First of all, congratulations! You did the dang thing!
If I'm being honest, it doesn't feel like it's time for you to graduate high school – not long ago we were just kids playing in mom and papa's front yard and running up and down the street with the neighbor kids.
I think in my brain, I thought you'd stay little forever. When we were in school together, you were always “The Other Giammalva" or “Riss' Sister", and I know that it drove you crazy, always being compared to me. But here you are, graduating, doing the thing – and growing into a whole real person.
And at the end of the day, I'm proud of you for continuing your education (even if you aren't attending the same university as me).
Before you go, there are a few pieces of advice I'd like to share with you:
1. High school graduation is something to be proud of but is not the most exciting thing that is ever going to happen to you in your life.
Every day is an adventure if you're willing to make it one. I promise you that there are so many other amazing things waiting for you outside of those (super white) walls at RHS.
2. Keeping your old friends may be difficult, but it isn't impossible.
Yes, it takes a little more effort, and no, you might not see them all the time, but it is possible. Thankfully, we live in a time where our friends are on the other side of a phone when we need them.
3. Talk to everyone you meet, they all have a story and lived experience to share.
(In regards to 2, although it may not be impossible to keep your old friends, you have to understand that sometimes you just grow out of friendships; your interests, goals, and hobbies may change, and that is 100% okay. Cherish the memories you have and grow from there.)
4. It is okay to not know exactly or change what you want to do in life.
And for this one, my favorite question, 9/10 people have no idea what they want to do with their life (...that isn't completely scientific, but you get the point).
This took me a bit of time to learn and it may change again, but be open to change and new ideas. Embrace them. Do not limit yourself to one idea or path, allow yourself to explore as many opportunities as possible.
5. You won't fail. You've made it here, and great things are coming.
If you've read this far, I love you.
Your Oldest Sibling