Advice: Advice will be swirling around you for the next year. From picking your school, making adult decisions and how to survive life as a college freshman. Let's face it, even this whole article is advice. Smile and say thank you- everyone thinks they're helping.
By Your Side: It's hard to believe, but honestly, every teacher and adult in your life wants you to succeed. Your parents push you and get mad at you because they want you to do well. They've seen you thrive and they've seen you fail, but the people around you continue to encourage and challenge you.
Counting Down: You're almost there, really. You have maybe six months left- you can do it.
Decisions: This is a time of decisions. A lot of them will be made in a short amount of time and none of them should be taken lightly. These include everything from picking the college for you to what you do with your weekends. Be smart and be careful.
Emotions: You're probably feeling a lot right now. From happy and excited for the next chapter to start to sad that this one is closing. You may not understand why you're sad, all you've ever wanted is to move on, but it's COMPLETELY normal to be overwhelmed with emotions (your parents definitely are). Don't be ashamed of your emotions.
Friends: Soak up all the time you have with your friends before everyone goes their own way. Stay out too late just driving around, spend money and go places and take way too many pictures (you need something to put on your dorm walls in the fall).
Growing Up: There's a lot of clichés around graduating high school and going to college, but some of them you think will never apply to you. You don't want to believe you and your high school friends may grow apart, but it may happen. You don't want to think about eating microwave mac and cheese or ramen for dinner when you don't feel like going to the dining hall, but it happens. It's growing up and it's happening, whether you like it or not.
Headaches: The stress of the second semester cannot be ignored. You may still be applying, you may be done but receiving your decisions from the schools. On top of that, you're probably trying to make plans for all the senior festivities. Oh, and then there's your school work which still needs to be a priority. There's a lot going on, your head is bound to hurt- sorry.
Initiate Conversations: When you're added to those college Facebook groups, they're terrifying, but they allow you to meet some familiar faces. Post about yourself. Comment on others' posts. Start a streak with some people. You may meet a roommate, a best friend or just someone to smile at as you walk by them on campus. But knowing there are some people in your same position will make you feel better.
Juggling: You got a lot going on, sometimes it's going to feel like a juggling act at the circus.
Kindness: Just be nice, it's not that hard. You really don't want to be remembered as the mean kid, do you?
Let Go: In a few short months, you'll be graduated from your high school and leaving your hometown it's time to let go and move on from grudges and fights you have with people in your class.
Make The Most Of It: I was going to put the word memories here, tell you that you should go out and make memories, but I feel like "Make The Most Of It" covers that and more. Your mom wants to start family dinners? Make the most of it. You get a group project with the one person you haven't ever liked working with? Make the most of it. Your best friend has decided to go to college HOURS from yours? Well, you'll have to make the most of it.
Neighbors: I get it, you're ready to meet some new people and kiss the all too familiar neighbors in your hometown goodbye, but don't overlook them. They're the people that have been there every step of the way. Don't forget all those football games in middle school you felt SO COOL to be at. Don't forget about the same Dunks employee that wished you a good morning at the crack of dawn. Appreciate all the little things the familiarity of your neighbors has to offer.
Opinions: Everything you do, someone will have an opinion. Someone isn't going to think you pick the right school for you. Someone isn't going to like the way the color of your dress looks with the gown at graduation. But remember, the only opinion that matters is yours (and those close to you- if you're unsure). Everyone will always have an opinion, do what makes you happy.
Posts: Be aware of what you are posting on social media. Everything, private or not, will matter in the future. Be smart and don't post something you wouldn't be proud of your grandmother seeing.
Questions: Everyone has questions. Period. Be comfortable and confident in your questions so that you aren't afraid to ask them. This will only become more important as you transition into college and life afterward, get used to it now.
Responsibility: If you haven't already, you need to learn to do things for yourself. Pretty soon your family won't be around to do your laundry or make sure you eat so you have to take on those little responsibilities on your own.
Senioritis: You're over those same walls and halls, you're ready to be gone and your work ethic has gone down the drain. I've been there. But you need to keep your grades up, you're about to go to college where the work isn't going to lessen. Don't give up, you got this.
Time Outs: It's completely okay to need a time out for yourself. Step back, say "no" to a night out, take a mental health day. You matter and time for you is so important.
Unexpected: So many things are beginning to change and come your way this semester. Maybe your top college has shifted from what it was throughout your high school career. Maybe someone new texted you to hang out. Maybe buy concert tickets last minute or drive into the city for dinner on a whim. Take unexpected changes and embrace them.
Vacations: Make use of your school vacations. This can be for fun or for if you aren't sure where you're going. Go on breakfast dates with your best friends. Go revisit the colleges you're deciding between, if possible.
Work: Work for money, honestly. I know it's your last summer before college and being away from your friends, but college is expensive. Not even tuition just living at college. For example, say you and your friends want to go to dinner then you have to pay for an Uber to get there and back, plus dinner and if you go near any stores then that's even more money. Work hard to earn money before you leave.X-Ray: This one is a bit of a stretch, I know, but "x" is tough. This means to be open and honest. There is no need or benefit from hiding things. Tell people how you feel. Voice your opinion.
You Can Do It: Just another little reminder that you got this, just a few months left.
Zzz: Sleep is so important. The proper amount of sleep allows you to focus and it helps keep you healthy. Besides, who doesn't love a good nap?