5 Ways to Make Your Senior Year Easier

     I know that the thought of doing any type of Back to School post right now seems absolutely ridiculous given that this school year isn’t even out for most high schoolers yet, but in advising some of my friends who are current high school juniors on how to set themselves up for a smooth senior year, I realized this post needed to happen now because there’s so much you can do before this school year is even out to make your senior year so much less stressful.  Today I’m sharing five ways to make your senior year easier, especially if you’re planning to go to college in following year.  My hope is that these bits of my own experience will set you up not only for a year of success but also ample opportunities to actually soak in all of your lasts.  Enjoy!

  1. Write your basic college application essay while you’re still in an academic mindset. – This time last year, right after my AP English Language & Composition exam, my AP English teacher told us that if we wanted to write our college application essay in response to the Common Application’s (you’ll see my refer to the Common Application as “Common App” throughout this post because that’s how most applying students refer to them, just a heads up) prompts then, she would review it for us and give us extra credit for it.  Many of my peers passed on the opportunity because hey, it was the end of the year and we were done.  My teacher made a good point that we wouldn’t want to write the essay over the summer and by the time August or September rolled around and we began applying to colleges, our writing abilities would have deteriorated a bit in comparison to what they were at the end of a year in AP English.  I promise you that this fall every English teacher you’ve ever had will be flooded with college application essays to review as “favors” for past or current students, but if you write it now and have your current teacher proofread it for you he/she’ll be able to take more time looking at it and will recognize and respect your drive to get it done this early!  Even if your teacher isn’t offering you extra credit to write the essay now, I can’t stress enough how nice it is to have this essay out of the way before the summer even begins.  What a relief of stress!  The prompts are here, if you’re interested.  They’re keeping the prompts the same as last year and I think several of them were great options and allowed for a lot of flexibility for every individual with varying interests and strengths.  I wrote for prompt #1, any guesses on what my special interest that my application would’ve been incomplete without?
  2. Start your Common App now. – After my English teacher opened up my mind to writing my Common App essay early, I realized I was also able to complete much of my actaul Common App on my own in May.  I will say, there is a lot you might not know how to answer on your own without a parent, but there’s also a lot of basic information (i.e. all of your high school courses, your GPA, and your extracurriculars) that you’re completely capable of self-reporting in your abundant free time following AP exams.  Getting as much as you can done now will deduct hours from the amount of time you spend on college applications in the late summer and fall.
  3. Brainstorm a list of colleges you’re remotely interested in. – I plan to do another post later on going in depth on how I’d recommend you go about formulating this list and narrowing down to a decision, but for now let me just say it’s really important for you to have some idea of where you want to go.  Find schools that have programs for what you’re interested then think about whether you want to get out of state or stay in state (also consider which option is practical for you financially), go to a small school or big school, live in a big city or college town, etc.  Just make a list!  I promise it’s not that hard, the list can be as long or as short as you want it to be and you can narrow it down later.
  4. Start talking to your parents about touring colleges this summer. – I cannot stress this enough, you cannot pick a college without touring it.  I was 100% set on a school for two entire years of high school, but after touring it I realized it just wasn’t for me.  Then I toured my backup school and realized it was way too big, even though I thought I’d love a big school in a big city.  Baylor wasn’t even a school I was genuinely interested in before I toured it, it was just on my list of possibilities, but as I was touring I realized it was my dream school.  Talk to your parents about making trips to tour at least some of the schools you’re interested in this summer so you can avoid missing days of AP classes and stressing over whether or not your “dream school” is actually what you wanted when this fall rolls around.
  5. Curate your resume. – One optional thing that has the potentially to really impress colleges is a resume.  While the thought of creating your own resume as a high schooler might sound incredibly intimidating, I promise you it’s not as hard as it sounds, especially if you get started now with plenty of time to ask parents, college-aged friends, and other mentors for help.  Here’s an example I found on Pinterest that’s super similar to the one I used as a model for mine last year!

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this advice helpful!  I hope you have a great end to your junior year!  I’m so excited for what the eventful year to come has in store for all of you rising seniors!  Be on the lookout for more senior year and college decision advice posts to come!

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A Look into My Senior Photos

     Y’all.  I graduate in sixteen days.  SIXTEEN DAYS!  Despite all the late nights and long days that made it feel like high school would never end, I feel like I should still be a freshman (that was my favorite year, after all).  Anyways, with graduation comes graduation announcements, which means senior photos.  I had my grandmother (a mostly-retired independent professional photographer) take my senior photos while I was in Texas for spring break, and I absolutely love how they turned out!  Today I’m sharing a few of my favorites with y’all, all unedited!  Enjoy!

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     One reason why I specifically wanted my senior photos taken in Texas (aside from my family ties and adoration for the state) was my obsession with the gorgeous bluebonnets!    These flowers bloom all over the place in Texas every spring and I hadn’t seen them in person in ages.  Aren’t they just the prettiest?

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     I only wore two outfits for my photos, one with a white J.Crew tank and jeans and another with a Baylor tee shirt!  Y’all know I love the simplicity of a white shirt, and I adore the ruffles on this one!  This tank is actually a couple seasons old, but white tanks aren’t hard to find and are perfect for simple and elegant photos like these.  I kept my accessories pretty simple (I actually took off my friendship bracelets for once).

Thanks for reading!

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April Playlist 2019

     Y’all, it has been way too long since I last shared a playlist with you!  I consider blogging to be sharing a little bit of my life with you, and doing it so little lately has broken my heart.  If you know me personally you know that I love sharing music with my friends and family, and I feel the same way about y’all!  Today’s post is my April playlist, and I just can’t wait to hear what you think of these songs.  To give you a little rundown, “Ivy,” “Beloved,” “Fade Away [Live],” and “Sunday Morning” have been my most played as of late.  Enjoy!

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Tap on the name of a song below to listen to it on YouTube!

Ivy // Fade Away [Live] // Letting Go // Beloved // 3:15 // Saturday Nights // Something Real // Sunday Morning // Talia // Drama // You’ll Always Be My Girl // Goodnight N Go // Sleepyhead // Seasons // Bad, Bad, Bad

Thanks for reading!  I’d love to know what you’re listening to right now, I’m always looking for new music!

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Lent 2019: What I’m Giving Up & Why

     As an Episcopalian, growing up Lent was something that my family regularly talked about around this time of year.  As I continued to give things up and became a little more vocal about it in high school, I often got funny looks even from friends who were just of different Christian denominations.  Today, on the eve of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), I’m sharing a little about the purpose of Lent, what I’m giving up, and why!  I’m hoping this post will help you to understand Lent a little better if you’re unfamiliar with it, and maybe even inspire you to give up or take on something this Lenten season.

     Lent is the observance of Jesus’ forty days and forty nights of fasting in the desert shortly before he was crucified.  Today, many Christians observe this time by giving up something they use or eat a lot that may serve as a distraction from God, or by taking on something new, like reading the Bible more, donating to a charity, or praying more every day, for the forty days leading up to Easter.  Technically, the forty days doesn’t include Sundays (because the time span from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday including Sundays is actually forty-six days), so many choose to break from their Lenten commitments on Sunday (I’ve personally always been too stubborn to do so).  The idea behind continuing to observe Lent today is that we recognize that if it is difficult for us to give up something like dessert, it must have been much more difficult for Jesus to withstand temptation in the desert.  When we crave the thing we gave up or struggle to continue doing the thing we took on, we can be reminded of Jesus and take the moment of temptation as a time to pray.

     This year, I’m giving up a few things that I see as large distractions from the progression of my relationship with Christ.  I am able to step back and recognize that these things are ultimately a waste of time and tend to consume me more than I’d like to admit.  The first thing I’m giving up is chocolate, which including this year I’ve given up three times.  I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic (seriously, I have chocolate at every meal at the very least), so giving up chocolate is not only a healthy break for me, but also the cravings are a reminder to pray.  Second, I’m giving up online shopping.  For me, online shopping is one of the first things I do when I’m bored and clearly this isn’t good for my bank account or my attempt to distance myself from materialistic thinking.  When I catch myself typing in the URL of a store for purposes other than linking things for the blog, I want to begin reaching for Scripture instead.  Lastly, I’m giving up Snapchat, another major pointless time consumer.  In the last several months I’ve been able to recognize Snapchat as pretty toxic for me; in that it creates wishy-washy relationships, gives me ample opportunities to view stories as breeding grounds for feelings of rejection, exclusion, and comparison, and wastes so. much. time.

     Even if you aren’t from a more traditional denomination to whom Lent is customary, I encourage you to give up something or take on a good deed during Lent.  I’ve found it to be a great reminder of Jesus in my daily life and I feel like it fosters a stronger sense of connection with God.  If you’d like to learn more about Jesus’ forty days and forty nights in the desert, I recommend reading Matthew 4:1-11 (here’s a link to the verses in ESV).

Thanks for reading!  If you’re giving up or taking something on for Lent leave a comment and let me know what it is!

Thanks for reading!

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New Year’s Resolutions for 2019 Collab

     Happy New Year!  Today is the first page in the 365-page story of 2019, what a thought!  Today I’m keeping a now three-year tradition (crazy right?) with my sweet blogging friend, Cayleigh from CNPrepster, in collaborating on a post sharing our resolutions for the new year.  I seriously adore Cayleigh’s blog and am so grateful for the friendship we’ve formed through the blogging community over the past few years.  I’m so excited to see what she has in store for her blog and life in 2019!  Be sure to read her post on her resolutions for 2019 here.  As some of you may already know, 2019 is the year that holds my high school graduation, meaning it’ll be full of bittersweet lasts and nervewracking yet exciting firsts!  I’ll be heading to Baylor University in Waco, Texas (14 hours away from my current home in South Carolina) next fall to study journalism and apparel merchandising, and while I can’t wait to begin college I’m also in awe of the fact that my high school career is almost over.  I’m hoping these resolutions will push me towards my ultimate goals for 2019 and serve as reminders of the life I want to live this year, one that finds joy in every moment and never takes a second for granted.  Without further adieu, here are my resolutions for 2019!

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Thanks for reading!  I hope you’ve had a fabulous time celebrating the New Year and that your 2019 is full of blessings, lessons, and fabulous experiences!  Don’t forget to check out Cayleigh’s post here.Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 12.13.06 PM

December Playlist 2018

     December is without a doubt my favorite month of the year.  I’m forever obsessed with the twinkle lights, Christmas songs, and ice skating rinks.  Today I’m sharing my December playlist, which includes a couple Christmas songs along with my usual mix of electronic, alternative, rap, and worship songs.  My favorite song right now is “Wylin'” by Always Never, but I’ve also been especially loving “God Be” by Chris Renzema and the incredible retake of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Cappa.  Enjoy!

December Playlist

 

Tap on the name of a song below to listen to it on YouTube!

Wylin’ // All I Want for Christmas Is You // Sunflower (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) // Superposition // Peach // God Be // You Make My Dreams // Three Words Away // Be Like You // Life In Color // Touch of Heaven (Reimagined) // Drummer Boy // Close To Me // The One // Sleepless Nights

Thanks for reading!  What’s your favorite song right now?

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