To The High School Class Of 2017 From A Graduate Of The Class of 2016
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To The High School Class Of 2017 From A Graduate Of The Class of 2016

Welcome to the strangest, craziest and most life-altering year of your life.

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To The High School Class Of 2017 From A Graduate Of The Class of 2016
Northwest Christian University

Dear incoming seniors,

Congratulations, you've finally made it; senior year is upon you.

Well, let me tell you that it is a very exciting time of year. You're almost done with grade school, you're moving on, and you're about to start your future.

First comes autumn, the busiest season of your senior year. College applications, tests, extra work, getting jobs -- life will be crazy those first few months of the year.

But as the year progresses, the school work will get easier; the load will be lighter. You will also notice that the dynamics and relationships among your peers will change. That kid in your science class that you've never spoken to? Well he's hilarious and will make you snort out your water more times than you can count. The shy girl who sits in the back row? Well, she's super sassy and can give the sharpest remarks. As time goes on, you'll notice that students start warming up. Those who are typically guarded let their walls down a bit and speak up. The kids you've never spoken to will say hello to you in the hallways. Senior year is the end of an era; everyone tends to relax a bit more and will try to get out of their comfort zone a bit.

Petty drama from freshman year will be forgotten and will be replaced with a kind of kinship. You respect each other a bit more and act a little friendlier toward each other because you start to realize the end is near. In just a few short months, you'll no longer see each other on a daily basis, you will no longer be classmates. Within a year, you may never see some of the people again.

As you start to realize the end is near, you may also feel yourself getting nostalgic and maybe even a bit more appreciative of your school. You may start to think about your freshman year or about those funny moments in chemistry class. Or as you walk through the halls you usually dread, you may start to appreciate the way the school never changes, how its plain white walls and flickery lights never seem to be amended. It can be a sense of comfort to know that your school will always stay the same.

Teachers may also seem different this year. At first they can seem harsh; they'll give you more work, they'll be harder on you, and the "college is so much harder" speeches will make you feel as if your ears are going to bleed if you hear it again. But as the year progresses, you'll see the teachers in a different light. They'll seem wiser than before, they'll seem more relatable, and you might find some of these teachers to be even cooler than you once thought.

Your opinions on a lot of things this year will change, including on the people you love most. Friends, most of us have a group that we've stuck with. Yes, sometimes fights, growing up and drifting apart alters groups a bit, but most of us have a core group, or singular, of friends that have stuck by us from day one. Now this is where the year can get tough. It happens among many different individuals when senior year rolls around. Change is tough and scary, I know, but some people deal with it by changing themselves. Sometimes the friends we know change into a completely different person, one we don't even recognize.

This can be the hardest part of the whole year, watching someone we love and thought we knew become someone else. But you know what? It will be OK. Some things don't last forever, and it's okay. People grow and change as they want and feel necessary. You can't control people and make them stay who they were, even if it kills you to see them change. All you can do is love them, support them or just accept who they are now and go your separate ways.

Senior year is full of ups, downs, direction changes and sudden twists. You are leaving everything you've ever known behind. You'll feel nostalgic, you'll feel a connection to your classmates, and you'll appreciate your school and the memories you've made. You'll change and grow and so will the people around you.

My biggest advice is this: enjoy and appreciate what is going on around you, but remember there are things that are so much greater waiting for you on the horizon.

Sincerely,

A Graduate of the Class of 2016

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