there is no shame…


You’re Not a “Plan B” Kind of Girl


You deserve better than someone who is afraid to commit to you. It may seem like enough for now. You’re just taking things slow. Oh, how I know those little phrases of “one day” and we just need time.

You believe them.
And I’ve believed them.

But you’re not a “Plan B” kind of girl.

You need to know that you’re not the invisible one standing in the back who gets chosen last.

You’re the girl who the team captain will be frantically hoping doesn’t get picked by someone else before he gets a turn. You’re a first-pick kind of girl. And no one worth having sits back and lets those girls wait around.

‘Cause every good man knows that the good ones get gone fast.

He should be jumping out of his skin in anticipation to call out your name and say “I pick you.”

“But he’s…

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Letter to the Past: Dear Ellen…

Dear High School Freshman Ellen,

You’ve been through a lot to reach the place that you’re at, and you’re going to go through much more before you get to where you’re going. Here’s some thoughts that you should consider:

Freshman year is going to be a blast. It’ll probably be one of the easiest years in high school, and you should learn to enjoy it more. Appreciate this time of high school since it’ll be comparatively less stressful. I know you’re going to try to plan out everything in your life, but it’s okay to be spontaneous and do something out of the ordinary. Stop looking left and right at what other people are doing. I know you’re not the type of person to hop onto the bandwagon, but you are going to be thinking to yourself about all the things you need to work on, and what other people do shouldn’t be the cause of your worry.  Their accomplishments don’t mean you need to work hard to be better. Their accomplishments mean they’re amazing individuals just as you are one too.

In the next couple of years, you’re going to develop different relationships with various people. Don’t work yourself over trying to change people’s lives. It’s not going to happen… You put everything into something when you set your mind to it (that’s something that hasn’t changed), but other people don’t work with that same mentality. You need to realize that it’s okay to put yourself first. At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with yourself so be happy with what you’ve been able to do. And, it’s okay to work on yourself more than other people– becoming a better you is not selfish. Furthermore, it’s okay to let go. You try so hard to make everything work out… for yourself and most importantly, other people. In life, failure is inevitable and you’ll need to learn to accept that in terms of academics as well as life.

You’re going to receive a lot of rejection in the next couple of years. Failure and rejection doesn’t define who you are. Your grades and your extracurricular activities don’t define who you are. Even your friends don’t define who you are. You’re going to make new friends and you’re going to lose friendships. I’m sorry to say, but people are going to backstab you. Accept it, move on, and don’t become a bitter person. The things worth keeping will always find their way back to you, and what is cut out wasn’t meant to be a part of your life anymore. That is okay. Once again, some people are not meant to be a part of your life. You may not recognize it then, but the realization will come to you sooner or later.

Your parents love you. They may show it in different ways, but they always mean well. Listen to their advice! I know you’re probably thinking that you can figure things out the way you always do, and you’re right… you can. But, it’ll save you a whole lot of trouble if you follow your parents’ advice from the start because you’re more than likely to backtrack at some point.

Please continue to be that loving and cheery person that you are. Don’t change who are as a result of other people’s inability to understand you. You’re a sweet soul at the end of the day. Once again, please don’t ever change that. Believe in yourself. What other people think isn’t going to change who you are. Try to make new friends, to take new adventures, to worry less and share the person that you are to others. Continue to bring laughter into people’s lives.

I know you’re the type of person that hates holding regret, and there will be many regrets made in high school. Continue the mindset of letting your regrets go, and recognizing that there’s no use in dwelling on what you cannot change. You’re going to get a whole heck-ton amount of advice from a lot of people, but listen to your heart and mind.

Freshman Ellen, you may be scared to venture the new halls of Consol, but this will be your home for the next couple of years. There will be teachers at this school who will change your life. There will also be people here who will hurt you, and people to bring you back up. I know trusting people isn’t always your thing, but have confidence in yourself. Confidence may be believing in yourself. Confidence may be trusting yourself. Confidence may be recognizing your strengths. Try to find all three of these things for yourself. Most importantly, love yourself– love yourself, love others, and love God. The next four years aren’t going to be easy, but if there’s anything that you can take from this it’s that you need to learn to love yourself.

With Love,                                                                                                                                                                       Sincerely Yours,

Ellen Signature                                                                                                                                                                   Ellen Li, High School Senior

10 Tidbits of Advice for Senior Year at Consol

Here’s a list of things I’ve learned from my senior year thus far. These are some of the things that I wish I had known before this year started. Hopefully, it’ll help some current juniors out there:)

  1. Top 10% means automatic acceptance, but not really……. most Texas schools (ahem.. UT) do not guarantee your major. If you’re applying for a highly competitive major (Business or Engineering), there is still the very likely possibility that you won’t get in your major. Also, you still have to go through the strenuous application process for all the schools that you have automatic admissions to. (Remember, Rice is a private school; thus, automatic acceptance does not apply to it)
  2. Ask teachers for recommendations early! Teachers are busy and you will be too. Don’t let this be an added stress for you or them. Ask around the beginning of the school year. Lots of students will begin to ask the same teachers (cool teachers have a rep). Have everything prepared for your teachers too. Most of them will want to see your resume or ask you for some other information about what you plan to do or where you plan to apply, etc.
  3. Don’t forget transcripts and test scores and all other fees. You have to order transcripts to be sent to schools. You have to order test scores (SAT & ACT) to be sent to schools. You have to remember to send letters of recommendations as well as all other application costs (this can range from $50 to 100… Good Ole Stanford takes out $90 from your wallet to apply) to be sent to schools. College is a hefty weight on your wallet and it starts before you even get accepted.
  4. If you’re applying to be an engineering major, APPLY EARLY AT A&M! Engineering is rolling until they hit a specific percent and then they do holistic review. Also, A&M is rolling admissions (UT is not, but it does help to apply early) in general so it will benefit you to apply earlier even if you are not an engineering major.
  5. Don’t look at College Confidential. Don’t do it. It will make you feel like you’re not capable of getting into any college ever and that you will have to resort to working at McDonald’s for the rest of your life (not that there’s anything wrong with that… McNuggets are the BEST). Seriously, you’ll end up comparing your credentials to every single one of those 2400 SAT scores and then compose your own rejection letter from the University that you have yet to apply to.
  6. If you happen to decide to join any group that relates to college, (you may not be aware of these now but examples include the UT 2020 Facebook group, the UT Engineering GroupMe group…that’s redundant…., or the Rice 2020 Twitter) then expect to see a flood of other people’s acceptance letters. Try not to let these make you feel bad about life. Be aware… the worst are the schools that send out acceptances in waves because you may end up being one of the few still waiting to hear something/anything from a school when it seems like every single other person has already been accepted.
  7. Try to ensure that you will be able to exempt your finals for the semester (AKA No Skipping!). Finals week will actually be the most relaxing time in all of high school if you are able to exempt. Take advantage of being able to exempt every single one of your classes.
  8. Sometimes… it’s okay to allow senioritis to kick in. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, you’ll figure it out soon enough. This just means if you’re like me and you get anxious over every test and stress over every project, it’s okay to let loose and allow yourself to relax a little bit. Grades really aren’t as important this year. However, this doesn’t mean… leave your sonnet project until the last minute and find yourself working on it at three in the morning even after using of your extension. The saying “Pay Now, Play Later or Play Now, Pay Later” still applies.
  9. Senior year fall semester can suck a little bit (or a LOT). There are the few students that will have their college apps already submitted by August 1st as soon as the ApplyTexas App opens, but most people will be learning to be magicians and try the balancing act of school work, college apps and friendships. Most likely your balancing trick will fail, but fortunately, picking up the pieces is feasible. It just takes a lot of patience and not stressing. Stressing leads to lashing out at friends, making stupid errors on applications, and forgetting about tests.
  10. This time of year has been the most stressful for some. Friendships will be questioned and some may even end, but it is also a time of growth. You’ll realize that this is not the end-all be-all. College acceptances do not measure your intelligence or worth. If you are accepted, Congrats! The admissions office at some university saw something special in you. If you get rejected, you will be okay and you will figure something out. Some random person at an admissions office who doesn’t think you are qualified for their school doesn’t say anything about who you are as a person. You still have the ability to be just as successful in life. And, who is to say that high school and college achievements are the measure of success?