By Tiana Whitely
Life has an interesting way of teaching you things. 2014 was a year full of lessons for me. As I graduated high school, prepared for college, and experienced living in another state, I was overwhelmed with how life, and for a lack of better words, “lectures it’s lesson plan.” What do I mean by that? Life has a way of teaching without words. Your experiences are filled with lessons, but you can only catch it if you pay attention.
The latter end of my high school experience brought me Lesson #1: Hard Work.
I thought that my last semester of senior year would be a breeze. I was in for a rude awakening. Creating a senior research project was the hardest task throughout my high school curriculum, and to think it was an open ended project. This was the final task needed in order to complete my credits. I worked harder than I ever have in order to finish my final stretch of high school with a bang. Sometimes as humans, we get complacent toward the end of a thing. I wasn’t given that opportunity… If I wanted that diploma, I had to push through to get it.
Preparing for college brought me Lesson #2: Resources Are Your Friend.
You never really understand what you need or don’t have until it is time to leave for college. Between applying for scholarships, working to save money, and actually buying all the necessities, learning how to navigate on my own; resources become your best friend. The gift card that you didn’t use for Christmas… The small graduation monies… People willing to help out… It all becomes useful and important. The smallest resource can help in a big way. You just have to take the step to utilize what is available to you.
Living on my own taught me Lesson #3: Responsibility.
Responsibility in high school is baby work compared to college. Mom and dad are no longer there to take care of you. You have to make decisions based upon what’s best for you, not what’s fun or entertaining. Some weekends, you can’t go out. The pair of shoes you wanted will have to wait because you need to buy food. Sometimes when you need people the most, they disappear. At that point, you learn to invent what you don’t have, make decisions without helpful advice, and make your own solutions. This is a time when you step out of adolescence and truly become independent.
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