Some Words From a Fellow High School Graduate

Welcome back!

With many graduations coming up in the next few weeks, I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve learned since my graduation from Portage High School. I have many friends and family graduating in the next few weeks and I remember not being sure of my future, but I want them to know that everything will work out if they’re willing to make the next big step into life after high school.

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First, it’s okay to be sentimental. You have probably spent the past 12+ years with the same people in school. In my case, I had gone to three different elementary schools, and I don’t treasure any of my old friendships less than any other. Each friendship and school gave me wonderful memories and you’ll find yourself at graduation thinking about how excited you are to go off to college, but it may hit you either on the day, or a few days later that some of your friends are going to school hours from your school, and that you may only see some of the best friends you’ve had your whole life a few times a year. So get sentimental, talk about all those good memories because you will cherish some of those memories the rest of your life.

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Second, your high school friends may not end up being forever friends like you thought, but they could be. Relationships give out exactly what you put into them. I have people that I haven’t talked to since my project graduation, and I have high school friends I still talk to on a weekly basis. If your high school friends are willing and able to put in the time to talk, go for it! However, if you start to slip away from some of your high school friends, I’m gonna tell you now, it’s gonna happen. Some of your best friends will get new friends or get too busy to talk all the time or be too far away for it to be plausible that you see one another more than 2 or 3 times a year. That’s okay too! You will meet PLENTY of new friends at your next step in your life, whether that be college, a sports team, an apprenticeship, the workforce. There will always be new people for you to meet and become friends with. Which leads me to my next point.

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Thirdly, don’t be afraid to meet new people! Graduation is the change for you to spread your wings (cheesy, i know) and find what you want to do with your life. Along the way you will meet tons of new people all looking for their next step in life, and sometimes they coincide with yours. My mom always told me my friends will always be changing, and the longer I’m out of high school, the more I find that to be true. Some of my best friends now, weren’t my friends a year ago. Some of my friends from 1st semester of college I don’t even talk to anymore. That doesn’t mean you don’t hold on to what they taught you, your paths just don’t cross anymore and that’s okay.

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Speaking of paths, it’s okay to not know what you want to do in the future. I was always told you don’t need to know what you want to do, you need to know what you DON’T want to do in your life. I have already switched majors and minors a few times, and I’m finally happy with what I’m studying. Change is inevitable. Learn to experiment with all different classes and have an open mind. I’m majoring in accounting and in high school I wouldn’t take any accounting classes because I thought I would hate it. I never gave it a shot and now I love my accounting classes more than any of the other classes I’m taking. So don’t be afraid to not know what you want to do with your life. Even after you have your major, the workforce is a whole other animal. A lot of my professors have worked many different jobs just because they felt they needed a change.

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This next category isn’t as light-hearted as the first few. Make sure you understand that reading the textbook and studying become important to actually learning and passing your classes in college. At this point in your life you get to start picking the classes you will be taking, so you should find them more interesting. However, there are so many events and chances to see your friends at any moment at school, that sometimes students procrastinate or think they can just do the minimum like they did in high school. This is a recipe for disaster in college. You will have good professors who care if you’re doing your homework and actually learning, and you will have professors who couldn’t care less if you show up for class everyday, let alone pass their class. In college you HAVE to take your education into your own hands and make sure you know what you need to do to reach your goals.

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Last, but not least, have fun with this transition in front of you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help and/or advice if you need it. After high school, many of you will be going to school or moving out to go into the work force and/or insert whatever you are going to do to take the next step. You are officially an adult, and many of you will be moving onto college campuses, some of you very far from home. I’m lucky that my school is only 2 hours from home so if I needed help, it was fairly close. Others of you will be going across the country, or even elsewhere in the world. Have fun with that transition and enjoy every moment this crazy life may bring you, but never be afraid to call home for help. Your parents will wait to hear from you, and sometimes may give you some tough love, but understand that they’re just trying to help you through the next step of you becoming who you are meant to be, without doing everything for you. Being independent can be hard, but it’s something that everyone needs to learn at some point, and these few years after high school are the perfect time to do so.

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Portage High School Class of 2015

So good luck to the class of 2017 in your future, and I hope you enjoy life after high school just as much as I have.

See you next time,

Cami

10 Ways to Find the Best in Each Day

Hello, friends! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted for many reasons, most of them college related. It’s week 11 of a 16 week semester, so the essays, projects, and exams are starting to pile up, making it hard to write on a regular basis.

This week I’d like to talk about how important it is to live everyday to its fullest potential. A few weeks ago, the world lost a kind and passionate soul in a 19-year-old man that I had known fairly well since, at least, age three. The news of his death hit me like a semi truck, as this is the third funeral I’ve attended in the past 5 years for kids near my age. As an almost-20-year-old, I shouldn’t have to attend funerals for my peers, but each time I’ve learned a different lesson. At the first two funerals I learned the importance of attentive driving and not letting the road get away from me, but this time it was different. This time I was absolutely inspired by the life of my friend, Austin, and I want to share some of the ways I have been trying to change my attitude towards life since his funeral.

Step 1: You are what you eat

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After hearing the news of Austin’s death, my diet went completely down the drain. I turned to food for comfort and, in doing so, started to feel worse. I was tired all the time, I couldn’t sleep at night, and my daily life suffered. What you eat is SO important to keep track of, for it affects everything you do. Eating comfort foods is okay in moderation, but in the end moderation is always key when it comes to comfort foods. I am now back to keeping track of what goes in my mouth and I’m almost 100% back to normal! Today I made these mostly-keto tacos and my stomach, and body, is happy to be back to normal.

Step 2: Exercise

As I over-consumed comfort foods and wasn’t watching my carbs and sugars, my ambition to exercise declined rapidly. I have spent the last two weeks sitting in front of the TV during my free time, because I lacked the energy to do anything else. I wasn’t reaching my daily step goal of 10,000 steps (I usually meet this goal). I finally got back into a workout routine yesterday and I’m SO sore, but I’m super proud that I’m finally getting back to business as usual. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with food and the more you exercise, the better you’ll feel!

Step 3: Take care of yourself/Put yourself first

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I am guilty of putting others first and thinking of what I want last. The majority of people I’ve met are the same way. However, no one is going to take better care of you, than yourself. I am slowly learning how to put myself first and come to terms with what I actually want from MY life, not what others want/expect from me. As I come to terms with this step, I feel my anxiety and stress levels dropping dramatically. I’m learning that I only get one body, and taking care of myself is assuring that I can be around to help others long into the future. If this means pampering yourself every once in a while, go for it! My friend, Brittany, and I did exactly that a few weeks ago (my first EVER pedicure, SO fun.)

Step 4: Make an effort to cross things off your bucket list

This goes hand-in-hand with putting yourself first. Generally, the things on your bucket list are going to be things that will put yourself first. My first ever pedicure was something I could cross off my bucket list. Nothing huge, but something I can now say I have done and enjoyed.

Step 5: Keep in touch with friends

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This picture includes some of my friends coming together to celebrate the birthday of one of our mutual friends. Your friends are your legs when you can’t stand, and my friends have been by my side every step of this process that has been the past two weeks of my life. I try to have dinner with my two good friends at least once a week, and I usually find myself keeping in touch with them through Snapchat, text message, or otherwise basically everyday. Friends are there to make life in this crazy world of ours a little bit easier, and they should be embraced, and thanked, with open arms and lots of thank you’s often.

Step 6: Don’t be afraid to reach out to old friends

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This is my friend, Megan. We’ve been friends since third or fourth grade. We don’t talk as much as we used to because our colleges keep us busy and about five hours away from one another, but we still try to meet up when we get home. Old friends can sometimes be the best friends, and sometimes you just drift too far apart. Either way, reaching out to an old friend you miss is never a bad endeavor. I find that a lot of people at the funerals I have attended in the past few years have always said, “I wish I would’ve just reached out like I always thought about doing.” I’m very guilty of this line, and I can understand the difficulties a person can face when trying to decide if that message should be sent, and the answer is send the message anyway. Never be afraid to reach out to an old friend, even if it’s just to say, “Hello. I was just thinking of you.”

Step 7: Forgive and forget

If you don’t reach out to that old friend, don’t get hung up over it if they happen to leave the Earth too soon. Forgiving yourself and moving forward is how you can best live for them. This applies to other areas of your life as well. We’re all guilty of holding grudges, and I’m no exception. However, I’m learning to forgive and forget for my health, and it’s like a HUGE burden being lifted off of my shoulders.

Step 8: Stop complaining so much

This step is my biggest downfall. I tend to just keep talking and not realize I’m complaining until I’m three text messages deep and hoping I didn’t write anything too drastic. There’s complaining about something when you have a bad day, or something you actually have an issue with. Then there’s complaining just for the sake of talking bad about someone or something. The second is what I’m trying to stop doing, and, like forgiving and forgetting, I’m feeling much happier.

Step 9: Change how you look at the world

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They say that if you change how you look at the world, the world will start to look different. While some people may find a storm or a hindrance in this picture, I find a wonderful act of nature that is made to be feared, but admired. Many times, even in my case, it takes a huge event to change perception and sometimes it’s too late. Try to find the good in everyday, and I’m sure that good things will find their way to you.

Step 10: If you don’t like something, change it

Whether this be something about your hair, your personality, your makeup, your daily routine, or your current situation in life, you always have the power to change your future.

I hope you stuck with me through this long, emotional post. I also hope that you can all take something from my ramblings to improve your life, or the life of someone around you and that you share your experiences with those who love you.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on A Moment with Cami!

Signed,

Cami