Dear High Schoolers,
Remember to cherish the years you have in high school. Remember to go on late night drives and speed on the freeways that you know the cops don't patrol and blast music from your stereo as loud as it can go. Remember to remind the people you love that you love them. You don't need to go professing your feelings to your high school crush, but if you want to, then do it. Don't be scared anymore. Once you graduate, you won't remember why you were so worried and so embarrassed.
Remember to go to your favorite cafes. Remember to order the milkshake if you want the milkshake. Remember to go to the gym and go outside and watch movies in the park with your friends. Remember to let your friends in when they randomly show up at your house, and remember to spend time with your family.
And do spontaneous things and illogical things. Drive an hour just for a cup of lemonade because its not really about the lemonade but the drive is peaceful and the lemonade isn't too bad either. Go on hikes, not for the workout Instagram pictures, but for the experience.
Walk to the nearest grocery store in the middle of the night because you just really want to bake muffins, and that's the only thing you can think about. Cook frozen foods with your friends and meet your friends' parents. Go to the high school parties, the ones where the cops will show up and all of you will freak out and try to hide or run and then realize you were overreacting. Go to the football games. And the dances. And the theater shows. And the water polo games. And the rallies.
Remember that high school is not an end-all. It likely will not be the best four years of your life. Remember it is a stepping stone, and while it may be fun and games and drunk nights on the beach and parties and hook-ups and whatever else you want it to be, it also affects your future.
So, for the love of God, do your homework. Study for your tests. Get a shitty job in a shitty fast food restaurant and learn good customer service skills. Don't be the person who doesn't try or the person who gets caught up in the little things and forgets to look at the big ones. Because as important as it is to enjoy the moment, the moment is fleeting. The future is always looming in front of us. Focus on it.
I cannot stress the difference I see in people from my high school who did not care versus those that did their best. I notice people going to colleges they did not want to end up at and not being able to escape the shitty high school drama. I have friends from high school that still call me to update me on how "oh my god, did you hear that Austin and Jessica broke up?"
And the thing is, no one cares anymore. We move on, life moves on, and that's the way it should be. Once you reach college, you are living for you. You are no longer putting on a show, you are no longer trying desperately to be someone you are not. You are you.
And the thing is, no one could care less because it is your life, and it is what you make it. It is a time to grow, to mature, to enjoy, to succeed. Not a time to stalk the most popular cheerleader from your high school to see if she's still hooking up with the boy from the baseball team.
Make the most of high school; it'll be where some of your best and worst memories are made. But remember to look ahead, because there is so much more to life. And with that, I wish you all the best.
A College Student