June 20, 2017

To my not so little brother (and the class of 2017),

You've officially graduated high school. You're moving onto much bigger and better things. You are in the first few days of the rest of your life. You graduated a couple weeks ago and you already moved out (kinda) and started working towards your dream career. You may think you have it all figured out but trust me you don't. Let me be your big sister for just a minute and give you some advice as you move on from the dreary high school days and into the journey of adulthood. Here are a few pieces of advice to get you through the next few years as you move on from being mouthy teenager to a responsible adult.

1. Take nothing for granted

From home cooked meals to your bedroom. From mom doing your laundry to being able to sleep in. From your big comfy bed to the kisses from your dogs. Cherish all the little moments and seemingly petty things that childhood seems to offer. Sooner rather than later you'll begin to hate Ramen noodles and boxed dinners and you'll crave the same five meals that mom cooks. At first you won't mind being in close quarters with others similar to you but soon you'll miss having a room to yourself. And more often than not you'll wish you had a dog (or two) to warm your bed up every night.

2. Call Mom (and Dad)

Just call them. Whether it's five minutes once a day or an hour once a week, call them. You'll need it just as much as they do.

3. Do your laundry

You might not have mom to do it for you anymore but for the love of all that is Holy; Wash. Your. Clothes. Everyone and their mothers will appreciate it.

4. Get involved

Join a club, volunteer, do something besides sit in your room and "study". Just do something that keeps you involved and gives you the chance to meet new people.

5. You won't stay friends with EVERYONE from high school

As much as you'll want to and think you might be able to; it just won't happen this way. People move away for school, you drift a part and go your separate ways. Some you'll be friends with forever and some you won't. Stay in touch as much as you can but be prepared for things to change.

6. Meet new people

This will just help you to make friends when the ones from high school don't last as long as planned.

7. High School was the EASIEST time of your life

Granted, the diaper days were the easiest times of your life, high school is a close second compared to college and beyond. College and adulthood in general bring about a ton of freedom and decisions to be made. You decide when your classes are, you decide when you go out, you decide everything from now on. So be smart when making these decisions so maybe, just maybe college won't be as hard as it's made out to be.

8. Don't skip class

The temptation to skip is always there. But don't do it. It'll be just your luck that you skip a lecture with a pop quiz or important exam information. It's just not worth it.

My hope for you is that this new time in your life brings about change, responsibility, and growth, but also freedom, fun, and friends. Take this new opportunity to challenge yourself and find out who you are and who you are meant to be.