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LatinitasMagazine.org - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

It's back-to-school time! One of my favorite commercials is a Staples one where there is a dad shopping for his kid's school supplies, and "It's the most wonderful time of the year" is playing.
Don't let your parents' excitement overshadow your own. True, school may drag on and teachers get ruthless with the amount of homework they give, but always keep in mind that children in this country are immeasurably privileged compared to children in third world countries. Some children can't go to school because they have to take care of their families, or go work in factories to bring in some extra income. I highly urge perpetual gratefulness to your country, for requiring school, your parents, for making you get up in the mornings, and your teachers, for constantly pushing you.
As I was buying school supplies, it hit me: This is the last time i'll do this for high school! This is the last first day of high school, the last year i'll listen to Amber and Michelle sing "Loretto of the Plains", the last year i'll see all my friends every day. There will be the last Cathedral football game, the last homecoming, the last prom. There will be the last time I sit in my favorite class, the last time I visit Mr. Sanchez, the chemistry teacher, the last time I will eat the homemade cookies in the cafeteria. There will be the last time I put on my uniform. Finally, there will be the last time I walk out those doors.
These lasts make me really sad. I was lucky enough to have a lot of fun in high school, but with the lasts come the firsts. The fist time I walk into my dorm, the first time I meet my roommate, the first time I sit in a class of 300 students. There will be the first time I have to pull an all-nighter in order to finish an essay, the first time I have a night out in a new city, the first time I will be away from home for an extended period of time.
Senior year of high school and freshman year of college are transition periods. Although senior year will be filled with lasts, take preventive measures to make sure that the lasts of high school will always be remembered. Take tons of pictures of you and your friends, participate in the "zoo" at your high school's football game, appreciate your teachers, and, if you wear uniforms, wear them properly. When you walk out those doors, be sure to look back. Remembering happy things from high school will make the tough spots of college seem a little softer. Keep in touch with your friends and plan a get-together when you're all in town. Don't think of your homework so much as a drag, but as a chance to prepare for those tough college classes.
As you enter the college application process, find a motto, such as "Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." Take it one day at a time, and savor every moment.

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