By the time this article goes live, I will have graduated high school. It is only now finally starting to hit me that everything will change.

I never expected to be so nostalgic about my days as a freshman and sophomore laughing with my friends and cracking stupid jokes in the school cafeteria. I moved to my high school in New Jersey from Minnesota, my freshman year. At first, I hated it here. I spent the majority of high school wishing it would end soon and always missing my friends from Minnesota. But now that high school is almost over, I realize that I might actually miss this place.

The people I have met and become close to these past few years, the daily routine — all of it. Graduation is the last time ever our grade will all be together. After this, the summer is filled with graduation parties and then many last goodbyes. After this, I won't see my high school best friends every day and most of us go our own way. This is still something I am coming to terms with. I finally found my perfect group of friends, and now we are all parting ways. In college, everything changes.

To all my friends and my family, thank you for making me who I am today. I know that is the most cliche thing, but it is true. You have supported me and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. You always kept me going. No matter how much is going to change, I know you will always have my back, and I will always have yours.

To everyone in high school right now, don't wish away the time. It won't come back. I know most of you are stressed to get into a college but trust me, it all works out. You may not understand it right now, but you will. You may think you have a lot of work right now, but it gets a lot more intense in college and the stakes also get much higher. So enjoy high school while you can. Stop worrying about what others think of you because honestly, once you graduate you won't see these people again. Once you are a senior crossing the field to receive your diploma, you will realize how much you love this place and how unprepared you are to say goodbye to your current lifestyle. Not only will most people be leaving their friends, but they will also be moving out of their home away from their parents. And sitting on your couch reading this as a sophomore or junior in high school that may seem fine, but it is much harder when the time has actually arrived to leave.

A few days after my graduation I will be leaving for a vacation out of the country for the rest of the summer so I will miss the "final goodbyes" everyone gets before going off to college in August. Finally realizing that I won't be hanging out with the same group of friends again in college makes me appreciate and value my friends so much more. Although I am beyond excited to start a new chapter of my life at Rutgers this fall, it will definitely take me some time to adjust to the changes. I am ready for it because of the confidence my friends and family have instilled in me.