To all my true friends,

To all my friends as we leave for college, I could never describe with words how much I will miss all of you for so many different reasons. For some of you, our friendship has grown stronger over years, and others, only a few months. With all of us going to different schools, we're sure to make new friends, but I can only hope that you won't forget about me, even if we are hundreds of miles apart. With so many memories behind us, and even more ahead of us, there won't be a day that goes by where I won't think of all of you, especially with so many random little things that remind me of every one of you. Of course we'll all be overly busy with our classes, making new friends and just wandering around our new homes at college, but I know we'll all keep in touch with all of the group messages we've made and Snapchat streaks we don't want to lose. The random adventures that lead to getting lost somewhere, the many lunch/dinner dates, the late night movie nights and of course the spontaneous beach adventures will forever be some of my favorite memories of high school.

Although some relationships end, and those are replaced with new ones, I'm forever thankful for all of the different things I will carry with me for the rest of my life because of each one of you. If I could go back to my freshman year of high school again, I would love to tell myself to let go of some of those people who ended up being toxic relationships, and become friends with all of you so much sooner because I know after this last summer together, I found my true friends who I hope stay in my life for a long time. Finding all of you was not easy for me. After going through heartbreaks, best friend fights, pointless drama and so much time wasted without all of you, I finally figured out how to surround myself with people who make me feel like the happiest me I have ever met.

Finding my true friends might not have been easy, and definitely took a long time, but I don't regret any of it in the end. After all, it is how I ended up with so many awesome people in my life.

The only advice I can give to all of you who are still in high school looking for your "real" friends, is to always do what's best for yourself. Always follow what makes yourself happy before others. We often get so caught up into trying to conform ourselves into something someone else sees as perfect, that we forget that to the people who are really meant to be in your life, you already are. Being young is the perfect time to figure all of this out because its all about meeting new people, making new friends, doing stupid things, and making bad decisions to go along with it. But when the time comes when you have to leave all of the people you've ever known and create a new life for yourself somewhere completely new and all on your own, you'll know exactly who was meant to be in your life and exactly who wasn't. Even if not all of your "friends" are meant to stay in your life forever, the helped form you into the person you were meant to be, and probably even helped you find the friends you were meant to have.

signed,

the girl who took 12 years of high school to find her real friends.