Dear High School Senior,

Congratulations, you’re basically done with high school. Yeah you may still have to decide where you’re going next year, or who you’re taking to prom, but for all intensive purposes: high school is over. You’re on the cusp of becoming a college student, an adult, something you’ve waited for your whole life. It’s an exciting time of your life, no doubt. But before then you have something incredibly important, the senior summer. I truly can’t stress how amazing the fact that this summer is a thing is. My senior summer is the one time in my life I would go back and re-live. Not because I wish I did it differently, or feel I wasted the time, but because it’s an amazing time of your life. It is the one period where you generally don’t need to plan anything, or work for a deadline. You have zero responsibility. You can do whatever you want.

I can give you a laundry list of things I think you should do with this time of your life, containing tasks such as: get in shape, find an easy and well paying summer job, bond with your family, etc. However it all comes down to that the only guiding principle you should follow is to live in the moment. It sounds cliché, I know. Humans spend too much of their lives on autopilot. Our heads are often somewhere else than our bodies. It gets the best of us. For example, last night I was running on the treadmill, but all I was thinking about was the movie I was going to see later that evening. It starts as a necessity for productivity, but can grow out of control.

But this summer you won’t have any responsibilities, no real ones at least. Appreciate every moment for what it is. Whether you’re travelling to New York City with your friends to go restaurant hopping, playing tennis with your Dad, or even just sitting in a lifeguard chair for an hour at a time, find the beauty in the moment. I promise it’s there.

It may seem impossible to do at some points. I understand shopping for dorm room bedding with your Mom may seem miserable, but find the beauty in it. Take it as a time to really get to understand her or something like that. You’ll never have a chance to feel as free to be yourself, to do what you want, as you will this summer.

I can almost guarantee you, that when you’re sitting at your kitchen table on spring break, memorizing archaeology flashcards, or writing a paper for Comparative Politics, you’ll get bored and eventually stumble on old summer photos, and you’ll realize how perfect that time of your life was. I’d like to end this with a quote from the great Bruce Springsteen “Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of, well time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister but boring stories of glory days”

Best,

James.