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A word of advice for high school students

Dear high schoolers,

Over my four years of high school I learned a lot of things, and not just about math or science. I learned things about myself, about my friends, about how to make that messy transition into adulthood. Before I go off to college this fall, I would like to share just a little of my wisdom with you.

First of all, it's OK to change your friends. You are not ever stuck with one group of people and you will find someone else to sit with at lunch.

It's important to make time to be with those friends. Grades are important, yes, but so is making meaningful connections and having a good time every now and then.

Find adults you look up to, and get to know them. This community is filled with inspiring role models, so connect with people! Through my senior year, the adults I look up to in my life helped me to make important decisions about my future, taught me what to do when I was having car troubles, and connected me with other people when I needed more assistance.

It's OK to go to dances with just your friends. Having a date doesn't make it any more fun.

Challenge yourself, but know when you've reached your limit. We can't all be good at everything.

Talk to your parents.

Relationships can be fun. But a relationship or lack thereof does not define you.

Take lots of pictures with your friends.

Make time to pursue your passions.

Work hard, even if it's not what you want to be doing for the rest of your life. Whether you are working at a fast food restaurant or trying to pass biology, do your best because everything you do is a stepping stone to the future.

Participate in dress up days!

Put your phone down and enjoy the moment you're in every now and then. Not everything funny that happens needs to be on Snapchat.

Do favors for people, for no reason at all. Just be a good friend.

Joining extracurriculars is a super great way to make friends with people you might never have talked to before.

And finally, enjoy your four years in high school. They go so fast, they're really awful sometimes, but it's a special time in your life. Don't take it for granted.

Sincerely,

Marie Osuna

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