Dads are the best resource for all things manly. However, when college rolls around you realize just how much you relied on them and how much you still don't know. Here is to all of those little questions and conversations you have when you just don't know what to do:
Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.
For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.
THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.
Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!
THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...
We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.
Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.
Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...
Mother's and Father's Day. Days of the year where everyone is expected to focus all their attention on the mothers and fathers of the world. They do so many things that are never recognized, just expected of them. It's their duties as mothers and fathers to take care of, protect, love, and do all means necessary to make their children happy. That's what they signed up for, right?
We use Mother's and Father's Day to step back and thank our parents for all the little things they've done over the past years. For 24 hours, we end up showering them in attention, gifts, and love. It's our turn to spoil them back.
After those 24 hours are gone though, what happens? All the sappy social media posts fade away. The handwritten cards get tossed out. The festivities end. Everyone goes back to their daily routines.
I always found it funny how on these days every year, everyone in the world is all hands on deck, spoiling our moms and dads in any way possible. My siblings and I would always get our parents cards, small gifts, and maybe have a special dinner together that day.
As I grow older, I'm starting to understand how silly a day like Mother's and Father's Day really is. My parents are the greatest superheroes I have ever met, so they should be celebrated, appreciated, and taken care of not just one day, but every day of the damn year.
My parents have raised me from day one, supporting me through all the highs and lows. They picked me up when I fell down and scraped my knee on the concrete. They dealt with me through every temper tantrum and angry episode. They didn't kill me during my teenage years (I was the biggest brat).
They've spent God only knows how much money to support me in all of my endeavors. They sat and let me cry on their shoulders when I got my heart broken for the first time. They continue to pick up the phone in the late hours of the night when I'm having a panic attack about something silly.
They stood by me as I graduated from middle school, high school, and college. They'll continue to support me as I move out and on, getting married and having a family of my own.
My mom and dad have been there for me 365 days a year, every year. I think it's my turn to be there for them 365 days a year, not just on Mother's and Father's Day.
I know it's hard to do so right now as I am at an unstable time of my life, but one day I will be able to give back everything they have given to me, and more.
So, to my wonderful parents, my role models, and my heroes:
Thank you for taking care of me, protecting me, loving me, and doing all things necessary to make me happy. I don't think any amount of words, hugs, or kisses will be able to truly show how blessed I am to have parents like you. I love you both so much, and I promise to celebrate you every day, 365 days a year.
You mean the world to me, and I hope you know that you've done an amazing job raising my siblings and I. I hope to one day be half the parent that you are. Thank you for being you. I love you so much.
Happy Mother's and Father's Day to all the parents out there. Although those holidays are absolutely your days to shine, I hope you get showered in love 365 days a year, too.