High school: this terrible and wonderful journey every pre-teen and teen gets to experience. These experiences may vary; for some, high school is the prime time in their life, it's happy, carefree, and the peak. For others, high school is just high school, it comes and it goes, there were some good times and bad times but it was just another chapter. Unfortunately, for others still, high school is the worst, it's dark and cold, some are more than ready to move on.
I was in the middle. I had my good times and my bad times in high school. I look back and smile because of some incredible friends and times I spent there, but I also look back in regret and sadness at some of my memories that I'm not so focused on remembering. But that's the beautiful part of life, when you grow up and move on, all those times just become memories.
There is a lot I would have liked to say to my graduating class. I wasn't the valedictorian, so I was never given the opportunity to say what was on my mind. So here's what I would say to the 2016 graduating high school seniors.
Well, first and foremost: congrats! I don't care who you are or where you're from, high school can be tough for everyone and I don't doubt for a second that you might have had a moment where you hated that place or the people there. I don't doubt for a second that at one point in high school, you wished you weren't in high school.
Of course, that's okay. No one knows the special moments in life, and we spend most of our lives wishing to be in the next moment rather than the one happening; we all do it.
But I want you to stop for a second and breathe. Be aware of your surroundings and where you are in life. Think about how this time and place makes you feel, and cherish it.
High school was a roller-coaster of emotions and drama that we all had to sit through. From condescending teachers to just plain bullies, it all made high school a constant battle. I wish that I could tell you that it all ends after high school, but it doesn't. Life is always going to be hard and never easy, but you have to push through it.
That boy or girl you fell in love with, if they're not around anymore, let them go. People come into your life for a reason, but they also leave for a reason. The best piece of advice I can give you is to just keep going.
You don't have to know everything. You're only 18 and although it may seem like you need to have life figured out, believe me, you don't.
I'm sure you're sad to be leaving a place that you've known for four years, but there are so many other places out there for you to explore. So go find them. Stay in touch with your high school friends, but don't let them hold you back. Meet new people and build new relationships, go wherever your heart takes you.
High school is merely a chapter in life. It comes and it goes too quickly. Some stories are better than others but they are all moments that have shaped you. Don't be afraid to turn the page.
Now go out there and be completely clueless like the rest of us. Life is a beautiful disaster and I promise most people you meet are going to know just about as little as you do. So be dumb, make mistakes, and be better than who you were in high school.
High school is this small little world when you're in it, but once you leave it, you'll see the big, beautiful world you've been missing. Because after all, it's just high school. This might seem like the end of a really important part of your life, but in reality, it's more than that. It's the beginning of the rest of your life. I've only been out of high school for three years, but I promise there's so much more.
Whoever said that high school will be the best four years of your life was a liar.