I am almost done going to college for the career of my dreams. I have accomplished things that I didn't even know were possible, and I am the happiest I have ever been. But when I think of where I was this time about 4 years ago, I want to make sure that you know what I have learned to get to this point in my life.
1. You are not going to be everyone's 'cup of tea' and you don't have to be
You aren't going to like everyone you come across, and some of them won't like you. There is no reason at all for that to interfere with your life. If you don't like someone, you don't communicate with them and you stay away. The same applies if someone doesn't like you. Don't let the fact that they cannot see how amazing you are distract you from your shine. You are going to accomplish your dreams whether they like you or not, so you might as well accomplish them with a clear mindset, and positive vibes.
2. Cherish the memories, but don't dwell on the 'loss' of your childhood
You are going to meet unforgettable people, experience amazing things and create memories you will cherish for a lifetime. But high school really isn't the best it is going to get. You are going to continue to do that each and every day. Once you become an adult, you will have more responsibilities but it will make the good times so much better. You are going to vacation with friends, start working towards your dream job, eventually, make your own family, and create a name for yourself that you don't have a chance at in high school. The memories you make here are going to last forever, but they won't be the best days of your life.
3. Never forget where you came from while you get to where you're going
You are going to go through thousands of crazy, stressful, beautiful moments, but you can't forget where you started. If you are in an internship, at the height of your job, excelling in all of your classes when you get to where I am, don't forget the failing grades, arguments with your parents, and failures. Don't forget the small town with the delicious pizza shop or the guy at Wawa who knew your lunch order perfectly. You are going places, but don't forget where you have been.
4. It is OK to cut off toxic people
You don't owe anyone except yourself anything. Do not stick by people who are not helping you grow, because you are at a point in your life where you either grow or fall with the people you surround yourself with. It is your own decision what people get to see you succeed. It is your decision what people get to treat you poorly, and it is your decision whether or not you are going to accept being around people who don't build you up. You don't have to stay with your friend who has decided her boyfriend's relationship is more important than yours, you don't have to stick around the friend who is using drugs because you have been friends forever, and you don't have to remain friends with the guy who is taking advantage of you.
5. Do the things that make YOU happy
Stop allowing people to make decisions for you. You need to make sure that you do things that make you happy. Buy the clothes, be friends with who makes you happy, go to the dance, don't go to the dance, hang out with your friends, and be yourself. You just have to do what makes you happy, and the rest will fall into place.
6. Don't let 'senioritis' ruin everything you have worked towards
You have worked really hard to get where you are. Don't let your hard work be a waste. Take school seriously, because it is so important and its only temporary. Get your schoolwork done and become the best you can be. Don't take it for granted, it does mean something as you get older.
7. Remember that you are allowed to have bad days
Too many students are allowing their mental health to be on the back burner, when they shouldn't be. It is OK to not be OK, and if you need to take a mental health day to make sure that you are back to yourself again. That is alright. Remember that you need to make sure that you are happy before you can excel in your life.
8. Treat people the way that you want to be treated
You cannot walk around in your life expecting things from others, the only thing that you should expect is that they treat you the way you treat them. That is also what they should expect, don't treat kind people poorly just because you are in a mood. Don't allow others to treat you poorly because they are in a mood. You need to make sure that you radiate the same amount of kindness you expect from others.
9. Speak your mind, and stand up for what you believe in
Don't let the opinions of others to change your opinions. You are just as important as anyone else, and what you believe in matters. Make sure that you speak up for yourself and allow people to see the real you. Let them gain an insight into your life that they can respect. Stand up for the things you believe, even if you are standing alone. Don't let others silence you, because you matter and what you say matters.
10. Your life is your own, don't do things in spite of others or for others. Do them for yourself
Allow yourself to master what you want because you want it. Don't play a sport because your father did. Don't apply to your mother's alma mater for college because she keeps insisting it is the "only place for you." You need to make sure that you are doing things for yourself. That is the only way that you will achieve complete happiness.
I am about to be a college senior, and I want to make sure that no one makes the same mistakes I did. I want high school seniors to know that you are worth something. So remember that although you are bound to hit roadblocks, you are going to be your best self after conquering them. I wish that someone told me all of these secrets before I graduated high school, so I hope that they help you get through your final year of high school. Good luck. You're going to be great.