So it approaches. The day you've been waiting for since your senior year began, maybe even before that. The moment when you will be given a diploma and sent off to college or even straight into the real world. You were probably ready to be done with high school months ago, but as graduation approaches, I'm sure you're a little uncertain of what the future might hold.

First and foremost, college is exponentially better than high school. It is full of new people, new things, and new experiences that will knock you off your feet. Everything about college is fresh and exciting. You're able to discover yourself and define who you are. The path ahead may be unpredictable, but there are a thousand doors that have yet to be opened. You will change your mind about what you're going to do for a living and who you're going to be countless times, but that is OK. College is meant to be a time for experimentation and no one expects you to have your life planned out before you're even truly an adult.

You're independent, but you're never alone. Your family and your friends from high school are always a phone call, FaceTime, or text away. Don't be fooled, some of your friendships will fade with time, but that's just life! The friends who are truly your "people" will remain close to you regardless of distance. You'll get homesick, but you're not alone in that either. I implore you to not be that kid who goes home every weekend. If you do, you'll miss out on so many things. Most importantly, you'll miss out on meeting some of the incredible people around you. Sometimes, your best friends are the ones in one of your classes or across the hall and you'll never know it if you don't open yourself up. Embrace the welcome week activities and don't waste a minute of your freshman year. As a college freshman who's year is almost over, I can tell you it goes by too fast.

Now that you're excited for September, rewind to right now. You have a month or so left of your high school career. I can't stress enough how important it is to make the most of these last days. Even though college is incredible, I'd be lying if I told you that most college freshmen didn't miss high school every once in a while. You had teachers that knew you by name, a lunch table to gossip at each day, organized school events to look forward to, and hallways full of people you loved. You will look back and wonder if you made the most of your time there. So make sure you rid yourself of stressors and worries and enjoy your last days as a senior. Do you have a chance to be in the final school play or join a club? Do it. That person from your science class you've had a crush on since sophomore year? Talk to them. Don't have regrets. If you live your life that way, you're going to go far. Understand that you have the potential to be someone extraordinary. Be yourself and smile often because the world can be wonderful if you allow it to be!

You've got one life to live, so live it beautifully.