To the senioritis-stricken almost-graduate,
I’m sure you’ve heard someone call high school the “best four years of your life”. I’d like to disagree, and for your sake, and I hope that won’t be true anyway.
One short year ago, I was in your same place, so I know exactly what it’s like.
I know exactly how it feels to be where you are now.
I know the AP classes and college applications are brutal (but they are so worth it later, trust me) and I know that the wait for prom, graduation, summer, and college seems eternal…
but it really will be worth it.
For me, it didn’t all seem to fly by as quickly as everyone said it would, so don’t worry if you’re feeling that way, too.
You can’t wait to graduate and get on with your life. You can’t wait to move out of the house you grew up in and get away from your hometown and finally be your own person.
I get it. I was there too.
I’m not here to tell you to cherish every second walking down the brightly lit, litter-lined high school hallway. I’m not here to tell you that you’ll miss everything about high school, and that you’ll wish you could go back once you leave.
And I don’t.
Don’t get me wrong, high school had its highs, but for me, they were more like highlights. I had some amazing teachers, learned a lot (academically and personally), and I made some friendships that lasted beyond the confines of high school. I was really involved, my grades were good, and I’m proud of what I made of my four years, but I’m not here to brag.
I’m just saying that by the end, I was ready to move on, and it’s okay if you are too.
I’m not saying that high school doesn’t matter. It’s four years of your life that are vital to your education and to shaping who you are. But I’m also saying that it’s totally fine if these four years aren’t “the best”.
I hope you’ve taken high school, as you should take any experience, to learn all you can and to be the best you can.
I hope you’ve learned to worked hard and respect your teachers, because if you haven’t, you’ll have a tough time mastering these things (among everything else) as you kick off your college career.
I hope you’ve at least figured out some fields you don’t like, if you haven’t exactly figured out what major or career you want to pursue, because process of elimination can be helpful for more than just test questions. (As you’ll soon find, “what’s your major” and “what do you want to do with your life” may soon become, if they haven’t already, some of the toughest questions to answer.)
I hope you’ve found something you’re passionate about, even if it has nothing to do with your “career plan”. You need something that’s part of your “life plan”, too.
I hope you’ve found a teacher, parent, or friend, that inspires you to learn and to always do your best.
I hope you’ve learned that you don’t always get what you want, but everything happens for a reason.
I hope you know that every early morning, daunting AP exam, SAT, and big rival game were all struggles that made you who you are and who you will be. High school is tough, but I hope you’ve found your drive, because you’re gonna need it.
I hope you’ve appreciated sharing classes and lunch periods with your friends, because in college, you’re lucky if you sort-of know someone across the room of your 200 student lecture, and you might soon find that you and your best friend have two totally different schedules, and two totally different lives.
I really hope you’ve learned how to do laundry, cook for yourself, and wake yourself up in the morning before you leave for college, and save yourself some embarrassment later on. Your parents won’t always be down the hall to make sure you’re awake for class, have a meal ready to eat, and enough clean clothes to wear.
I hope you’ve learned to love and appreciate your family. Friends will come and go, but family is forever and you will miss them, even if it doesn’t seem like it now.
I hope you know that high school graduation is not the end at all, but the very, very beginning of your life. There is a world of opportunity out there and I hope you’re ready for it.
Pretty soon, you’re going to be sitting in your college dorm/apartment talking to your roommate about how you can’t believe you graduated high school just a few months ago (like I am, right now).
Soon these days will just be memories, and you’ll be on to making new ones.
I hope you make the most of this time because before you know it, the waiting will be over, you’ll be handed that diploma, and everything will change, but I promise it’ll be for the better.
A thankful college freshman