I remember looking up to high school students when I was younger as if they were some sort of superhero, thinking "how on earth will I ever be like them?" Quite honestly I thought all that up until my junior year. High school is a tough time though, let's face it. It's not the way movies portray it. I was hoping to walk into a school and have a high school experience like Troy and Gabriella in "High School Musical." Boy, I was mistaken. High School is not a cheesy movie scene, but you do learn a lot and you start finding yourself. I think that's the true beauty of it. Now, I'm not saying there weren't the fair share of tears, heartbreaks, bad grades and stressful all-nighters, but I am saying every minute made up four unforgettable years.

Going into my senior year, I don't think it hit me that it was actually my last year. It was my last year with the friends I built friendships with for 12 years, my absolutely gracious and giving parents and my two dogs—who are the best cuddle buddies on any stressful day. I went through the motions of applying for colleges, going to class and surrounding myself with my swim team day in and day out. Yet, the fact that it was a "year of lasts" never hit me until I received the acceptance letter to my dream school.

Four of the most stressful months of my high school career seemed to drag on in the moment. During those months, I went through the seemingly never-ending process of the after-accepted-to-college steps. And I thought it got easier. As my final swim season came to a close, the craziness began: senior portraits, graduation announcements, prom planning and graduation hanging in the distance. That's when it hit me. It hit me hard. I had one more month of high school. I have three more months with my beyond amazing friends, my gracious and giving parents and my two best furry friends before I begin college. Granted, I'm not going far, but I am still leaving.

Throughout high school, you will hear the seniors talk about how fast high school goes by. Quite frankly, I don't think anyone can truly understand that matter until they are the senior. Trust me, I feel like my freshman year started three months ago and now I am about to walk across stage to get my diploma in less than a month. It's surreal.

I am beyond grateful for every memory, challenge, friendship, lesson and minute of my time during high school. It's bittersweet that this is the end, but I am so incredibly excited to begin my next journey. After all, a big hug from my parents and the joy of seeing my two furry friends are only going to be a couple of hours away.