Dear 2017 Graduate,

You are about to embark on what I consider one of the most eye opening experiences of your life - so far. Your senior year of high school has finally come, but before you know it, it will be done in a flash. This ultimately is one of the most importants years of your life, so take advantage and embrace every second of it.

Senior year has by far been my favorite year of high school, the first day especially. You get to come in early for the senior breakfast, scope out the new freshman class, see all your friends who you haven’t seen all summer and basically run the school. You’ll go to your last-first football game of the year, your last-first tryout for your sport and your last-first homecoming pep rally. I promise you, it will all fly by.

There’s a bunch of things that will all make sense senior year. Like yes, Senioritis IS a thing and it does affect every single senior. And teachers actually DO care about you. I have grown so close to many of my teachers throughout high school, but especially my senior year. They’ve watched you grow throughout the past four years and they have helped shape you into the student you are. They only have good intentions for you and they want you to succeed after you graduate. Another thing that I’ve learned is that every friend you make along the way is not always permanent. The girl you thought would be your best friend for life might end up being just an acquaintance and the girl who used to just be your lab partner could end up being your future maid of honor. And that’s okay, people change.

Another piece of advice I can offer you, is make time for your family. This is something I wish that I had done more. As a student, you should be going out with friends having fun, but you should also be with your family. I know that just because you’re a senior, you’re considered an “adult,” but you never know what could happen. If I had one regret during my senior year, it’s that I wasn’t as close with my family as I wanted to be. Never act like you’re too cool for them. Hug your mom, tell your dad you love him, let your sister borrow your clothes and don’t yell at your brother when he leaves the toilet seat up - you’re going to miss it all when you leave for college.

As I now enter my freshman year in college, I regret being too discouraged to live my senior year to the fullest, so my advice to you, get involved. Dress up for spirit week, participate in the powderpuff game, join clubs and committees and step out of your comfort zone. You only have one senior year, so do it right.

In the end, the tassel is worth the hassel, I promise!

My best wishes,

A 2016 Graduate