Four long years is finally coming to an end. Graduation is around the corner. As excited and ready to move on to the next big thing as you are, you still have the last stretch to graduation. Prom, Finals, Senior Takeover, Grad Bash, Senior Awards and so much more are awaiting you in the next few weeks. As overwhelming as this may sound, I URGE YOU to make the most of everything that is left in your high school career.

This is the last time when it will be this easy and carefree for you to just pick up and go to a sporting event or club meeting.

This is the last time you may be able to play a sport you love or watch your long time bestie do the same.

This is the last time you will ever be around this exact same group of people at a place you have grown all too familiar with over the past four years- a place that feels like home.

A quote from my favorite show, One Tree Hill, reads "It's the oldest story in the world. One day you're seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And that someday is yesterday. And this is your life". Senior year, especially at the tail end, this quote really comes to fruition. Days fly by, and before you know it you are crossing the stage in that cap and gown with your diploma. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that time FLIES. I know being home studying for that last set of high school finals & AP exams can really suck and all you want is for it to be over, but once it is you can never get that chapter of your life back.

High school is truly one of a kind. Granted, college is awesome in the fact that you get to create your own schedule and take classes on your own time. However, if you think that you no longer have to take math or English, you are sadly mistaken. The two types of schooling hold lots of similarities, but the freedom of college is what makes all high schoolers want to fast forward to moving away. Hear me out, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR REMAINING TIME AT HOME. In college, or the 'adult world' if that's your thing, there are no make-up tests, not many nice teachers that are willing to bump your grade or work with you, there's no parents or guidance counselors making sure you're on the right track, there's no one telling you to go to class (a blessing and a curse), and there is most definitely not someone paying for you and everything you do- even if your parents do intend to help you out financially. You are on your own, most likely for the first time.

Although this can be a thrill, an amazing new experience, it is something that takes adjusting. For those of you going to college, you may be sharing a room/bathroom or having a roommate for the first time, or studying somewhere other than your kitchen table, or pulling all-nighters either at the library or out on the town. All of this will be new to you and you will most likely not have your lifelong friends and family right there next to you every step of the way. So I beg you, please enjoy every picture at a senior event, every spring sport, every home cooked meal, every time your parents use their card to pay for something, every snuggle sesh with your parents when they won't let you go because you're going to leave soon, and every single memory in your hometown with your childhood friends- especially those that are younger than you who you are leaving behind and will not be moving on just yet.

This is all soon to end as you all finish that last exam, put on that cap and gown, and cross the stage to receive your diploma. Get ready to leave the first chapter of your life behind, but NEVER EVER forget all those memories you made. High school is once in a lifetime, so make all those 'lasts' count and cherish them forever. Now, start getting ready for the rest of your life and make sure to take what you've learned along the way with you to make your mark and leave a lasting impact on this world. You are ready.