First of all, happy birthday you Valentine's baby. I hope your day was filled with lots of love, hearts, kisses and all of those other things you generally stay away from!
As your wise older sister, two years your senior, I would like to impart some knowledge on to you.
At this moment in your life you are the epitome of nervous. You have yet to receive emails that will change the course of your life, emails that could come at any moment. You hesitate to refresh. You are wondering which paths will be offered to you and which path you will ultimately take.
Yet you are enjoying your final moments with your high school friends, most of whom have been your best friends since the Rescue Heroes days. You are engaging in crazy senior year activities, becoming nostalgic about things you took for granted, and starting your list of lasts. You are realizing the importance of these relationships and beginning to come to terms with the fact that your separation is fast approaching. In just a few short months you will walk down the hallways of Breck School with Nate for the last time, and that scares the hell out of you.
But it will happen. You will walk down the aisle at graduation, Mom and Dad will cry, you will throw your cap in the air, and a new era will be upon you. The summer will fly by, filled with shenanigans, graduation parties, and some work. Soon, your freshman year will be nearing. You will not want to go to Bed Bath & Beyond with Mom, because the idea of it makes you want to slit your wrists, but go with her. Spend excess time picking out your bedding, desk lamp and shower caddy. Ease her pain of having to let her baby go. By mid-August, you will be all packed, and you will have to say goodbye to your baby brother and sister, who will be devastated. And you will realize, only then, how much you will miss seeing their faces every day. Give them a huge squeeze and tell them how much you love them.
You will arrive on campus with butterflies. Mom and Dad will overstay their welcome, and then you will finally be on your own. Trust me, you will miss them. You will have a roommate, and you will learn to live with another person in a shoebox. You will go to parties and meet new people, and girls will want to kiss you -- be nice to them. Respect them. Think of them as if they all have younger brothers, just like you, who want to protect them. Be a guy their brother would approve of. You will be overwhelmed and frustrated by the endless piles of work, and will doubt yourself when you get your first bad grade. Call Dad. He will tell you that if you worked your hardest, you should be proud -- you will work harder, next time. You will test your limits, in all senses of the word, and you will have bad nights that Mom and Dad will not know about. Learn from those nights and do not repeat them.
Right now, you are nervous. But don’t let those nerves take over. Regardless of what those emails contain, and even though you are closing a really wonderful chapter of your life, you are about to enter the most exciting one, yet. Cherish your last few months of high school. But know that, soon, you will be in college. And college is awesome.
I love you.