To Second Semester Seniors In The Home Stretch
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To Second Semester Seniors In The Home Stretch

It'll all come to a close in the blink of an eye.

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To Second Semester Seniors In The Home Stretch
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To my fellow soon-to-be-graduates,

Hang in there, we’re almost at the finish line--we have almost finished four years of high school. Four years of AP classes, pop quizzes, teenage drama, and lasting friendships. Four years of rushing through crowded hallways and hustling to class through a parade of backpacks. Four years of Shakespeare, the Renaissance, U.S. Presidents, Chemistry, art, music, sports; you name it. I’m sure by now you’ve found your niche.

It is at this point in the year that I, along with my friends and classmates, anxiously await college decisions. After carefully crafting essays and putting every effort into grades and extracurriculars, all we can do is hope for acceptance. Most of us have lived in our little corner of New Jersey for our entire lives up to this point, and are eager to open our eyes to the rest of the world and to new opportunities.

Often, in moments of stress, we are quick to proclaim our desire to “just get out of this town and go to college.” While I am excited for the next stage of my life, I feel it is important to also remember the significance my hometown has had on my life. The community I was raised in shaped me as an individual-- I can never forget that it is here that I discovered my passion for writing. This town gave me my start--these suburban roads lined with houses that have been here for as long as I can remember are the roads that allowed me to navigate my identity.

So, to the second-semester seniors, in these final six months, appreciate the town that gave you everything to create the person you are today. Whether they are simply your favorite restaurants, or influential teachers, or places where you spent meaningful times with friends, make the most out of them while you can. In a blink of an eye, you will be whisked off to a new city with your life flipped upside down.

Do not rush your last teenage year spent in high school. Go out on Friday night, go to that concert that the local band is playing, or head to Chipotle or Qdoba (whichever you prefer--this is a hotly debated topic) with your friends, go take long drives while listening to your favorite songs in good company. Take the train to New York City, go see that show, wander around in an art museum, or that game in the roaring stands where your favorite team is playing. Capture these moments, because they are fleeting. You’ll be glad you did because you’ll always have them to look back on.

I, myself, hope to spend as much time with friends as possible. Of course I will keep in touch with my best friends, but life will feel so different when I may not see them all every day. Soon enough, I will be swimming in a sea of unfamiliar faces from across the country yet to be discovered. So, to the second-semester seniors, keep yourselves surrounded by positive people. People that have brought meaning to your lives and people that when you look back at your “high school days” in the pages of your yearbook. They would be at the forefront of your most treasured memories.

It is also important to keep in mind the lessons that were instilled in us since we were children, yet embrace the unknown. The world is at our feet--we don’t know all of the answers, and we have plenty of time to discover them. We will be exposed to people and places so vastly different from ourselves, that our perspectives will broaden beyond whatever we may think.

And so, to the second semester seniors, when your name is called, and you rise, collecting your diploma, and move your tassel to the other side of your personalized cap, smile at your friends and family. Smile at those who made you the person you are today. Smile because what you are leaving behind is ushering a new beginning. The beginning of an entirely new chapter that you are the author of, in an atmosphere of your own.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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