First of all, quick shout-out to the Class of 2017. Clearly the best.
But yes, it's senior year. The last year of high school and the last year of being "babied," as our teachers say.
They always say that as if they think that we haven't experienced harsh reality in some way, shape, or form. We all have. And let me tell you, college will not be the worst thing to happen to me.
To start off, I would like you to congratulate yourself. I congratulated myself, because to be honest I wasn't always 100% sure that I could make it this far.
It definitely was not easy, and the rest of life will not be, either, but we did it, we're doing it, and we will continue to.
But before we pop the bubbly and sing campfire songs, I'd like to remind you that there's still a lot to do before this year is over.
Shitty, I know, but it's just the truth.
The first things on your mind are probably your college applications and your college essays–the least fun things that you're going to have to do.
If you're trying to balance all that, I really recommend going to commonapp.org.
It was one of the biggest life-savers for me this senior year, and it basically fills out all your applications at once. No stress, I promise.
I also want to say that I think the essay prompts for this year kind of suck. But you didn't hear that from me.
And PLEASE don't make the same mistake I did, and forget your SAT/ACT.
Yeah yeah, I know, I'm dumb; but I was trying to push it off so much that I kind of forgot it was something that I actually had to do. Oops.
Many of us probably also have a job while this is going on–I know I did–and it really does not make anything any easier. We need money. We're just broke kids–but this is just something that I'm tossing into the "stressful stuff I don't want to do" pile.
All this pressure coming from every direction can really make you feel like you're suffocating.
It really does feel that way sometimes.
So when you start thinking about all this tough stuff, and all the things that are making your life harder, I want you to remember one thing: while senior year is stressful... senior year is also the most exciting year of high school.
No more nervousness when walking through the halls. You're at the top of the food chain, and at the top of the bleachers.
You're the kids that can now park their cars on campus, and definitely show it off by dangling your keys in the hallway.
You've got the coolest events, too. Senior field day is something to look forward to–making an awesome team of friends and doing as well as you can in all the competitions.
Don't forget your senior prom. This should really be thought about as the last big party before everyone goes their separate ways, because in all honesty, that's what it is.
Senior Skip Day is gonna be fun, too. But that's self-explanatory, and let's be real, you can have as many of those as you want.
But don't skip out on anything else, senior year.
I don't care how uncool some of this stuff sounds, either–I'm begging you.
Go to the dumb movie nights that your school is going to have, because it'll turn out to be one of the most fun nights with your friends.
Don't skip the homecoming dance because someone said it was going to be dumb. It's like going to a Sweet 16 with everyone from school, which couldn't be bad.
Don't fight with your friends over dumb stuff this year. Learn to let it go. This is high school, and you don't have to be stressed more than you already are.
But, most importantly, I want you to cherish every moment you get before it's a memory.
One day you'll forget the halls, and the faces, and the rooms you saw everyday. You're going to forget the smells, and sounds of everything; and it's going to be sad.
And one night, when you're feeling nostalgic, you'll sit in your school parking lot, and wonder where all the time went. You're going to wonder how everyone's doing, and what it would be like to be in high school again.
High school will hold some of the best times, and some of the worst times.
So, Class of 2017: Leave your legacy. Make your mark. Stand up and show your high school what it means to be seniors.
I want to wish the best of luck to all of you. Enjoy it all while you still can, and never lose faith.