Seventeen. The year you begin senior year of high school. The year you begin to look at colleges and decide where you're going to spend the next four years of your life. The year you will probably have your heart broken at least once.
Your 17th year is huge. And, in hopes to help all of you 17-year-olds during your last year of high school, I've decided to share with you some insight into making this year the best year yet:
1. Every day of senior year should not be a fashion show
You've spent literally every other year of high school trying to impress your friends/the boys at your school. However, this is your last year. The fashion show is over. Forget the eyeliner every once in a while and know that wearing a T-shirt to school is actually the best thing ever.
2. The Lord is going to shut doors for a reason
... especially when it comes to college. You might not get into your dream school or you might not do so well on the SAT. Learn from it. He has a plan.
SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Had A Plan
3. This is your last year with your best friends as your best friends
It's the hard truth, but once you get to college, you're going to make a ton of new best friends. It's totally a good thing, trust me! But this is your last year doing life with your best friends -- make it count.
4. Eat as much as you want
Yeah, enjoy the pizza for lunch/soccer practice after school routine while it lasts. College is going to kick your metabolism's butt (and not in a pretty way).
5. Don't date unless you absolutely can't help it
You have no idea where you're going to school in the fall. You have no idea where your crush is going to go. And unless you're absolutely, 100 percent convinced y'all are going to get married, don't open up the possibility of dating during your senior year. Because I promise, a relationship with one of y'all in California and one of y'all in Tennessee is never going to be a walk in the park.
6. Show off on the basketball court
... or the soccer field, or the baseball diamond, or wherever your heart desires. It's your last year to prove yourself to your teammates, opponents, and coaches. Show off a little bit -- you deserve it.
7. Be intentional
Whether it's with your best girlfriends or the rising freshmen, be a presence in their school year. It makes coming home from college to them a whole lot sweeter.
8. Don't be a punk
Despite what you think, your parents and teachers are much more wiser and smarter than you are. Don't talk back, don't fight them, and don't disobey. It will make your year a whole lot smoother.
9. What you see in the mirror is beautiful
So often my senior year I found myself wishing I saw something else in the mirror, and it caused a lot of frustration and selfishness to occur during the school year. Don't let your appearance consume you; your heart is all that matters.
10. Have school spirit
You're going to be sitting in your dorm room on the night of your high school's first home game wishing you were there. Believe me, it's going to happen. Soak up the obnoxious football chants and dress up themes while you can -- you're going to miss it.
11. Love on your parents
They're going to miss you a whole lot when you leave for college, I promise. Despite whatever fighting and frustration takes place in your home, know that they love you and are low-key dreading you leaving for school. Love on them, stay home on a Friday night to watch a movie with them, and show them as much grace as you can. This is the last year they can make you soup when you're not feeling good and give you back scratches on the hard days -- don't forget it.
12. Drama needs to be done
This is literally your last year with your entire class all together. Do you really want to spend it bickering with or gossiping about these people? Do you really want to graduate with hate in your heart for any of them? Because I know it's not worth it. Be kind, be compassionate, and be understanding.
13. Don't slack in school
Contrary to popular belief, colleges indeed look at your senior year grades. Don't slack -- it's not worth losing a scholarship or college acceptance because you "forgot" to turn in your paper or "accidentally" plagiarized the whole thing.
14. Spend time with your siblings
I know the person I missed the most when I got to school was my little sister. After this year, you're done living in the same home with your siblings 365 days a year, and I promise you're going to miss it. Don't forget about them while you're too busy doing senior things.
15. Go on spring break with your friends
It may get crazy, it may be dramatic, and it may be expensive, but the highlight of my senior year was spending a week at the beach with my best friends. We made the best memories and laughed until we cried -- so do it.
16. Take lots of pictures
No matter how annoyed your friends get with you making every hangout a "photo sesh," you're going to be so thankful you documented all of your memories when you're looking back your freshman year of college.
17. This is your last year of being a kid
This is your last year of your mom making your dinner and doing your laundry. This is your last year of studying the morning of for a test. This is your last year of being dependent on other people. Soak it up. Let your parents baby you some, and let your need for help be evident. Freshman year is going to be so sweet but so different, so be present in the season you're in.
College is so, so wonderful, but so is senior year. Take it head on and be present. Don't straighten your hair every day, don't lie to your parents, and love on your friends and siblings even when they drive you crazy. I promise, this is going to be the best year yet.