To The High School Class of 2017
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To The High School Class of 2017

Some words of wisdom from someone who was in your shoes not too long ago.

To The High School Class of 2017
Christine Kolosky

Dear Class of 2017,

Well, you’re in the homestretch! Congratulations! You’re just steps away from throwing your caps. Once spring break is done, it’s all smooth sailing. Trust me, this last month or so is genuinely going to fly.

It’s been four years of tests, papers, anxiety-ridden midterms and finals, drama, proms, football games, but most importantly, memories. For some of you, this is the last time you’ll be going to school with people you’ve been with ever since you could talk, but I assure you these people don’t go away.

This is such an exciting time. There’s so much happening to celebrate all of your accomplishments, getting you ready for this next step, and your future is all within reach. With all of these happy times, though, comes the realization that this is a last hurrah, so a few words of advice:

Take so many pictures. I mean it. Everyone used to laugh that I considered every moment a Kodak moment, but they really are. The day you move into your dorm and have all of these amazing memories on your wall, you’ll thank me.

Soak up every single second of everything that’s happening around you. These next few weeks are a whirlwind. Make sure that you’re taking mental snapshots of everything in this “season of lasts,” because when things get tough in college, its comforting to have these things in your back pocket to draw from. Go to every awards ceremony, sporting event, school function. You’ll regret it in the long run if you pass it up to sit on your couch. Your couch isn’t going anywhere, but these moments are fleeting.

Do not wish away these last few weeks. Yes, there’s a lot to get caught up in, but the thing about that is that there’s so much buildup to graduation, and then the second you throw that cap, everything seems to come to a screeching halt. Your’e not in high school anymore, and also not yet in college. Take it from someone who had a countdown since September to graduation day: now that it’s right in front of you, that’s when it’s going to start hitting you. These moments are precious; hold onto them.

This summer is going to be the best summer you’ll ever have. The summer after graduation, you genuinely feel on top of the world. There is no better feeling. This is probably one of the only summers left where you won’t have to worry about summer work, worrying about internships, or jumping right into adulthood. It’s such a nice way to ease into college. Make sure you spend every moment you can with your friends and family doing whatever you want. Go for midnight drives for ice cream, go to concerts, make spontaneous day trips, have a movie day when its raining. These are just more opportunities for the scrapbook.

Spend time with your family. When you’re living at home all the time, families can get annoying, I know: parents nag and siblings are always trying to pick a fight. The second you leave, though, you’re going to miss them. Make sure not to forget about them. Spend time with your friends, but try and make it home for family dinners most nights. You will miss home cooked meals more than I can even say (especially if you’re Italian—Italian food from a dining hall is just not even in the same galaxy as homemade sauce). Take days to just spend with your siblings. They may pretend that they don’t care that you’re leaving and say they actually can’t wait for you to get out of the house, but you’ve been their go- to person to rant to and complain about the family with, so trust me, they’re upset you won’t be there everyday. Who are they going to fight with and annoy now?

Take time to say thank you. Let’s be honest, you couldn’t have gotten to this point without the help of your family, friends, coaches, directors, teachers, etc. They’ve been such an integral part of these past four years (sometimes even longer than that) and have watched you grow up right before their eyes. Take time to show them how much this means to you and realize that this is just as emotional for them as it is for you.

Drive your car. This one just sounds silly, but you will miss being able to drive around whenever and wherever you like, so might as well do it now.

Don’t wait until the night before to pack your entire life into boxes. I was in denial pretty much the entire summer and am the biggest procrastinator on the face of the earth, but that was the worst thing I could’ve done for myself. Make sure you shop early enough to get all the good stuff in Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and try and pack throughout the summer. You (and your parents) will thank me later.

Everyone deals with this transition differently, so take your own time to reflect, grieve, or just celebrate every moment. There’s so much ahead of you and a fresh start is equally as exciting as it is daunting. Don’t forget your roots and know that you will always have the same people to come home to. My best friend put it perfectly for me before I left. She told me, “When you go to college, it’s like you pause your life here, and when you come home again, you find that everything’s the same and you just pick up where you left off.”

These really are some of the best times of your life—enjoy them.


A High School Graduate

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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