Dear Second Semester Senior,

I know that you are probably getting really used to being called that and you should enjoy it for as long as it lasts because it won't very long. There are about four months left until you are a high school graduate and I'm sure that you are as excited as I was to be graduating from high school, but there are some important things to remember. This is not the end, this is only the beginning. I thought that I would compile a list of things that you should remember as you come to the end of your high school career:

1. Take it all for granted. Seriously take it all for granted. All of the free meals that your parents and friends buy you, all of the decorations for your dorm room, everything. Take all the free advice you can from people who have gone to college too. Take every moment that you have with your friends and family before you go away to school for three months. That's right, you go to school for three months until you see your parents and family again. Take all of the dog walks and late nights with your mom and sister watching silly movies and laughing. Take it all for granted.

2. Enjoy the moment. I know that you have probably been told that you should enjoy every moment you have in high school, but not every one. Enjoy the ones that make you laugh or cry because you will reminiscence on them when you are sitting in your dorm room all alone on a Friday night. Enjoy all of the spontaneous moments when your friends want to go drive in the dark and jam out to music and every school activity. Do everything you can to remember the moments you have because you're only in high school once.

3. Be nice. Not just to your siblings or parents, but to everyone. You never realize just who can help you find a job or friends or a club. Be nice to your teachers, even if you can't stand them anymore. They will be your greatest references when you are applying to a club or a job in college. Also when you come home, they will talk to you and will be more than happy to allow you to come hang out in their class and help out. Be nice to everyone especially the people who are going to the same college as you. Even if you don't talk to them now, you just might become friends with them in college.

4. Don't pretend you know everything. I think that it is just something that comes with being in the sixteen-to-eighteen-year-old range. You think that you know everything and that you know best for everyone including yourself. Don't kid yourself, I bet your parents still have to wake you up in the mornings for school and bring you stuff to school when you forget it. Enjoy that now, there is no Mom in college, you are your mother. You might think that when you get to college that you are just going to know everything, it's something we all think is true, but is so wrong. You will never know everything.

5. If it feels like things are moving too slowly then they are moving at the right speed. The end of the year is something that you want to come quickly and come slowly at the same time. I know that we all say that we can't wait to be in college and be an adult but enjoy being a kid. Once you leave that place, your life starts to move so quickly that some days will feel like they didn't even happen because they moved so quickly. Enjoy the slow moment of high school. Enjoy it.

6. If life doesn't seem perfect, that's okay. If you are searching for a roommate and you find one who you think will work just because you're so tired of searching that's okay. No one is perfect. I myself have gone through, in August, five roommates and I am friends with one of them. If you didn't find the perfect comforter, don't worry about it, your comforter doesn't define you, it doesn't make you "cool". You don't have the perfect decorations for your dorm room? Don't even worry. No one cares what your room looks like, honestly, you are the only one who is going to care.

7. Popularity doesn't exist in college. So enjoy while you can. I know that in those college movies, they make it seem like there are popular kids in college, but there aren't. There are groups of kids, that part is true. There are the church kids (me), the athletes (not me), the people in other clubs I can't think of (ASL, Major clubs, sustainability, etc.), the kids in Greek Life (me) or the people who aren't in anything. You should try to be in at least one club. Again, there are no popular kids in college because we're all nerds that study our butts off to stay in college.

I hope that these seven things help you get into the right perspective as you finish your high school career and start your college career. My father once told me that high school was just practice for college and he is a very smart man that I agree with. If you can handle high school, then you can handle college, just don't be in the high-school mindset anymore. Enjoy these last months now because in a few months, you won't even miss it. Trust me. College is much better.

Love,

A Second Semester Sophomore in College