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Dear Seniors Who Are Leaving Home After Graduating High School

By: Shaylin Smith

Graduation Aesthetic

Dear High School graduate,

First of all, congratulations!! Graduating high school is a huge accomplishment and a step toward independence and freedom. As you start this next chapter of your life, I would like to give you some advice. I am now a rising junior in college, and these are things I would have liked to hear before leaving home and starting a new chapter of life. Exciting, nerve-racking, and sometimes uncomfortable things may come your way, and I hope my advice helps you as you enter this new season of life.

1. Don’t Be Afraid of Change

Don’t be afraid of change, instead, embrace change. I know you are accustomed to living at home, and going to school with all of your friends, and the thought of all of that changing sounds scary. Saying bye to my family and friends was so hard and I was dreading the huge change I was about to face. Moving from California to Texas was not easy, but it has been the best decision I have ever made. Leaving home and moving to school has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. Not that I don’t love being at home with my family, or that I don’t love my home friends, but I have met so many amazing people and made a new place home! I have met the best friends ever, discovered my passions, met an amazing boyfriend, and have enjoyed exploring a new place. Getting uncomfortable and facing change has taught me so much about myself and been so rewarding. With that, don’t be afraid of what is to come. Change can bring about so much good.

2. Stay True to Yourself

That sounds cringey, I know, but it is so true. Go into this new season of life with solid values, beliefs, and desires. Know who you are and what your goals are, and stick to that. Do not let other people define you, do not let their opinions shape who you are. You are the only you there is! Love who you are, know you are special, and know that those who do not love you for who you are are not worth spending time around. There are so many voices that can get into your head, don’t let them. Build your own voice and vision and make decisions that support it. You can create your own identity and make shit happen!

3. Say YES

I am two years into college, and if there is anything I would change about my experience so far, it would be saying yes more. Of course, you need to be responsible with your school work and money ;) but do as much as you can all of the time. Say yes when you want to say no, to studying together instead of alone, to meeting that new girl out for lunch, to dinner with the girls, to a late night drive, to go out on a Monday, and the other thousands of opportunities that will come your way. You are only given those opportunities once, take them and enjoy them! Say yes!!

4. Ask for Advice

You will fail, you will feel stuck, and you will get discouraged. It's part of life. But, it is what you do when you are in those situations or when you are feeling discouraged that matters most. Ask for help. No, asking for help does not make you weak and it does not make you less than. Asking for advice from those around you is how you learn and how you grow into a better, stronger, happier person. Whether it is from a friend, a roommate, a girl in your sorority, a teacher, or coach, their advice could be what changes things for you! Please go into this new season of life eager to ask questions, eager to learn, and excited to ask for help.

5. Don’t Forget to Call Your Mom and Dad

Your parents miss you. A lot. Call them!! You are you because of them, and don’t forget about them. Call them, remind them how thankful you are for them, tell them about your day, ask them for their advice, or call to say you love them. With the time apart from each other I’ve found that I’ve actually gotten a lot closer with them. Keep them in the loop and know that they’ve got your back no matter what.

You are going to do amazing things and trust me when I tell you that it really does go by fast. Enjoy every minute of it. I am proud of you!


Shaylin & The MUUZ Girls

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