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Life changes

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After attending nearly a decade worth of graduations that weren’t my own, I finally realize the emotion behind the ceremonial celebrations. 

This year, they hit me a lot, lot harder. They say it’s hard to watch those younger than you grow up, and boy are they right. 

This year I watched my two younger twin cousins graduate from Conway High School, where my own twin brother and sister have transferred and just completed their sophomore year. 

I am so proud of the people they have become and I can’t wait to see what they’re able to do to better our world. I have full faith that they’re destined for great things. 

In my mind, they should still be running around in Mickey Mouse attire, begging me to play with them or take them to the gas station for a bug juice.

While it’s easy to get lost in a moment, we need to better about cherishing them before they pass. Once time is lost, it can’t be given back.

Growing up, your cousins are your best friends and your big cousins are the coolest people you can be around. I always felt less “mature” than others my age because of the fact that I hung out with my family and not really many people my age outside of school or sports. 

I have been thinking a lot about the days that much tinier mouths would ask to go to the zoo, go swimming or simply play wiffle ball in my grandma’s front yard. 

Those times have quite literally seemed to disappear as the years went on, and it didn’t even hit me until I was looking at them in a cap and gown. 

I’m fresh out of younger, immediate, nearby family members that I can hang out with in the summertime and always count to be down for child-like fun and games. 

I’m not one for giving advice, but today I have a pair of pennies for teenagers who may be graduating from high school or college: don’t disappear. Don’t be too busy creating your own life that you neglect the love of those who surround you.

Continue going swimming in the middle of your off days and don’t worry about getting your hair wet or being too tired to go out later that night. Spend the time with your loved ones while they still want to. 

Life comes at you in phases, and while some are more enjoyable than others – it is what we make of it. Make it great and make it memorable. Spend it with those you love while they’re still closeby.

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