I truly believe that high school is one of the hidden gems of life. Imagine how many times throughout your 4 years you thought of just getting out. Or got caught up in negativity, drama, bad people, and the works. High school is wound tightly with bad experiences, but also some incredible ones. The thing in high school is no one has it figured out. Everyone is just scratching the surface on figuring out who they are, what they want, and how to get it. And it is so easy to get swept up in doing the same. But what high school really is, what no one realizes until it's over, is a building block of who you will become.

High school is such a transitional time in your life, as much as you have heard it said, do not get caught up in the little things. The day-to-day menial tasks and drama are something which will never cross your mind in the future. And if they do, it will most certainly be in a laughing manner. So don't let it get the best of you. Don't let it ruin what you have.

Senior year is a time for change and growth, but it is also a time to reflect. You have been with these people, walked these halls, and lived in this place most likely since you were in Kindergarten. Give it the respect it deserves. Thank everyone. Thank your teachers, your Principal, your coaches, your peers, they are people you may only know by a distant name in the future. You don't realize how much of an effect they have had on who you are and where you are going until they are gone, so thank them for that.

Appreciate your friends. No matter what drama may ensue, no matter how busy you all are, make time for them. Dedicate as much as is possible during waking hours, because you will miss them more than anything. Let them know how much you appreciate them because they will be the first people you call when you need that security blanket and can't find your way to the library on your first day of class, or your roommate is going off the rails. Even though you may not be there with them during freshman year, they will still be there for you. They aren't going anywhere.

Stay out past curfew with your friends. And when you get home to your parents angrily waiting in the kitchen, hug them. Thank them for everything they have done for you and everything they will do for you in the future. You have no idea how much you will miss them until you come back to your dorm after a late night of studying, way past curfew, to find a dark and empty room. Hang out with your Mom no matter how much she seems to bug you lately. She is just preparing herself to walk into your empty room next year. Cook dinner with your Dad, and let him teach you his "secret recipe" for the tenth time. You have no idea how much it will make his day. Take your dog for a walk, a run, a swim. Because those photos you will get of your puppy playing catch next year are nothing compared to the feeling of them jumping on top of you and barking every time you come home from a long day.

Make time for your family because they are the largest constant you didn't realize you needed until you watch your brothers soccer game on Instagram rather than in person, and see your sister show you her Prom dress over facetime. Go to every family gathering. No matter how far away, how long it is, or what you are missing at home, make the effort. They will be the one group, no matter what, who will never let you down.

Senior year has the ability to put everything into perspective in a way you never thought it would. Take that perspective and use it, find out what you care most about and what deserves your attention. Do everything, and do it with a smile, because next year nothing will be the same. With this, however, don't stress about the future. That will all come in due time and you can be nervous and excited about college on move-in day. Let those worries fade to the back burner. Today focus on yourself, and focus on the people who have made your high school experience what it was. They deserve the recognition.