Dear Students, Cheers

Oh, summer. Two to three months of relaxing at the pool, family time at the beach, outdoor beer pong, and amazing memories with friends. From music festivals to the occasional concert at Jiffy Lube, summer is one hell of a season. But, as the legendary Tony Stark said, “Part of the journey is the end,” and sadly, we’re in the endgame now.

As summer comes to a close and parents inform you of the annual Staples school supplies trip, students all around the world brace for another year closer to adult life. Some of us may be starting a new chapter in a new environment while others come across the exciting yet challenging junior or senior year. Regardless of the year you’re about to encounter, I can make certain of one thing: no matter what school throws at you, you’ll survive.

When I first joined The Sideline Observer, I was still a scrawny kid entering his junior year. As hype as I was to join the site and write my ass off, junior year wasn’t kind to my aspirations. My attempts to consistently write for the site were met with roadblocks like schoolwork, studying, other extracurriculars, college talk, family expectations, high school drama, and unfortunately, periods of anxiety and depression.

Sorry to any rising juniors or students in my type of situation, but the road you’re about to turn into isn’t as clear as you think. There were nights where I laid down on my bed, listened to music, and just felt completely alone, lost, and uncertain of what to do with myself. That being said, I know I’m not alone when it comes to facing roadblocks throughout the school year. School can be a bitch, but at the end of the day, the only way we can all get through this is with support.

Your friends and family are friends and family for a reason. They love you, support you, care about you, and most importantly, want you to succeed. As students, the shit we have to go through during the school year is vastly unappreciated. So, ask for help. Not everyone may need help, but everyone can use it. Study with one another, share helpful advice, feel free to talk about what’s on your mind, get some late night McDonalds, and most importantly, have each others backs. 

For seniors entering their last year of high school or college, take it all in. It’s the last rodeo with your homies. Don’t end this chapter with any regrets;  take some risks, reach out to people you’ve always wanted to be friends with, and enjoy the hell out of this year. Many of you will be facing real life stuff come Fall 2020, so embrace this last hoorah at school.

For incoming freshmen walking into an unfamiliar campus with unfamiliar faces, don’t be hesitant to branch out. College brings a lot of opportunities for you to do whatever the hell you wanna do, so don’t sit at a desk all day and study. Join a club you find oddly interesting, rush Greek life, explore life outside your campus, and of course, get very lit. I mean– it’s college. 

For the high school folks out there, don’t take things for granted. These four years go very quickly, and as a famous high schooler once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The friends you’ve grown up with are only going to be around for a little longer, so really make some lasting memories with them. Feel free to be wild– but not too wild. All it takes is one stupid decision to mess up the rest of your acadmeic life. Save all the stupid shit for college.

I’m not gonna lie, this summer went way too fast and I’m still shook it’s the middle of August as I’m writing this. I always thought college applications were years away yet the moment I made my Common App account, a subtle “oh shit,” escaped my mouth. But, as all living things do, we grow, evolve, and move on with our lives.

As for The Sideline Observer, we’re truly blessed to have continued growing and couldn’t be happier with everyone’s support. It’s been a thrilling journey from back when “The Hateful 8” founded the site to the two Off the Sideline basketball tournaments, and to just recently, our most anticipated merch drop. We’ve got loads of new content and ideas in the works to make The Sideline Observer your go to for all takes sports and culture. We’d also love to hear from you on what you’d like to see more on the site, so please let us know what we can improve on and incorporate. 

I wish the best of luck to all the students out there embarking on another year of hard work, late night studying, and great ass times with your friends. School’s a real grind, but just know it pays off. Now, finish that last chapter of your summer reading and go play some pong.

-Mateo Gutierrez

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