To High School Seniors In Their Final Graduation Countdown

An Open Letter To High School Seniors In Their Final Countdown To Graduation

Go to that baseball game, don't miss prom, and make every 'last' count.

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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.

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A Thank You Letter To The Best Teammate I've Ever Had

There's no "I" in team.
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We all have those amazing memories when it comes to sports. Sometimes it is from winning tough games, but most of the amazing memories that we have come from the teammates that we shared those wins with. Teammates are the people who you spend so much time with that you eventually become a family. Teammates do more than help just win a game; they can be there through everything. There's always that one teammate that stands out from the rest, and this letter is for you.

Thank you for being selfless.

Looking back, I remember a lot of teammates. Some were great and some were not that great. I've had teammates who have only cared about their playing time. I've had teammates that have only cared about if they score more goals or more points than anyone else. You did not care about that. If the coach told you to play a position that you did not want to play, you still played it without a complaint. If I was tired at a certain position and wanted to switch you, you did it. You never complained about where you were playing or how many goals you had; you just wanted the team to win.

Thank you for having my back.

The best kinds of teammates are the ones that support you no matter what you do. I got a red card? That referee is stupid. I got into a fist fight during a game? You were the first one next to me swinging. Some girl makes fun of me on social media for messing up in a game? You were roasting her in her mentions. Even if I was right or wrong, you always supported me no matter what I did.

Thank you for seeing me at my worst and building me back up.

There are always times in an athlete's life where we run to the point to where we need to throw up. There are times where we go through games and miss too many shots. There are times where we get a little too mad at our coaches and feel as if we cannot deal with it anymore. You were the one that got me through it. When I was in the middle of a run and my lungs were burning, you stayed right next to me and reminded me that there wasn't much longer to go, even if there was. You always reminded me how capable I was by yelling at me and telling me to go score. You've seen me tired, sweaty, crying, screaming and throwing up. After all that, you still went out of your way to build me back up and I cannot thank you enough for that.

Thank you for making me love the game.

Without people like you, I would have had a very rough ride through my sports career. I have had teammates that have made me go home crying because they were so mean and rude. I have had teammates who have only cared about themselves. Without you, I would've forgotten what a good teammate is. Looking back, all I remember is the celebrations, the screaming random songs in cars and us hating each other's exes automatically... Then talking about all these things at practice. Thanks for being a leader with me. Without you and the rest of the team, I would not have loved the sport that I played.

Cover Image Credit: Cheap Seats Photography

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I'm Not The Same Person I Was In High School But I'm Feeling Those Same Feels As I Enter My Senior Year Again

You can change your hair and you can change your mind, but you can't change the fears that come with senior year.

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I've always had a baby face and haven't grown an inch since middle school, so if you were to look at comparison photos from my high school years to today, you probably wouldn't see as much of a difference as I do.

The girl who I was in high school feels like another identity compared to who I am today. Past the box-dyed red hair and thick black pencil eyeliner that I woke up an extra thirty minutes to apply *cringe*, I don't recognize the person who I was once. We have similar ambitions and values, but the way I see the world has drastically changed.

The way I view my looks, my faith and my worth have been shaped by my college years, and that's pretty rad.

Still, entering my senior year of college, I am starting to carry the same worries that I once did three years ago.

I believe as much as your habits and ideals may change, we still carry our same fears. We can shake them, replace them or try to erase them, but the things that truly make us who we are is often the things that we don't like about ourselves. The thing that I carry with me is: worry.

I remember being eighteen years old with pamphlets of schools in front of me for ideal colleges I would like to attend. I knew deep inside I didn't really know what I wanted, but I figured it would all work out in the end. And it did, of course, but not even close to the way I could expect it to play out. I ended up at a college I barely considered, studying a major I didn't know existed and in a career path I never knew I could thrive in.

Call it what you want, the universe or fate or God, whatever you choose to believe in, but there is a path lined up for you and it will be glorious. My senior year of high school I simply drastically struggled to find it. I thought I knew everything until I was brutally shaken by the fact that I knew nothing at all.

A senior year is the same for all of us, universally, and there's a beauty in that.

It means that we are closing a chapter in our lives and what lies on the next page can be one of the hardest pages to write. So, as I am preparing to enter my senior year of college, I can feel the worry of what may come next for me beginning to weigh on my shoulders.

I have experienced this abrupt change before, leaving high school with hopes and "we'll stay friends forever, right?" written in our yearbooks. I know the worry will end, the story will continue and I will continue to prosper in my endeavors. But the unknown of what is to happen to us, once we step out of the comfort zones we have painted for ourselves, is scary. And I am afraid.

I am humble in my accomplishments but anxious for more in my life.

And I hope that in another three years from now, I remember who I was in this moment and smile at myself. And also make fun of myself. It'll either be my velvet hair scrunchies or my cardigan collection. Most likely the cardigan collection.

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