To the rising senior:
You are getting ready to embark on this crazy journey called Senior Year. Yes, I said crazy. It WILL be the BEST year of high school yet, but it is also the hardest. Savor EVERY minute of it because it goes by way too quickly.
When you walk into school on the very first day, stop and take a look around. Look at the people in your classes, look at your teachers, look at the hustle and bustle as you walk through the hallways, look at it all because on your last day, when you walk out of those doors for the final time, you will wish you had done more, cherished more, and you will probably want to turn back time and do it all over again. Not because you had not gotten involved or made the memories you wanted to but because you know that your life is going to change completely after high school, and you just want to hold on to the person you are right now, at this time, at this place.
When you go to the first Friday night football game of the season, make it a night you will never forget. Rain or shine, make sure you are sitting in the stands cheering on your team. Look at all the fans, the football players, the coaches, the cheerleaders, the band, the student section. Take in all the sounds, smells, and tastes of the boiled peanuts or fried Oreos. Be loud and insane, go wild after every play, go to EVERY game (home and away), and enjoy everything about being under the Friday Night Lights. Your last football game will be emotional; trust me, you will most likely leave in tears. Realizing that you'll never be a student in those stands again hits you hard, and it's definitely a feeling you will never get back.
When you find yourself sitting at home on a Saturday night, find something to do. Go out to eat or fix a meal with your family. Plan a family game night or any fun activity you all enjoy doing together. Most likely, you will be moving off to college in a few months and will find yourself wishing you had spent more time with them. Spend time with your friends. In a few short months, you probably will not be at the same college and will not see each other every day. You may not be in the same town or even within driving distance next year, make all the memories you can now. Senior year is about making memories you will cherish for the rest of your life, so make the most of it. You will be thankful that you did.
When you go to prom, wear your dream dress/tux, don't stress about a date, ask that guy/girl you want to go with, go to the fancy restaurants, dance until midnight, and stay up all night with your friends. Don't worry about what people think. This night is yours; make it one of the best of your life.
When you're sitting with your classmates at graduation, look at your administration, your teachers, and the thousands of people in the audience. Walk across that stage with confidence and pride because you did it. Sing your Alma Mater to the top of your lungs. I promise you will be glad you did. Graduation is the final time that you and your class will be in the same place at the same time. You will never be or feel this way again. Your time as a high school student is coming to a close; finish strong and hold on to all the memories made.
Going back to visit after graduation is nothing like walking the hallways as a student. Sure, past teachers and friends greet you and welcome you, but something about it just doesn't feel right. This place is not your home anymore. You've finished your time here. You're always welcome, but you have more things to see and accomplish. Look back and be thankful for your time in high school and how it prepared you for your future. Your years here were great, but they will not be the "best times of your life." Better things await you, and the BEST is yet to come.