A Letter to the High School Seniors

A Letter to the High School Seniors

Make the most of these months
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Just one year ago, my life was completely different. I was just beginning all the "lasts" of my high school career, deciding where I would spend the next four years of my life, and trying to make last-minute memories with my best friends while also balancing my school work, and maintaining my long-term relationship.

Here I am, one year later; and everything has changed. I am now beginning all my "firsts" in college, staying in touch with my best friends via text, and doing it all single. Looking back at myself a year ago, I would have never ever guessed I would be where I am, with the people I am with today. The ways I have developed mentally, academically, and spiritually at college are numerous. Being on my own at college and being able to just focus on myself really helped me to grow and thrive in a place I was so scared to be on my own.

But this article is not about me. It is for all the high school seniors out there right now. I remember what it feels like to be in that place: scared but excited, nervous but eager, sad to leave high school memories behind but ready to make new ones at the college you will be attending. It may be really tempting to wish that time away, but don't do that. I often find myself wishing I could go back to senior year and tell myself so many things. Things like, "don't let one person control your happiness", "go out that weekend and be social, the homework can wait", or "don't get so caught up in the drama, enjoy all the good parts of getting dressed up and ready for school dances". Being a sentimental person, I knew I would miss high school. And sure enough; I was very very right about that. My first semester I would look at all the new seniors at my old school and wish I could have that time back. I would come home, and voluntarily go back to visit teachers and students on my breaks. High school was a place I met my best friends, encountered some of the most inspiring teachers, and made some of the best memories I have to this day. I thought I would never find somewhere else where I would have these feelings about. Boy was I wrong.

Second semester of college came and I could not believe just how fast I was making friends and meeting those influential people I had been waiting for. I could go on and on about how wonderful college has been for me, but I am getting off subject here. The whole point is; the grass is always greener on the other side. For you High Schooler's reading this, you cannot wait to escape the walls of your boring old school. For the college students reading this, you may be wishing you could just redo that one night in high school; make one more night of memories with your best friends. What I am here to do is to tell you "prospective college-bound students" is to enjoy the last few months you have at home, like the showers you don't have to wear Old Navy flip-flops in, the five minute drive to your best friends house, the crowded student section at the basketball games or the family dinners. All the things you don't think to notice, the little things are what you will miss the most... take it from me. It is great to be excited about a University, but you will be thanking me for reminding you to appreciate that homemade Lasagna in 6 months when you are sitting in the cafeteria eating something that resembles a burger. There is a life beyond high school, but for now enjoy those end-of-class bells, because I promise you will eventually miss them.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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10 Things I Learned When My Best Friend Got Pregnant In High School

In this world where you can be anything: be a friend (and be a good one).

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Life: full of amazing, unforeseen circumstances. How you roll with the punches only reveals your strength.
True friends are like diamonds: bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style." -Nicole Richie

I remember when I first heard the big news. I didn't want to believe it. My heart dropped. I was worried for you. What would happen? How would you get through this? Nothing we knew would ever be the same. Our world was about to change forever. I recalled the verse Isaiah 41:10, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." I knew God was with you and would always be. I knew God needed me to be here for you, no matter what.

Turns out, you had this all in the bag. You handled everything with grace and dignity. You were strong even on your hardest days. You were overwhelmed with faith and you inspired me with your perseverance through the hardest times. I could not be more proud of who you became because of the cards you were dealt.

To Meaghan: I love you. I'm always here, no matter where. Hudson is so lucky to have you.

Here's what I learned from you and your sweet baby boy:

1. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the end of the world

Start making plans for the future. Pick out clothes, decorations, and toys. Help with all the madness and preparation. She would do the same for you. Plus, 9 p.m. runs to Toys-R-Us just to buy the baby some socks (because you do not know the gender yet) is always a good idea. You have to focus on the big picture. Life doesn't stop even when you want to.

2. No matter how much you want to freak out, remain calm

Getting unexpected news is never easy to hear. If needed, cry. Cry until you cannot anymore. Then, get up and be strong, she needs you. Be flexible (You want to come over to hang out? Right now? No, I'm not in the middle of ten thousand things, come on over). Be available (yes, even for her 3 a.m. insomnia calls just to see "what's up?") "Meaghan, why are you even awake right now?"

3. Radiate positivity. Always. 

This is an emotional time. The LAST thing she needs is someone bringing her down. "No, honey, you're glowing!" "You do not look fat in that bikini!!" "You are rocking that baby bump!" "Oh, that's your the third day in a row you're eating a Sonic burger for lunch? You go girl!"

4. Be ready for all the times: happy, confusing, stressful, sad, (but mostly) exciting

Mixed emotions are so hard, but look for the silver lining. With your support, she will be strong.

"Who knew picking out the brand of diapers to buy was so stressful?"

5. This world is a scary place. You never want to be all alone, so don't be. 

Like the song says, we, really do, all need someone to lean on. Just being there for someone goes a long way. "Meaghan what the heck are you doing in MY bed? How long have you been here?"

6. Lean on God. His plan is greater than we could ever imagine. 

When you don't know where to go, or who to turn to, pray! Pray for the burdens you feel. Pray for the future. Pray for patience. Pray for the ability to not grow weary. Pray for a heart of compassion. Pray. Pray. Pray.

7. Something we never knew we needed. 

Some of the best things in life are things we never knew we needed. Who knows where we would be without this sweet face?

"Hudson say Lib. Libby. L-- Come ON!" "CAT!" "Okay, that works too."

8. "Mother knows best"...is accurate, whether you believe it or not

Turns out, seventeen-year-olds don't know how to plan baby showers. Our moms have been there, done that. They want to be involved just as much as we do, so let them! Listen to their guidance. After all, they're professionals.

9. There will *almost always* be a "better way" of doing something...but, be a cheerleader, not a critic 

This is something many people struggle with in general, but it is not your DNA, it is not your place to be a critic. Let her raise her own baby. You are there to be a friend, not a mentor. ****Unless she's about to name the baby something absolutely terrible -- for the love of that baby, don't let her name that kid something everyone hates.

10.  At the end of the day, it's not what you have or what you know; rather, it is all about who you love and those who love you

Life has adapted, but for the better. We grew up, learned, and became stronger. All the while, we stayed friends every step of the way. We still have the same fun and most definitely, the same laughs.

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The Art Of Loving What We Can’t Have

We really do love to break our own hearts, don't we?

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I'll never forget the first time I looked in the mirror with fire in my lungs begging myself to stop the insanity that is loving things that don't love me. When I choose to love, I do so selflessly. I have never loved to be loved in return. I'm sure you can see where this becomes problematic…

Most of us are selfish. We don't just love selfishly, but our entire beings are riddled with selfishness. It's like a plague. Humanity by nature is so self-minded that they can't even begin to imagine the pain they are capable of causing. If we can't have something, we chose not to love it. We choose to turn our backs and be cold. We do so for selfish reasons. The fear of unrequited love, the fear of pain, the fear of transparency; they are crippling.

Did you ever think that maybe simply not being able to have something, doesn't mean it didn't love you back? Did your mother ever tell you that you can't always have everything you want? Did she lead you to believe this meant she loved you less?

I broke my own heart in two the night I had to let the caterpillar-turned-butterfly leave and be free. I watched it grow, I provided it with what it needed, but yet it still left. Five years old and I could not breathe because the pain from loving this small creature had closed off my throat in flames of knowledge I would come to discover in the future. I didn't stop loving it so I would hurt less, I loved it through the pain because everything on this earth deserves to be loved. Can you imagine what a human could do to me?

I broke my heart again when the man I loved couldn't stay. Not because he didn't want to, but because he had to, as life goes. There was no malice, there was no falling out, there was only grief. Grief for what I loved, and would still love, even when it was gone.

Loving is meant to be selfless, but loving one who does not love you back may be the most selfless thing on this earth. I went back to the mirror, fire in my lungs—this time I let the tears roll, quietly and softly down my face, onto my neck, feeling the fire just beneath the skin. I let myself feel my heartbreak. I did not scream, I did not sob, I simply felt what I felt.

I broke my own heart, but I took the pain because I would rather love what does not love me than never know love at all. What if they do love you back? My answer is simple; if you have loved, who loves you back matters little. You will always be loved in return—everyone is loved by someone. Everyone deserves this.

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