Being a senior in high school feels like I just climbed to the top of Mount Everest, but instead of dealing with the rocky terrain and unbearably cold weather, it was filled with staying up all night to study for tests, many breakups, and unforgettable memories that taught me life lessons that were more important than how to find 'x' on a math problem.

1. Losing friends will happen to everyone

Losing friends is a real thing, but it's not as dramatic as it sounds. Whether class schedules don't match up or old friends gain new interests; everyone is bound to lose at least one friend along those four grueling years. I look back at freshman year which was full of group photos of a now abandoned squad and at first, it can be quite sad to realize how much I've lost contact with almost everyone in a photo that was only taken four years ago, but then I realize how much happier we all are now with a new group of friends. Losing those friends was not a sad story, but more of a growing and learning experience on how people, even who you think you know, change.

2. Pop culture and the media lie

No movie will ever be able to properly sum up my high school experience. There was never a popular group that wore pink and caused the whole school to fight nor a group of theatre kids breaking out into song and dance about how many schools is. High school was never something I would want to make a movie about, but I do finding it as a stepping stone to guide everyone who attends for the future. Pop culture like movies and songs have this weird fascination with the setting being at a high school and then make it seem like this luxurious place, but sadly as a senior I and many others have realized that it is more about finishing homework the day it's due, having a panic attack just thinking about the future, and just holding on a little longer until graduation.

3. Do what makes you happy

As a teacher once told my class "school is like a jail with no yard time" and while the classroom erupted in the laughter of how painfully true that statement is; I realized how much I've been so caught up in this environment of AP kids just need to work, work, work. My friends and I have become so caught up in homework, quizzes, exams, and the AP test that we forget who we are and our passion in life. High schoolers begin to think their mental and physical well being is less important than having all A's and getting into their dream school because of this mentality of working is more important than being an actual person. No school work will ever be more important than your passions, happiness, and physical/mental health. Deciding not to do one page of calculus work and go to the mall instead just to feel like a kid and have fun will not ruin your chances of getting into your dream school or your chances of passing an AP test. Do what makes you happy.