It may be the most elating, bittersweet feeling ever. As your peers walk down the aisles to receive their diplomas, smile for their successes.

When your high school principal speaks about your next journey, think about where you want to be.

Graduating high school is an end to a vital part of the beginning of adulthood. Whether you are pursuing a college degree after this day or not, you will thank high school for many different things.

It was just two short years ago I was sitting in your place.

I know that weird, uneasy feeling about the future. I know that happy feeling about meeting new people in years ahead. I know that sad feeling about things you wish played out differently in these past four years. We've ALL been there.

But hey, it is normal.

During my senior year of high school, I was unsure if I wanted graduation day to come quickly. I was content with the friends I had been alongside for more than 12 years. I did not know what life would be like without these people alongside me.

Everyone was heading to colleges in all different directions, and it was quite overwhelming!

You may be the president of your class, the president of your club, or the captain of your sports team, but when you go to college, there are hundreds of people from all over the world, competing for that same spot.

I am here to tell you to be YOUR best. Whether you become a leader of a group or club in college or not, I can promise you that you will be happy if you try your personal best.

College is definitely a huge change from high school. You may be left with people you barely know in a new town you are not familiar with and managing your own rules.

There is no one to tell you to do your homework at a certain time, eat dinner at a certain time, or even what time to come home after a night out. It is quite the change.

I do suggest learning time management skills as the top priority when you first arrive.

You will have so much free time to yourself, which is a blessing but can be a detriment at times.

When you start to enjoy these next few months home before leaving, I want you to focus on a couple things:

Cherish your hometown.

Spend time with your family.

Make memories.

And take a deep breath.

I promise you, time goes fast.

Soon enough you will be packing up your car and heading on your way to your new adventure. Even if you are staying at home, that first day after high school, reality sets in.

You never realize how much your hometown means to you until you leave it. You may think of it as the best place ever or the place you cannot wait to leave, but I do assure you, there is no place like home.
Being away at school makes you appreciate family in a totally different way than it did in high school. You never know when things could happen in life and being away at school helps you cherish small moments with your family.

Memories in high school will now be left behind, but TRUST ME you will make tons more in college!

Although this can all be overwhelming, you are on the road of entering a new chapter in the start of your adulthood. It is time to leave the past behind and focus on the future ahead. You may not be entering the halls of your high school anymore, but you will be entering a building full of many different opportunities.

The transition from high school to college has its challenges but everything really does happen for a reason. Take on life with open arms and grasp on to the future blessings in front of you!

Good luck! Xo