Dear Ema,

Time has flown by, hasn't it? At the beginning of this year, I remember you talking so much about how you thought your senior year was going to be horrible, and how much you couldn't wait to graduate, because all of your closest friends were older than you and had already graduated. I bet you look back and feel like you said all those things yesterday. I hope you've taken the time to realize where you are now.

You're a little less than two months away from graduating, and going to college almost three hours away from everything you've ever known. Sounds scary, doesn't it? I know that as much as you say that you're excited, and eager to see what college is about, that deep down you are nervous too, and scared to fail. Four years is what you have to build the way to a successful future. Do you think you can do it? I know you can.

I hope that with graduating quickly approaching, you have started to realize things. I hope that you have no regrets when you think of how you spent your four years of high school. I hope you put your best foot forward when proceeding after graduation. I hope that you have set a good example for all the underclassman that have looked up to you all throughout this year. Most importantly, I hope you know that you are not alone in this new journey. You are going to have days when you feel like you don't know which way to turn next. You're going to have days where you question everything you've been doing. You're going to have days when you think that settling for a 9-5 job sounds like a better option than finishing school. You're going to have so many different challenges against you, and there will be plenty of days that you think about quitting. When you think about quitting, I want you to stop and remember that for one, we have all been in your shoes. For two, I want you to remember who you're doing this for. Which is you.

Everything you do past the point of graduation is for you. There's no more joining the basketball team because your mom wants to be front row of the bleachers in her red, white, and blue hoodie with your last name on the back. There's no more becoming apart of the yearbook club because the president of the club begged you to join. There's no more sitting in history class, and learning about the Civil War for the twentieth time. Every choice you make beyond graduation is for you and only you. You get to decide how you want to make your college experience. You get to decide if you want to get up and go to that 8 a.m. class on Monday mornings. You get to decide what you do in your free time, who you hang out with, what you have for dinner, how you make your schedule. It sounds like a lot to manage, and I'm not going to lie to you. It is. But there is no one else more capable of doing this than you, and I am confident in that.

So between now and the time you graduate, think of all the things you want to do in life, and remember that there is nothing that can stop you. Remember that I love you with all my heart and that on your worst days, I will have your back. I am so excited to see where you go. You're going to be so successful one day, Ema.