Summertime has come and gone, gently floating past like a dandelion caught in a light breeze. Caught up in a summer haze, time has slipped through my grasps like grains of sand. No matter how hard I try to cup my hands, the tiny particles of time always seem to slip through the cracks, collecting in a pile of memories.

I’m writing this on the eve of my senior year, my last first day of school. The last first day I'll spend waking up in my own bed, the last first day picture I'll take in front of the sunflower flag hanging up in front of my house. The last first day I'll spend meeting up with my five best friends in the hallway before we all break for our first period classes.

The night before the first day of school is usually spent in sorrowful agony, dreading the early hour that has to be keyed into the alarm clock. This year I want to spend it differently.

My fondest memories of summer 2016:

Taking our yearly family beach trip. Late nights watching the sun hide behind the clouds and the moon take its first peak over the ocean. Spending hours upon hours in the pool. Reading the most insightful and exciting novels, flipping the pages to the sounds of waves crashing on the shore.

Having a three day sleepover with my best friend. Making a gigantic fort and lounging by the lake studying for tests. Getting extremely and painfully sunburnt.

Seeing The 1975 in a very last minute arrangement with some of my closest and oldest friends. Standing in the pit and feeling my soul moved by the melodies.

The not so fond farewell to my closest partner in cruelty free living as she moves away. Eating vegan calzones into early hours of the morning.

Staying up late writing and reading and waking up in the afternoon only to lounge in the sun and read some more.

Catching Pokémon at 2 in the morning with my brother.

Traveling all the way to Charlotte with my best friend to see 5 Seconds of Summer. Sitting in the parking lot for two hours after the show was finished. Walking around the city.

Getting snow cones with my best friends.

Going to the farmers market with my Mom and Dad and ogling at the rows and rows of fruits and veggies. Getting the best shaved ice I've ever had.

Sleepovers that consisted of eating whole batches of brownies and watching Sparks movies.

Holding a newborn baby.

Participating in a color run and being stained pink with all of my best friends.

Late night drives sipping on strawberry slushies and playing music that made me feel utterly invincible.

Petting so many cats and dogs and really loving being surrounded by so many animals.

Cleaning out my entire bedroom over two full weeks. Donating approximately eleven bags of clothes and other items to charity after said clean out.

Reconnecting with old friends.

Celebrating multiple birthdays and eating way too much pizza in said celebrations.

Going to the art museum and being surrounded by love. Hiking along the trails and having insightful chats about the future and the universe.

Getting Mexican food and celebrating my best friends accomplishments on their extremely spiritual mission trip.

Buying ridiculous Christmas sweaters at the thrift store with my best friend even though it's the middle of August.

Getting my first job.

Decorating my parking spot with my five closest friends. Group huddles.

Laughing so hard my stomach hurts.

And most of all, spending as much time as I can with the people in my life that I love the most.