Yup, I’m Vegan.

Yup, I’m Vegan.

Surprise! Or not a surprise? I’ve been vegan for 2 years and a lot of people know but also a lot of people don’t know! So, with that, I figured that I’d share WHY I went vegan (because SOO many people ask) and a lot of questions that I’m asked and other vegans are asked! Hopefully, this will answer all of your questions (and DON’T ask where I get my protein from…I’m fine). But, I also wanted to share some of the top vegan restaurants in St. Louis!

During my freshman year of college, I had to take a public speaking class and for one of our speeches, we had to do a persuasive speech. So, in typical Sydney fashion, I waited until the night before it was due to actually start it. Which at that point, I was at a complete loss and scrambled to search a topic on google that would be good. I stumbled on the topic on why you should be vegetarian, “simple” is what I thought. I knew there would be a ton of information to support my speech so I rolled with it. At the time though, I was still eating meat but only when I was home from school or at restaurants because I was living in the dorm and I wouldn’t dare touch the dining hall meat. After reading about why you should be vegetarian, I made the switch overnight. I was vegetarian the next morning I woke up and I kept reading more information and started reading about being vegan. After more and more research, I did it without thinking about it. At first, I never thought I could give up cheese and ice cream but it turns out, it’s not that hard! The hardest thing about going vegan is definitely learning what you can and can’t eat and you’d be surprised how many products unnecessary ingredients are in!

  1. What do you actually eat? Um….everything? Just no animal products. All of the fruits, vegetables, and grains you can think of, I eat. Plus, there are so many vegan supplements like cheese, milk, meat that you’re really not missing out on anything, I promise!
  2. Is your partner vegan? How do you feel about that if they aren’t? Here’s what I think…I’m not going to force somebody to go vegan. It’s their decision and they have every right to their own decision about what they eat. But, I’m not going to cook it so they’re on their own. As long as I’m not eating or cooking it, I really don’t care.
  3. How do you get enough protein? 1. Please stop asking. 2. Protein is in almost everything I eat! I eat a TON of nut butter which has protein. Also, my almond milk has protein, nuts and seeds have protein, oatmeal, tempeh, hemp seeds, tofu, nutritional yeast (the holy grail), blackberries, bananas, broccoli, potatoes..you get the point by now.
  4. What made you want to be vegan? Read my story above! Everybody has a different answer! For some people, they do it for the animals, for health reasons or for the environment.
  5. Isn’t it sooo hard? Nope! Sure, at first it’s difficult because you’re learning what you can eat and choose not to eat but you’re also learning how to cook without animal products and what types of food make you feel good and fill you up! For me, it was hard to give up cheese and dessert. But, I don’t miss it because there are so many good vegan options out there now! I’ve been vegan for two years and there are SOO many more options now than there were two years ago! (Aka vegan pizza rolls. Thank me later).
  6. Isn’t it expensive? Actually, for me, it’s not! While living on my own I stuck to a lot of whole foods such as rice, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Those are typically pretty cheap. A lot of people think that fruits and vegetables are super expensive but you can find cheaper options. I eat a ton of bananas when I’m living on my own because they’re so expensive but you can eat them in so many ways so you don’t get bored of them!

Now, my favorite part! The restaurants:

Lulus: ALL TIME FAVORITE. Their menu rotates for spring/summer and fall/winter so if their spring/summer menu doesn’t interest you, the fall/winter menu will! My favorites for the spring/summer is the buffalo cauliflower wrap, obviously the buffalo cauliflower bites and the BBQ jack!

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Photo by me.

 

Lona’s Lil Eats: Super good for Asian inspired wraps! The restaurant isn’t fully vegan but their menu is great at labeling what is!

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Photo from Lonas Lil Eats website.

 

Pizza Head: Vegan pepperoni pizza. Mmmhmm. This place is fully vegetarian so you don’t have to worry about real meat! The restaurant is super super cool and the pizza is good too!

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Photo from Pizza Head website.

 

Tree House: Such a good brunch option! Good for cocktails as well!

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Photo from Tree House website.

 

Sweet Art: SUCH GOOD CAKES/CUPCAKES! Ugh, I could cry just thinking about it. This is where my 21st birthday cake was from and to be honest, I hid it from my family so I didn’t have to share…it’s that good. They also have a different special for each day of the week that look super good!

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Photo from Sweet Art website.

 

Small Batch: Small Batch is a whiskey lounge so it’s definitely one of the nicer dining options!

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Photo from Small Batch website.

 

Seedz: A really really good all vegan restaurant option! Um also, their cheesecake? Yes, please. Plus, they have baked vegan donuts! Does it get any better?

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Photo from Seedz Instagram.

Pura Vegan: They have really good acai bowls for a decent price and raw vegan desserts.

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Photo from Pura Vegan Yelp page.

Confluence Kombucha: Kombucha on tap? Yup, yes, please!! This place is vegetarian/vegan so your friends can find something to eat here too if they’re totally weirded out by vegan food.

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Photo from Confluence Kombucha Facebook.

Bombay Food Junkies: They have a restaurant and a food truck so you’re bound to find them somewhere! This restaurant is an Indian/fusion vegan restaurant.  I’ve never been but everybody that goes loves it! A super plus is that the owners are so nice!

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Photo from Bombay Food Junkies website.

Of course, if you have any questions then my Instagram inbox is ALWAYS open!! I’m here to help you!

 

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Seeing Red

Seeing Red

 

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Red Pants

Red has recently walked its way into my wardrobe this winter, and I’m all about it. I was never a fan of red until recently but I think it’s the best way to add a pop of color and it definitely makes a statement!

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Hat

Since starting blogging and paying a lot more attention to detail when scrolling through Instagram, I’ve gotten into hats! I never thought I looked good in them and stayed away, but I took a risk with the baker boy hat/conductor hat/whatever you want to call it, and I loved it! So, I took another risk with this hat, and I think you should too. It’s a fun way to change an outfit and it can take a somewhat boring outfit to an exciting outfit!

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The infamous mule slides. I love them. You need too as well. Go get them.

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Mules

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Everything or Nothing.

Everything or Nothing.
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‘Everything’ T-Shirt

I think for me, a lot of things are either everything or they’re nothing. I’m very much a “label” kind of girl. I like to know what’s going on, I like to know how you feel and I wanted to know it about a week ago so if you haven’t told me, you’re behind schedule. I’m also very much a “let’s move this forward” type of girl. I don’t like to linger in the unknown because 1) it freaks me out and 2) anything can happen at this point. Are there other girls? I don’t know, but you can bet that I’ll ask. Are things going to be over tomorrow? I hope not because I’ve planned a secret relationship in my head and that breakup would be tragic. So yes, it’s either everything or it’s nothing. I’m fine with whatever, you just need to let me know so I can prepare myself for this and not let the relationship in my head progress if we aren’t progressing.

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Stripe Pants

For me, it’s also super frustrating to know that I want something really bad but to be unsure of what the other person involved wants. Like I said, it’s really hard for me to just kind of sit in the middle. I’m not saying that I jump into relationships, I’ve had so few of them but I know when I want something, and I don’t want just everything. I’m very picky about who I spend my time with because I’ve been let down quite a few times, so my time is precious. I don’t spend time with just anybody unless I’m positive that this could be something.

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Vans

The middle is comfortable for some people though, and that’s what annoys me. We aren’t all middle people. Some people, like myself, like to know what the hell is going on. I think people assume that once you tell someone you like them, you have to date. I’m not asking to date you, I’m just asking if you like me or not. It’s actually quite simple to tell someone you like them. That’s what I don’t get, I don’t understand how some people can’t be honest and say it. Instead, it’s like a game, and I don’t do games. I cut people off once I realize they’re playing a game because I can’t do it and I don’t put up with that. If a guy wants to play a game, they can go play it with another girl because I definitely won’t be doing that. Maybe that’s one of my downfalls. I don’t settle for just anybody because I know what I’m worth and once someone is messing with my worth, they’re gone. If I feel in the slightest that they don’t realize and respect that I’m a human with feelings and emotions, just like them, I cut them off. It’s really easy for me to stop caring about a person which, is a downfall. I only give out so many chances before I have to protect myself and walk away and unfortunately, I don’t see that happening more. I see a lot of girls sticking around for relationships that aren’t going anywhere and 99% of the time, it leaves the girl hurt because the male in the equation is the one that calls the shots. Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

I think as a creator, influencer, blogger, whatever you want to call it, you’re supposed to portray this perfect life that’s put together, and you have the ideal filter for everything. But, I’m not that perfect person, and while I may act like I have my shit together, I most certainly don’t. I have the same problems that ever other single twenty-something girl has, and I’m not scared to admit it. Life is a mess, and it’s even harder to figure out when somebody is a middle person and the other isn’t.

Well, here we are.

Well, here we are.

This post is going to be a bit different than my normal outfit posts. It’s going to be a bit of a more emotional post and definitely longer so buckle up, we’ve got a lot to cover. This past year in my life has been really, really weird for me. But it’s been weird in a good way. I guess I’ll start from the beginning of last school year and take you guys along to where I’m at now.

So, beginning of last August I moved into my first apartment and as exciting as that sounds and truly was, it wasn’t. I didn’t realize the concept of money that well and I didn’t plan. I learned things the hard way when November hit and realized I didn’t have enough money for rent (yes, I had a job and a decent paying job at that but look, ya girl loves clothes and more importantly, loves food) because I had spent it all on groceries and other unnecessary items. So the rest of the year was a catch-up year for me. I was making ends meet, and I was paying rent, paying for groceries, I was paying for it all, but that didn’t leave much room for having fun. I was still able to go out, but I was worried about the cost of cover and stupid things like that. So that caused a world of stress.

In August I went through formal recruitment again, and I didn’t get into the chapter I originally wanted, and that’s fine. I went into recruitment with a preconceived idea of what I wanted, and it turns out, that wasn’t for me. The chapter that was for me wasn’t even on campus yet. So yes. I joined the new sorority, and that nickname stuck with us. Everyone that joined would kind of get the “oh you’re in that new sorority, ” and people definitely thought we joined because we couldn’t get into a better chapter but truth be told, my chapter is the best. There, I said it. My chapter was the best chapter for me, and that’s all that matters. So anyway, I joined the new sorority called Alpha Omicron Pi, and I gave it my all. I gave it everything I had, and I met an incredible group of girls. I met the most hardworking, genuine and devoted girls than I had ever met before. And no, I didn’t pay for my friends, they came naturally. They came naturally because we all shared the same underlying beliefs and ideas of how things should be. Yes, when you put 100+ girls in a room you’re going to have groups and fights, but the fights were like fights with a sibling because at the end of the day, we ARE sisters and we ARE family, and we DO love each other.

In October I started dating the one person I fought through hell for and it was good. I finally had what I wanted, and I couldn’t really complain. October was fun and a lot of good things were happening.

In November I had the honor of attending the partnership event with Vercase and the Born This Way Foundation in Chicago. With that, I was able to speak at the event and share how the Born This Way Foundation has helped me and many other people. I also was able to share my experience with cyberbullying, how it affected me and how I rose above that. Yes, that was in middle school but what people don’t realize is that it sticks with you. The way I view people, the way I act, the way I do things, it’s all because of what happened to me in middle school. ALSO, I HAD THE BEST VEGAN RUEBEN OF MY LIFE THERE.

In December I went to England and wow, incredible. I spent three weeks there with my then boyfriend, his family, his friends and let me tell you, it was crazy. For starters, I’m not the most outgoing person in the world as most of you know. My Instagram may perceive me as a super outgoing, social person but I’m not. I’m super shy so interacting with alllll new people for a solid three weeks was crazy. THE FOOD. Oh my god the food. Guys, I still talk about those stupid mince pies, just ask my mom.

I came back from England in January, basically the shape of a basketball. Okay, not really but I definitely did gain some weight because I ate all the food and drank all the wine. You win some, you lose some and I definitely lost because I wasn’t happy with how I felt and it was because of how puffy I felt. Winter break was coming to an end, and I didn’t want to go back to school. I hadn’t wanted to go back to school since I started there in August 2015. My parents joke that I couldn’t have my car there my freshman year because I would have packed up my room and made it home before they did when they helped me move in and they’re probably right. I wouldn’t have stayed because I wasn’t happy there but I tried to be. I wasn’t in the right friend group my freshman year so that didn’t help me but this year was different. I had the friends, but it still wasn’t clicking. I still wasn’t happy, and so I cried the entire three-hour drive back. And this is where the fun begins…

I got back to school and tried to have the time of my life. But I somehow couldn’t. I couldn’t get myself to enjoy it how everybody around me was. I’d see snapchats of people out, and I was jealous because I didn’t enjoy it like they did. I knew from the start that this wasn’t my home, but it was their home. This is where they wanted to go to school, not where I wanted to go. Sure it didn’t help that I would probably rather stay in more than some people but, I didn’t like it.

In February is when I started to feel a real change. I had this idea in my head that I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t get over the idea that I didn’t think I wanted to be with my boyfriend anymore. The same guy I fought for, for over a year. The girl who saw a future with somebody woke up one day and didn’t see that anymore. But the truth is, I didn’t just wake up and see that, it was gradual and I felt it. I expected it after some of the things that happened in England, but I threw those thoughts in the back of my mind and went on with my life.

Mind you that this boyfriend of mine lived in Colorado at the time so I went to visit that week of spring break and well, that sealed the deal for me. We already had other things going on at the time, but he pushed it off because it didn’t fit his schedule like how other things didn’t fit with what he wanted. So for that week, I sat in an apartment. Not just while he was gone, but while he was there too. We literally didn’t do anything besides for one day. I’m not the type of person who needs to be constantly doing something or doing extravagant things but come on, nobody and I mean literally, NOBODY wants to just sit in an apartment for an entire week. So tell me how much that would seal the deal of what you’ve already been feeling. So I came home from that trip and decided to give him a second chance. Or well, so I told him. I got home and couldn’t do that. I kept trying, I really did. But everything at that point was annoying me. Everything was how he wanted it, and I’m a very “I’ll do what I want” type of person, so that didn’t go well with me. Ok, clearly it did for a year and a half, but I got tired of it. I just realized that I couldn’t do that again with everything I was feeling, I needed to end it.

April came, and I still hadn’t ended it but I couldn’t at that time. But then again, he couldn’t be there for something I needed after everything I did for him. I needed one thing, and he couldn’t be there. So after that, I ended it and never looked back. The beginning of April was terrible, but after that, it was freeing. I had never felt more free than I had for the last year and a half. I was free to do what I wanted when I wanted. One thing I was able to do was to go out and do whatever I wanted. He claimed he knew people that would watch me when I went out. So if I went home with my group of GIRLS, I would receive 14 calls that night wondering why I went home with somebody. Sorry, didn’t know my friends were a big deal. But okay. Not only would I wake up to 14 calls, but I’d also wake up to texts from my mom because, during a majority of the relationship, he felt the need to run to my mom everything I didn’t do something how he wanted me to. So…since I wasn’t doing things on his terms, he hacked my Instagram. Mmhmm, yup. Got on my Instagram account and then tried to say someone in my sorority did it and sent him screenshots from it. But, he couldn’t tell me who and tried to make me turn on my friends by telling me it was somebody in my group. What a pathetic move. I learned my worth real quick and didn’t put up with that so it was over just like that and I never once looked back because fuck him for that.

The summer was freeing, and it was amazing. I was living life for me, not for anybody else. I was doing what I wanted, when I wanted. I was talking to someone I definitely shouldn’t have been but that made it fun. It made it exciting. I was happy, and that’s all that mattered. I didn’t think about the boy who held me back. I went on a date with someone who encouraged me to start all of this, and here we are now, THANK YOU. I figured out my diet and what works for me. I figured out that I really do like eating healthy which is funny because, in high school, I didn’t give a shit. Well, I did. I wanted to be “skinny, ” but ate whatever I wanted, or I would really restrict my food and calories which isn’t good. So I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet for over 2 years and a vegan diet for almost 2 years (holy shit that sounds crazy! How is that even possible) and I was a total junk food vegan for the loooongest time and yeah I felt better but not my best. So this summer I finally figured out that vegetables and fruits really do make me feel good. So for once, I was finally the happiest I had ever been with my body and my mind, and that felt amazing.

So August came, school started, and I was heading back to Springfield not happy about it. For me, it had always been one of those where I’d say I was going to transfer but I never did and I always gave Missouri State one more chance, but I couldn’t do it again. I hated it, again. So, I got a new job in St. Louis which required me to be home a lot (which I loved), and then I made the decision that I was tired of being unhappy. I was tired of not wanting to go back to school because I should love where I was going but I couldn’t love it like everybody else was. I couldn’t love it like the people around me so I stopped feeling sorry for myself and I left.

So this brings me to now. I learned a lot about myself and about life during this past year and a half which I don’t regret. I learned that whatever I want for myself, I have to go out and get for myself. I learned the value of money. I learned the value of people, and I learned how to cut people out of my life that don’t add value, and I learned how to be happy with me, and that’s the most important thing. I wanted to go this whole post without referencing Taylor Swift, but she said ” she lost him but found herself, and somehow that was everything, ” and that’s so true. I did lose him, I did that to myself but I also found myself and learned how to love myself and laugh at myself, and I’d take that over a boy any day.

Recently I had somebody walk away and completely shift my entire point of view of myself. I know that may make me seem weak, but honestly, I think it makes me seem vulnerable, and unfortunately, I do wear my heart on my sleeve. After my last relationship, I built myself up, and I was doing better than I ever had been. I was comfortable in my body, I was confident, and I was living life for myself. I was doing what I wanted when I wanted to and how I wanted. It seemed to shift when I had to question whether this person actually liked me or not. I heard all of these great things, but I didn’t really see it. I was being told everything he knew I wanted to hear, but I didn’t see that payoff. So once again, I put everything I had into something just for the other person to not give me the same. Your worth is notdetermined by a boy who doesn’t see all the good that you are. BUT, I also have to remember how far I have come in just a few months. If you asked me last November if I thought I’d be where I was now, there’s no way in hell I would say yes. So, with that being said, girls, go out and make the future you want for YOURSELF because nobody is going to give it to you. Everything that you want in life is 100% maintainable as long as you work hard for it. Things aren’t going to come easy to you. Your dream job isn’t going to land on your lap one day, and your dream guy most certainly isn’t going to come to you without being the best version of yourself. Work at the relationships you want to built and cut off the dead ends from your life because all we have are ourselves. So don’t look back in a year, 5 years or 10 years and wish you would have been happier back then, go make that happen. But also remember that you are solid gold, and nobody can take that away from you, no matter how “cool” the guy is or seems to be because let’s be honest, he’s probably an asshole anyway. Remember this, fuck boys are friends with fuck boys. So chances are if he’s friends with them, he is one, or they will encourage him to act like one. He doesn’t like you if he just wants you for your body and you don’t owe him that. Just have fun in life and laugh your way through it because if you can’t laugh at yourself, nobody can.

Seeing Green

Seeing Green

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetHonestly…when I die, please bury me in this dress. Okay, maybe that wouldn’t be so comfortable but I think I would die for this dress. I LOOVE this color green on people which is why I don’t know why more people don’t wear it. So, if you don’t have a green dress, GO GET ONE! I promise you that you need it. I first wore green to my junior prom and got so many compliments on it. I waited until this past year to wear a green dress again and realized why I liked it so much. Green isn’t your typical go to dress color but honestly? It may have just become mine. This dress is from Zara for SO cheap. It’s on sale right now for $12.99!!!!!! At the end of this post, I’ll be linking some of my other favorite green dresses.

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The cut out detail on this dress is nice because you can really tie it anyway. I tied in in a bow this day where as you could totally just tie it in a knot and leave the rest hanging down. Also, I liked the little bit of skin that was showing. While the color was something different, so was the side cut out with the one shoulder aspect. You can really tie it as tight or as loose as you want which is nice because it’s all based on personal preference and gives you room to experiment with it.

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While the dress is inexpensive, it’s decent quality! I was worried that when I got it, the fabric would be thin whereas it’s actually pretty thick fabric and holds you in. I felt comfortable in the dress regardless of it being super tight and I do think a lot of that has to do with the fabric being so thick. It’s nice because I’m not worried about it being see through at all!

I just paired this dress with nude heels that I got from target in April but this style of shoe is super easy to find! Here’s a pair by Steve Madden that’s really similar! Also, here’s another pair that has a shorter heel, from Unique Vintage!

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Alice + Olivia – $189

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J. Crew One Shoulder – $130

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Bershka Frill and Cut Out – $48

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ASOS Bow Cold Shoulder – $33

The Ultimate Comfy Pant.

The Ultimate Comfy Pant.

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The ultimate comfy pant and they’re the real deal. They’re better than leggings. Yup, I said it. Something actually beats leggings in a contest they didn’t even know they were involved in. BUT these pants from Brandy Melville are so so so comfortable. I had seen girls wearing the black version of these and like them, but didn’t know how often I would actually wear them. While I was in New York, I knew that I had to go to Brandy and try them on. Well, that lead me to these pants. They’re the same style, just a different color. With these, they’re perfect for spring or summer because they are super light weight and super comfortable. Also, since these aren’t super tight, they aren’t going to stick to your sweat because that would be gross. Unfortunately, Brandy Melville is one size fits all so if you aren’t able to try them on, that can be tricky. Here are also some pants that I would recommend if you don’t find yourself in a location where there’s a Brandy Melville:

Shoptiques

Pink and Blue Stripe Pants (SO cute)

ASOS

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As well as my pants, my top is also from Brandy Melville that I got a few years ago! It has embroidery where a pocket would be and these shirts are super popular right now! So with that being said, this is something you can easily find! Here are some of my favorite slogan shirts:

Topshop Amour Slogan Shirt

Femme Forever Shirt

Topshop Not Your Honey Slogan Shirt

I didn’t even bother wearing shoes in the pictures because shoes are lame. Jk, I like shoes just not that day I guess. Anyways, If I was to wear shoes with this outfit, I’d wear my infamous Steve Madden Brayla Platforms. If you couldn’t find those, these would also be super cute!

As always, follow me on Instagram (@sydney.wilhelm) to keep up to date with my outfits!

 

Dear High School Seniors.

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I was in the same position you’re in now a year ago. I remember feeling like I was stuck in high school and I couldn’t wait to get out of high school. I was SO excited for college that I started to no longer live in the moment of senior year. I mentally was not there. But my advise for you is to truly take in every single moment you have left in the next two months. This is the last month in the comfort of your town you grew up in. In a few months you will all be going to different schools and it will be a new experience for everyone. You won’t see your best friends everyday, but you’ll make new best friends. You won’t see your family everyday, so take in the moments you have with them.

Live in the moment, even if it’s just for the next month. Prom is coming up. Don’t fall victim to thinking it will be a fairytale because something could go wrong. You can’t let that ruin your prom day. Yeah, maybe every guy you asked to prom said no so you take your best friend who is a year younger than you. That’s OKAY. I took my best friend and I’m so glad I did because I had so much fun with her. Graduation is coming up and it’s a really weird feeling to walk across that stage and accept your diploma. You did it. You survived high school. But don’t run from high school while you’re still there.

If I could, I would love to go back to high school even if it’s just for a week. That’s a week in my hometown, surrounded by my best friends. That’s a week of high school sports and high school activities. That’s a week of spending time with your family and a week of home cooked meals.

This month will go by extremely extremely fast and it’s so easy to feel like you’re past high school but let me tell you, you’re not. Live in the moment. Live in high school for the amount of time you have left. I spent most of my senior year thinking I was basically in college and I regret it. I regret it because while I could have been living in the moment with my friends, family, MY DOG, I wasn’t. I was too busy planning my dorm room, picking my orientation date, planning on meeting all of these new friends that I had been talking to since October.

Go to all of the high school parties you can because parties are so much different in college. Cheer on your high school teams a couple of more times while you can. Take in the sound of the lockers and the sound of all the people crammed into the hallway by the marketing department and the math department because eventually you won’t hear those sounds again. You won’t hear your best friend since kindergartens voice in the crowd of people anymore. You won’t hear those people anymore. You won’t hear the USA chant anymore. Enjoy being able to go home for lunch because I’d give anything to go home for lunch-even if it’s for 20 minutes. (I really wish I could tell you that the school food gets better but it doesn’t. It’s gross and if you’re like me, you’ll avoid the dining hall at all costs so truly, enjoy going home for lunch or going out to eat with your friends for lunch).

Live in the moment now because your last time being surrounded by people you’ve been in school with since you were 5 ends at graduation. Graduation is the last place your entire class will be together. After graduation, you have the opportunity to become whoever you want so live in the moment as who you are now, not who you want to be in college. Because even when you come back to high school to visit, it will all be different.