Don't Leave Senior Year With Regrets

Don't Leave Senior Year With Regrets

Senior year of high school is supposed to be one of the most exciting years of your life -- don't let things you can't control take that away from you.
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At this time last year, I would have never imagined I would be where I am today. There’s some excitement in saying that, but also some disappointment. I never imagined that by December of my freshman year in college I would already have such a strong group of friends. I never imagined that I would have done so much self-growth in just three months, getting that much closer to realizing what I really want out of life. On the other hand, I also never imagined that I would be going to a university only 25 short minutes from home considering, for as long as I can remember, I planned on leaving Texas. All my life, I defined success by getting accepted into every college I applied to. I thought the April of my senior would be spent making a tough decision between my two dream schools, rather than feeling more disappointed in myself than ever. However, twelve rejection letters and a lot of tears later, I was forced to realize that these successes and failures are all relative. While I would have never guessed I would be spending the next four years at The University of Texas, I could not imagine being this happy anywhere else.

Unfortunately, my senior year of high school was filled with constantly trying to predict my future, just to realize that in the end, I have no control over it. While my senior year was one of the most fun, rewarding years of my life, I spent many days filled with bitterness. The bitterness that came from situations beyond my control such as college acceptances and distanced friends. But it is only now that I realize that these situations could not have been changed by anything I could have done.

I spent my free time evaluating each and every second of my life saying well if I would have done this differently, I would have gotten that role, or if I would have gone out that night, I wouldn’t have lost that friend, or if I changed the topic of my essay, I would have gotten into that school, if...if...if...if. That kind of thinking led to many sleepless nights where I just wondered why. Why put everything I have into achieving something, just to not get it? All through this past summer, I continued to wallow in self-pity. I worked so hard in high school only to be going to a college that at the time, I considered less than my ‘dream’. It wasn’t until move-in day when I talked to my roommate for the first time about my high school experience that I realized how utterly stupid it was for me to have become consumed with the decisions of OTHER PEOPLE.

She and I talked for hours about our friends, our families, our successes, and our failures. About three hours into the conversation I realized the only things I had really talked about were my failures. I went to sleep that night with more regret than ever. She sat and told me that she too was not accepted into her dream school and she too has had dramatic fights with friends that stemmed from things that were not her fault, but she spent more time telling me about the things she loved: funny stories about her best friends, her crazy prom stories, and just what she enjoys doing with her life.

That night I wanted nothing more than to go back to the first day of my senior year and do it all over again. Not to change the outcome of an acceptance letter, a cast list, or a friendship, but to tackle all of these disappointments again and handle them in a different way. Rather than being bitter, I would have understood. Rather than acting entitled, I would have been grateful. Rather than focusing on all of the things I hated, I would focus on all of the things there was to love.

I say all of this not to attempt to remove all of the guilt from my conscience, but to hopefully help another senior who is feeling like the world is out to spite them. If I can give you one piece of advice, it would be to let it go. If you’re anything like me, you think you can control every aspect of your life. Hopefully, this article helps you realize this now, but if not, you will eventually realize there is so much out of your reach. At first, that’s a hard lesson to learn.

Trust me, it took me a long time to figure out how to motivate myself to do certain things if, in the end, the outcome I worked for isn’t even guaranteed. But after I figured that out, I’ve felt freer than ever. Regardless of your religious beliefs, your future has already been determined by something so much larger than yourself. So sit back, and let go. Work hard, but not to the point that you’re no longer enjoying yourself. As I’m sure you’ve already heard, senior year is full of lasts. Sadly for me, many of those lasts are clouded with regret. Because I was so focused on feeling cheated by the world, I didn’t enjoy the things that make senior year so great.

Work hard, play hard, and love hard. It’s okay to be disappointed, but don’t discredit your hard work because an outcome was not as you anticipated. You are so much more than the opinions of others. After all, the only thing in this world that you can control is how you react.

Now get out there, and enjoy your lasts, because you have a lot of amazing firsts ahead of you.

Cover Image Credit: Graduation Wine Company

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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