Guest post by Grace Armstrong

Days away from becoming a high school graduate, I have had many opportunities to reflect on the last four years. While my high school experience has been amazing, I wish I could go back and give my younger self some words of wisdom. Since that is not possible, I wanted to share what I wish I had known along the way…

1. Be a friend floater.

First off, it is more than okay to not have a friend group. In fact, being a so called “floater” is even better. By choosing to not limit yourself to one crowd, you will expose yourself to so many different personalities, activities, and conversations. In doing this you will be able to determine the type of people you who make you your happiest, most confident, and complete self. If your ultimate goal is to settle down with a solid group of people, please let yourself at first be vulnerable as a floater because I can guarantee you will find your people in a much more organic way. 

2. Make the best decisions for you. 

Almost all of us are guilty of doing this: censoring our decisions to impress other people. Of course we all want to be liked by others; however, instead of achieving people’s attention and approval through monitoring and restricting our personalities or actions, we need to be our own true selves. Wouldn’t you much rather have people gravitate towards you as a result of your real identity instead of those who like you due to a false perception? Also, do not make decisions based out of peer pressure. The truth of the matter is that if you say “no” to the one pressuring you, they usually forget about it by the end of the day. Most likely, you will too. 

3. Become a time management expert.

Time management: the most influential component of a students success. Whether you are a band geek, theater nerd, cheerleader, jock, or simply a student, time management needs to become your best friend. There are going to be endless opportunities for you to push assignments aside to deal with later, but I can guarantee that you will regret doing this. Every. Single. Time. If you dedicate five minutes or one hour towards your work, in the end, every bit will count. I like to write all my school tasks down on a piece of paper as there is nothing more satisfying than crossing it off once it is complete. No one ever regrets being proactive with their work! 

4. Have an open mind in the college admissions process.

The college admissions process can be a dreaded, stressful, and daunting experience. It is also a waiting game. There is no way for you to speed up the process, hack the system, or alter the final decision, but what you can do is have an open mind. A large portion of people do not end up at the school where they thought they would be, but instead a school where they were most definitely meant to be. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and any number of graduates will tell you that their unanticipated attendance at a college was the absolute best experience for them. 

5. Live in the moment. 

As a graduating senior, I am particularly sensitive about living in the moment. During the past year, there have had many lasts: my last Comparative Government class, my last high school football game, my last lunch period, my last morning drive to school, my last field hockey and basketball game, my last time closing my locker. In all of these last goodbyes, I have realized how essential it is that we live in the moment because every moment with the people we love is fleeting. If you are a rising freshman reading this, college is much sooner than you think (it will literally be here in the blink of an eye). And oh boy, if you are a rising senior reading this, you better take advantage of every single day with all of your best friends and family. Be nice to everyone. Be appreciative to all of your teachers who have helped shape you throughout the years. Tell your parents you love them everyday. Most importantly, be present and seize the day! 

About the Writer:

Grace Armstrong is a graduate of the Charlotte Latin School Class of 2019 and will be attending the University of Georgia. As part of the CLS senior tradition Observe and Serve, Grace shadowed with Garrett Educational Consulting working on marketing and communications. 

About GEC:

Garrett Educational Consulting, LLC is a full-service, academic consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. With over twenty years experience in education and counseling, Katie Garrett guides and supports students and families that are navigating important academic decisions. Services include all aspects of academic advising, comprehensive college planning, independent day school consulting, and boarding school application guidance. 

Garrett Educational Consulting

www.garretteducationalconsulting.com

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