Winter break is officially over and it's time to get back to the school routine. No more sleeping in for us. Being that the only things standing between you and summer break is a few more months of school, we're all ready to just start slacking off, especially those high school seniors who are just ready to graduate and move on.
As a junior in college, I'm here to tell you high school seniors to slow down. By this time, you are probably putting in the least amount of effort possible to pass, while your teachers have probably also started to give up on assigning heavy workloads. You're ready to be on your way to somewhere else and the teachers are ready to be done with you too. But, don't take all that for granted.
I've been in your shoes. I was ready to be done with high school. I was so ready to be done with the people that I didn't like to spend 5 days out of the week with. I was tired of waking up at 6 AM to start an 8 hour school day. I was tired of having someone tell me what I could and could not do as if I was a 5-year-old child. I know everyone says "high school is the best four years of your life, you'll miss it one day." I'm not going to tell you that, but I will say that you shouldn't be taking it all for granted right now. You should be enjoying the times you do have left there.
Being that it is the second semester, you've already attended your last homecoming dance, last school football game and your last Thanksgiving/ Christmas break of your high school career. If you are an athlete, you've either already finished your last high school season or your about to begin your last one. Things are starting to come to an end, and maybe that's what most of you have dreamed of, but that doesn't mean rush through it all.
Whether you'll miss any of it or not, you only live once.
You only attend high school once and you only graduate from high school one time. Take a minute to take in everything you're experiencing here because it won't happen in these settings again.
Take time to appreciate all those high school things. Yeah, most of these things you can experience again if you go to college or if you permanently reside in your hometown, but you won't be a student after graduation. You'll never be able to experience all those things as a high schooler again. Next year, you and your friends may or may not end up at the same college or in the same town. So spend time with your friends and show them how much you care about them because they might not always be 10 minutes down the road from you.
Take time to appreciate all those people. You've had friends, boyfriends/girlfriends and teachers throughout your four years attending high school. Those relationships could have been terrible, had a short lifespan or could be the best thing that has ever happened to you. No matter the outcome, every person and every situation you experienced in high school helped build the person you are. It helped get you to where you are now.
School is school and most of us complain constantly about it, but once it's gone it's never coming back. I love college and I wonder how I ever was able to wake up early 5 days a week to attend seven classes in a day, but that doesn't mean I don't owe my high school something. I enjoy being in college more than I did in grade schools, but high school shaped me into the person I am now. High school is where I grew up and where I started to choose a career for myself, and for that I am thankful.
One day, you're going to be like me. A college student (the typical broke college student at that) balancing school, trying to find a job and following a budget to keep up with groceries, bills and rent. Don't forget to appreciate your parents and everything they do for you too. Soon you'll be out there on your own, having to support yourself and you'll wish you wouldn't have taken some things for granted.
So, high schoolers, my real advice to you is to just appreciate all those things you're doing for the last time. It may not have been the best years of your life like everyone says, but don't rush your time there. Appreciate the small things before you move to the next step in your life. You'll never get another chance.
Good luck to all of you soon-to-be graduates in all your future endeavors. Enjoy your semester full of "lasts."