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Cadet

  • Travel

    My First Trip Abroad

    BY Sohpie Herrington

    My First Trip Abroad

    My junior year of high school, I became friends with Tella, a foreign exchange student from Gothenburg, Sweden, who spent the year at my school in Mobile, Alabama. We were determined to maintain our close friendship, so she visited Mobile again the next year, and I decided to take my first trip outside of the United States to attend her high school graduation.

    I made it to Sweden to watch my friend graduate on June 7, 2018, and the experience was much different than I anticipated. While graduation in America is a more formal ceremony, Swedish graduation is a 24-hour celebration. Each class at Tella’s school ran along a red carpet onto a stage to dance and celebrate their accomplishment. The students wear white dresses and sailor caps rather than a cap and gown. Family also ties items such as flowers, champagne, and stuffed animals attached to string around her neck. This part of their graduation is called utspring.

     

    After utspring, Tella and the rest of her classmates are driven around the city cheering before attending parties for the rest of the day. One party is celebrated with family and friends, and the last party of the night is celebrated with all of the graduating classmates.

    Aside from Tella’s graduation, my adventures in Sweden included swimming in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, eating a giant cinnamon roll, visiting the famous amusement park –Liseberg, and many more! We spent my last day on the island, Galterö, which we nicknamed Sheep Island due to its high sheep population. Sheep Island had a notebook in which travelers could write about their personal experiences on the island, and we were happy to contribute our own.

    I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit Tella in Sweden. She has had such a positive impact on my life, so it was important to me that I was able to help her celebrate her graduation. In our friendship, distance has been no more than a physical separation, and we won’t let it keep our relationship stagnant. I highly recommend doing what you can to maintain friendships with the obstacle of a little distance. Tella and I can’t wait to plan another trip together. Here’s to international friendships!

     

  • Photography

    5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Prom Dress

    Snag must-have advice from Say Yes to the Prom Dress’s Monte Durham. And don’t forget to tune in to Say Yes to the Prom Dress Saturday, April 1, at 8/7c on TLC.

    Find your perfect gown with this advice from Say Yes to the Prom fashion director Monte Durham.

    Do your research

    Minimize dressing-room drama by having an idea of what you want before you hit the stores. (Tear out or print pictures of looks you like.) “When you go shopping, start by focusing on one color or style so you have a jumping-off point,” Monte says. “Once you walk into the prom department, the assortment can be distracting — and you want to stay focused. It doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind, but at least you have a game plan.”

    Bring someone you trust!

    You’ll want a second opinion, whether that’s from your mom, another relative, or your BFF (as long as you know you won’t compete over styles!). “You need this person to have your back and tell you the truth,” says Monte. Can’t resist a squad shopping trip? Consider it a test run. “Bring friends and browse, but come back with that one person you trust later and make a great, solid choice.”

    Make sure it fits

    Sure, you can always get a dress shortened or taken in a bit, but the length of the bodice needs to be correct from the start. “The bust should hit at your chest and the waist should sit right at your waist,” Monte says. “Those are key points that can’t be fixed with alterations.”

    Shake it up

    “If you love to dance, make sure the dress allows you to move,” he says. (Yes, you should dance around the fitting room.) “If you’re wild and crazy, you’ll need a full skirt or a flowy Empire fit — because if you’re in a skintight mermaid, you’re not going to be able to get very far.”

    Go with your gut

    You’ll know you’re ready to “say yes” when the dress feels right — even if it’s one of the first looks you try on. “Don’t second-guess yourself,” Monte says. “If it fits well, is the color you like, and is in your budget, hold on to it, walk the department one more time, and then go for it. Chances are, that’s the dress that’s perfect for you!”

    Everyone deserves to go to prom, right? That’s the idea behind TLC’s Say Yes to the Prom initiative, which has helped nearly 1,000 underserved and academically high-achieving students across the country get everything they need for a magical night. Tune in to follow several students as they meet with style pros (including Seventeen’s own Aya Kanai!) to create their perfect looks. You’ll get some serious fashion and glam ideas while you hear their inspiring stories. Tune into Say Yes to the Prom, Saturday, April 1, at 8/7c on TLC.

    A version of this story was originally published in the January 2017 issue of Seventeen Prom.

  • Portfolio

    X

    Atlantic waters as far as my eyes can see
    Between hiccups full of water
    Coughing up salt
    Drowning
    Existing, but drowning
    Forgetting my mind in one blink
    Gagging on my own memories
    Hating every moment I once devoted to you
    Indescribable
    Jumbled lives living inside of my mind
    Kickboxing with the waves, trying to stay afloat
    Lighting a fire in my mind
    Melting my existence in a second
    Nothing
    Of course, that’s all I was to you
    Pretty, lifeless, stupid girl
    Questions raised but left unanswered
    Raking through the waves to find them
    Sinking
    Throwing you away like every meal you left unfinished
    Unlocked secrets drown with me
    Valleys of meaningless compliments and gifts
    Waving farewell to what was once
    X
    Yes, as pointless as the letter you are
    Zoning out every memory of you