I want to say a couple of things to you before I graduate.
Senior year has been a year of growing and maturing more than I expected. The stress levels I experienced were the highest they've ever been. Maybe that is just helping me get used to college stress levels. I'm sorry if I've have snapped at you over the course of this year.
First off, I want to thank you for letting me make my decision for myself.
I know you have plans and hopes for me. I know there are colleges out there that you wish I would have applied to. Different fields of study that I might have been a better fit. However, through it all, you allowed to me make my own decision about the next year of my educational schooling. Thank you for trusting me enough to pick the right college. And if I regret my choice after a year, don't say I told you so. Sometimes I have to go to the wrong place to end up on the right path.
Secondly, I want to thank you for helping me with all the different college forms and encompassing me on boring college tours.
The college tours can be quite extensive and repetitive. Walking around a campus for two hours and hearing each college say why it is the best college, isn't the way you would have spent your afternoon. But instead, you were a trooper and did not make me go by myself. Along with that, you took the time to go over different college forms, applications, and whatever else there was to help me get items turned in on time. You had your own business to take care of, but you decided to take the time to help me plan for my future.
My third thank you is for raising me for 18 years at this point.
I know I can be difficult, needy, indecisive, pricey, and time-consuming. I know that I have relied on you for 18 years of my life. You have provided me with food, shelter, clothing, education, and many material items. But beyond that, you have provided me with love, grace, mercy, morals, kindness, strength, and so much more. I am who I am because you have raised me in a fashion that has made me capable of making the next steps in life.
To add to that, I can not imagine what it would be like to be a parent of a senior. Or a parent at any age. I try to put myself in your shoes and sometimes it makes me question if I want to be a parent. But senior year, to be a parent is to realize that after 18 years of raising a human, you have to let them go. You have done all you can with us children living under your roof, under your rules, and then we leave to go start our own lives, making our own choices. I mean, sure, I can call you us every second of the day and ask you, "What should I have for lunch?" or "Which shoes look better?", but I have to start making those choices for myself. I have to start making bigger choices for myself as well. I have to learn to task manage, cook, stay on top of cleaning, use my manners, etc. After 18 years, I have gotten used to the nagging but when I look back, it doesn't seem so awful anymore. I guess what I am trying to say is that now it is my time to fly, and you have to let go, even when you want to guide every step of the way, but sometimes I have to make mistakes to learn to make the right choices.
Lastly, I am going to miss you guys more than anything. Senior year showed me how much family means to me. I'm scared for what next year will bring. I won't have my parental backbone to help me stand up tall when I feel like my whole world is going to fall. I'm afraid you'll get used to not having me around, that when I come around, it won't be the same. You will not be there to help me pull my first all-nighter because of homework. You won't be up to have heart-to-heart talks and hug me. And most of all, I'm going to miss giving you hugs and have the privilege of seeing you every day. Sometimes I may be stubborn and not want to hug you or talk, but it's something I have taken for granted all these years. You have been there through my heartbreaks, cheering me on at athletic events, attending academic achievement awards, and watching me grow and learn valuable lessons for years. Now, things are going to be different. I won't be able to hear my biggest fans yelling across the entire field at me. I may not ever say this, but I am a pretty big fan of you guys as well.
I cannot ever give back what you gave to me in the 18 years of raising me. All I can hope is that I can make you proud. I am excited for the next year, but the transition will be a difficult one. Regardless of how close or how far away I go from home, I know you'll always be cheering me on from there. Occasionally I might be able to hear your voices carrying all the across the miles.
I love you,
Your high school senior