Sunday, May 31, 2015

What High School Taught Me

My little brother is no longer a high school student.  That sentence scares me.  The absolute certainty of this phrase frightens me even more. He has his diploma, there is no taking it away from him now.

I've been "stuck" with him for the last eighteen years of my life and I don't know what I'm going to do when me becomes my equal instead of my kid brother who is a foot taller than I am.  We have been partners in crime since before the beginning of time.  When he was four-years-old we took a spin on a toy roller coaster he had been given for his birthday.  One Christmas morning, while we were in elementary school, we watched The Lion King 2 over and over until it was, and still is, fully engraved into my brain.  We watched it so much I STILL have the entire movie memorized and can serenade you with each and every one of the songs.  Chan and I debated together his freshman, my senior, year. I've taught him my secrets, he has been my best friend.

Now he's leaving.

In September he will be serving a full-time mission, just as I did, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Novosibirsk, Russia.  My brother is going to speak Russian.

First things, first.  HE GRADUATED THURSDAY!  As I was seated in Utah State University's basketball stadium my aunt leans over to me.  "Hey, did you know you were quoted in this year's yearbook?"  What?  I was quoted in the yearbook?  What did I say?  I hope it was appropriate. . .

My senior year, 2012, I was asked what advice I had for the underclassmen.  In 2015, my advice was once again given again to the new generation of Bobcats.  My advice is,

"You'll go through high school just waiting to finally get out, only to wake up one morning and dread graduation.  Once graduation comes you won't be going to school with the same people you shared your chocolate milk with in Kindergarten.  Don't forget about those few people who made you the person you are.  Make the last year count and have no regrets."

I was speaking eighty-nine percent from personal experience. My best friend in kindergarten was living in a completely different school system when I was able to throw my cap and walk away, diploma in hand.  **UPDATE: I was at my kindergarten best friend's wedding**  In those twelve years apart I learned some pretty important things.

Don't let your emotions surmount what the intellectual side of your brain is telling you to do.  It is so easy to get caught up in what we want to do right then in the moment, we ignore what we know we shouldn't be doing.  It's a dieter's hardest temptation.  The emotion is yelling and screaming, "eat the extra cupcake! There's one left and if no one eats it, it is going to get thrown away.  Do not waste food, there are children in this world starving and you are throwing away good food."  That is waht your emotion is saying to you.  Your intellect is whispering and reminding you that eating that cupcake is not actually going to help a starving child.  It's just going to make you feel worse about yourself in the long run.  Resist the urge to let your emotions overcome your intellect.

Date the ones that are nice to the waitress.  I am a waitress.  Every single person in this society should have to serve food at one point or another to understand how to treat us.  I am guilty of not being a very good guest to waitresses in high school.  I had a habit of giving them a big fat ZERO dollar tip.  This, I am not proud of at all. I went on dates where my date gave an extremely lousy tip.  Why? As my high school mind would think, because waitresses are below us and will make a lot of money anyways.  Date people that treat every single person they meet like they are their equals.  Let's face it, we are all humans, we are all trying to get through this life.  Nobody is "better" or "worse," we are the same.  If you date someone who treats everyone as well as he or she possibly can, you found a good one.   

You are never as interesting as you think you are.
 Enough said.  I'll get off my soapbox now. 

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