Dear High School Seniors,
I was in your place a year ago. I was excited for my very last prom with a very special boy, and I was shopping for dorm room supplies. But most importantly, I was beyond ready to complete the milestone I had worked at my entire school career. Graduation was so nearby, and finals were right there as well. The only difference is that I got to finish my high school journey, and sadly, you didn't.
My heart hurts for all of you. Not only are you isolated from the only friends you've ever known, but you didn't get to do the one thing you've talked about for years. Your experience got cut short, and I'm so sorry. You did not deserve to have that taken from you.
I know it's not much, but I wanted to offer my own words of encouragement. Just because you didn't get to experience a traditional graduation does not make your accomplishments any less than they are. You got to where you are because you worked hard for 13 long years. That was not for nothing. Regardless of the circumstances, you still did it. You gained entry to the rest of your life.
Not only that, but seniors, you'll get to experience so much more in college. I've only completed my freshman year, but I can gladly say that I barely even remember my high school years. Yeah, they were a big part of my life, but college has been so much bigger and so much better than anything I've ever experienced.
You'll get to meet new friends and do things you never dreamed of doing. You'll go to concerts and school events that don't even feel like school. You'll go to orientation and become familiar with an entirely different campus. You'll fall in love with the place you've decided to dedicate 4 years of your life to. Everything will be fresh and different, and you'll hardly be able to recall the dumb things that happened in high school. You went through those formative years for a purpose, and for a lot of you, that purpose was college. And now, you're there. You've opened the door to all these great things, and that's a door that can't be closed. College will impact you far more than your secondary education, and you'll grow beyond belief. I promise.
And to those attending Mississippi State University in the fall, I can extra emphasize how much you'll get to thrive on campus. You'll get to tailgate, ring cowbells, sing your lungs out at Bulldog Bash, and do so much more. When I complete applications, I can't even keep up with all the things I'm involved in anymore because there is so much. Plus, it's almost all optional, so if you get overwhelmed, you don't have to struggle to balance everything.
All in all, I just want to encourage you to not get down on the things that aren't that great right now. Once you get there, you're there. There's no going back now. No one can take your education from you, even if you don't get to walk across the stage. So, stop looking back on what hasn't even happened yet, and look forward to the best self you can be. You have my thoughts and prayers, seniors.
A College Freshman