Dear Senior Cheerleader,

Congratulations on finally making it to your senior year. It feels like it took ages, but it’s finally here and believe me it is going to fly by.

I cheered for nine years, so getting to my senior year was something I always dreaded because that was my last year of cheerleading forever, I had no plans to further my career in college. I remember there were days I dreaded going to practices or games. I didn’t feel like running that mile, doing the routine again and again, or being in front of a crowd for three hours cheering for the football or basketball team for the millionth time.

But stop right now, stop taking it for granted. Take a step back and realize this is it. After this year you won’t be cheering with the same girls, for the same team or for the same coach. And for some of you, this could be the end entirely.

Realize now that these are the moments you’re going to miss. Even the moments you think you will absolutely hate like conditioning, trust me it’s much more fun conditioning with your team than finding workouts on your own, walking to the recreation center and doing it on your own.

Realize now that the girls you’ve been cheering with your whole life, they may get on your nerves and you may get tired of seeing them every day, but enjoy your time with them. Because in the years to come, you’re only going to see them every now and then, and it’ll probably be sitting in the stands while they’re cheering. Seeing people every day for practices and games can be annoying, but you will miss seeing them that often.

Realize now that the Friday night lights are going to be one of the best high school memories you will have, so don’t take it for granted. I know sometimes it’s hot, cold or rainy, but get over it. If you’ve been cheering for a while, then you should be used to that weather by now. And wouldn’t you rather be cheering in crazy weather than walking to class in it?

Realize now that those early morning competitions you don’t want to wake up for won't be around forever; this is the last time you’re going to get to be on the mat competing that routine. This is what you’ve worked for all year. So take the mat and do the routines the best you can, make it worth it! And realize now that cheerleading will always be a part of your life. Even if you’re done, you still got to do something that you loved and made a big impact on your life. One day you’re going to be able to look back at those memories and be so happy you were able to do that.

So I’m going to leave you with this, enjoy your final year and stop taking it for granted. Enjoy your teammates, your coaches, the games, the hard practices, the early competitions, the uniform, the bows, the makeup and all the fun you had. Stop complaining and wishing for it to end. In a few months, it’s going to come to an end and you don’t want to live with regrets.