Dear High School Senior,
I see all your posts on social media. The posts expressing how much you can't wait to graduate, how you have senioritis, and how you really just want to show off your amazing senior casuals with every Senior Sunday post. I see it and I understand because I was in your shoes a year ago.
Senior year is so exciting. You have so much school spirit as you sit at your last football, softball, baseball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and soccer games. You feel as if you run the school because you know all the teachers and they have become more lenient as they let you sit in the office or in the hallway and talk a little while longer. You feel as if you are on top of the world, and truthfully you are. You are on top of the world you have lived in for the past 18 years. So, enjoy every minute of it, but please stop wishing the days away.
I understand. Senior year is stressful. All the deadlines and money that you have to come up with. The scholarship applications and making sure your ACT is high enough. Completing FAFSA and still keeping up with all of your assignments. Preparing to move out but still being focused on what today holds. It's a lot. Here are a few things I wish I would have lived by instead of just being told.
Enjoy your Mama's cooking.
I promise a year from now you will wish that you were arguing with your parents over what was going to be cooked for dinner because a home cooked meal won't even be an option in your dorm room. I know you may think that staying at home with your parents is lame, especially now that you are an adult and should be having the time of your life, but stick around for dinner more. You'll wish it was there when you're sitting eating cereal for dinner the third night in a row.
Love on your friends.
I know it may seem like this contradicts my first point about eating with your parents, but you can make time for both, and I strongly suggest you do. I know you think that you will keep in touch. That y'all aren't moving too far away and can see each other on the weekends. I promise it's not that easy. Schedules get in the way, you make new friends, you get jobs, and you get comfortable in a new setting. So, the two of you that are inseparable right now will one be trying to figure out what time y'all can both catch up over a facetime call or dinner one night, and it's not the same. So, when they ask you to get ice cream even though you swear you're on a diet, get the ice cream. When they ask to ride around and listen to throwback songs but you are really tired, go anyway. And every time you get a chance, take a picture. Because one day you'll be looking through the stack of photos you just had printed at Wal-Mart to pick which ones get to hang on your dorm room wall, and you'll want to remember all those unplanned nights.
Please Please Please stop rushing it.
It's so easy to wish the days away. You're ready to get out of there and on with your life. You're ready to have your own space and to experience new adventures and a new scene from what you have been doing for the past four years, but trust me, once you're done you'll wish you could go back. Maybe not right at first. You may love all the freedom that college brings, because it brings a lot, and it is fun, but one day you'll look back and miss it. Before you know it, you will be just like me. Sitting in a dorm room wondering where the last four years of your life went. How they passed so fast. Why you didn't make more memories and why you didn't document the ones you do have more. You'll wonder why you rushed the days and years away because with the freedom of college also comes more responsibility. So please enjoy the people in your class, enjoy all the cheesy events high school has to offer, and enjoy living in the moment instead of always planning for the future. Before long you'll look up and realize you're living in the future you were planning and it's nothing like you pictured, and you'll wish you wouldn't have worried so much about it back then.
A College Freshman