students for the big weekend often ending the week with a pep rally before the game that features games, cheers and different events to get students excited for the game. Some common themes that schools pick are USA day, Disney day, extreme weather day, twin day, hat day and pajama day. As a current senior, I know for a fact that it is fun and okay to let loose for the week and dress up. I extremely regret my freshman year spirit week in which I believed for whatever reason it was not "cool" to dress up. Trust me, whether you are a freshmen or a senior, it is cool to dress up during spirit week. Plus who would skip pajama day? You can literally wake up, get out of bed and go straight to school.
Football game before
Photo courtesy to Strongsville High School
Friday night football games. The themes. The chants. The rivalry between schools. All of this is elevated to the next level the night of the homecoming football game. Even if you are one who does not like or go to the football games, the homecoming game is one you will not want to miss. Get dressed up to the theme, join the packed student section in chants and hopefully see your home team win!
The perfect outfit
The perfect dress, shoes, hair and makeup does not just appear overnight. If you are planning on attending the Homecoming dance, plan ahead. Find the perfect dress that makes you feel great, shoes you will be comfortable in and hair and makeup that you know you can do yourself unless you are getting it done at a salon or by a friend. As someone who has gone to three almost four homecomings (after this year), finding the perfect dress is hard and often times expensive if you get a new dress, new pair of shoes and get you hair or makeup done professionally. To avoid this, you and your friends can trade dresses or shoes from different years. No one will be able to tell or remember from years before and your wallet or your parent's wallet will be thanking you. You can even do your own hair and makeup or have a friend do it to escape the costly salon fees.
Before the dance
Before the dance, form a group of friends to all go together. Whether everyone has dates or not, you will still have a blast going in a big group. What I have always done is gone in a big group. We meet at someones house, we all bring food to eat and take pictures either at that house, a park or another persons house. If we are being 100% serious, taking pictures is mostly for your parents. While it is nice to have pictures for yourself, your parents are the ones who want 1,000 pictures of you that they will cherish forever. While you may get annoyed when your mom or dad are chasing you with a camera, just let it happen, you will be thankful to have pictures of your homecoming in years to come.
Date vs. Dateless
Proposals, color coordinating, corsages, boutonnières, posed pictures and the sometimes awkward slow dances are just a few of the aspects of having a date to homecoming. While having a date can be a fun time, especially if you like each other, are friends or are dating, having a date is not everything. It is 100% okay to go to the dance without a date. You are not the only one. Go in a big group of friends and dance the night away. If you do have a date, then great enjoy the night with them. No matter if you have a date or not, you will surely have an amazing night as long as you allow yourself to have one. Don't pout because you do not have a date, just live in the moment and have fun the night of the dance.
Congratulations! You have survived getting your outfit perfect, a group together (possibly even a date), dinner and pictures and now you made it to the dance. Enjoy the night, dance, take pictures, have fun with friends, make memories and most importantly avoid high school drama that will always try to sneak into the dance.
Let the party continue
The dance may have ended, but the party does not have to stop. Whether you go to someone's house and eat food, go to a restaurant or hangout with your date the night does not need to end. Have fun, be safe and do not get yourself into any trouble after the dance.
Most importantly, do not stress, stay organized and stay calm because it is not the end of the world, it is just a high school dance. Have fun and be safe during your homecoming!
(All photos courtesy of Giphy)
1. Denial that summer is over
We've all been there. It's your last moments of summer and they are going by too fast. You wish for one more day but you know that the inevitable is coming... The first day of school.
2. Excitement on the first day
Although it is the "dreaded" first day of school, you are excited. It is a fresh start with new classes, teachers and the chance to meet new people. The new school year holds so many opportunities to grow and find yourself. The only problem: you have forgotten about all the work that is yet to come.
3. Seeing your friends after a long summer
We all have those school friends that you say at the end of the school year, "We will definitely hang out this summer!" but you never really do. The start of a new school year means you get to see these "school friends", and often on a daily basis. Even though you never actually got around to hanging out, you are excited to see them at the beginning of the school year.
4. Syllabus week
The calm before the storm. This week seems like the best week where no homework is given and class is spent going over a syllabus for ten minutes and then having free time to scroll your feed. Unfortunately, this week cannot, and will not, last forever
5. False belief you can make it
It's a fresh year! You can do it! Just stay on top of all assignments, study, get to bed early, organize and eat healthy. At least that's what you keep telling yourself...
6. Zero to 100 real quick
Homework and projects, and tests, oh my. Syllabus week is officially over and you just got dumped with your first load of homework. Now project rubrics are getting passed out and you have begun studying for the first test of the year.
Your grand plan to go to bed early each night to prevent tired mornings has already failed. The great planned sleep schedule has now been messed up after only one week and you know as the year goes on it will only get worse. Caffeine is your new best-friend.
8. Questioning why you are even here
You are two weeks into school and simply do not understand the classes you are in for the life of you. Why am I here? How did I even meet the prerequisites to be in this class? Who suggested this class was fun? Well, now you need to suck it up for the year or drop out at the semester. But that will go on your *DA DA DA* permanent record *GASP*
9. Getting back into the swing of things
It is week three. You have become used to not getting any sleep and having a boatload of homework on a daily basis. Now you begin marking things in your planner and have started a more organized (yet not perfect) way of handling school.
You have managed to survive your first month of high school. You have accepted by now that summer is over and that for the next 8(or so) months you will be trapped in this school before the cycle begins all over again.
(All photos courtesy of Giphy)