To All High School Seniors,
Congratulations! You have taken your last finals in high school, most of you have probably gotten in to at least one school, and you now can cruise into graduation. My senior year of high school was an amazing end to my high school career and time in my hometown and I know that the next couple of months will be just that for you too.
I want to give you some advice for your next couple of months in the city you will soon be leaving. It seems so long ago that I was in your place but at the same time I know how quickly those last months flew by.
Go to as many sporting events at your school as you have left. One day you will look back and wish that you had more memories cheering on your high school basketball team or eating a hot dog above the football field. Being the oldest, you can start all the cheers and chants and support your classmates in what will be for most of them their last athletic contest.
Thank your teachers. These men and women show up every day to teach you. Whether you believe it or not they want you to succeed and I doubt that any of them became a teacher just to be mean and give you an F. They have dedicated their time to helping you and even if you hated their class, thank them for their time and commitment to you and your classmates.
Make time for your family. Over the summer, when it feels like you only have a handful of weeks left, it's normal to want to spend all your time with your friends. But you are probably leaving your hometown for school and you can't forget about your parents and siblings because you're leaving them too. Just make a point to stay in one night to watch a movie or even have another home cooked, family meal.
Go to all of your favorite restaurants. Yes they will be here for you when you get back but it will be really fun to make a trip one last time before heading off to school. Go with your friends, sister, or dad and make a day or night out of it each time.
Take a lot of pictures but don't let it be the focus of your night. I wish that I took more photos every night when I was with my friends. I never focused on taking photos just because it seemed to take away from actually experiencing my last moments but now I find myself wishing I had just a few more. I love looking through my photos from my trips, dances, and nights out because it makes me smile remembering it all. I'm not saying put a bunch of makeup on and make sure your outfit is perfect every time you go out. I'm suggesting taking candids and random selfies whenever you want to remember a moment. Don't let it be the focus, just an extra.
Really, my biggest piece of advice is to cherish the time you have left and be grateful for your high school years and everyone that allowed you to be there. Senior year of high school is a special time for everyone and also scary. One of my teachers last year told us on our last day of class how special our time is in the moment we were at. He told us that we will never again, for the rest of our lives, be with these same people under the same circumstances ever again. His speech frightened me and it made my eyes swell because I realized my time living at home, being with my closest friends in a familiar, safe environment I had known for the past six years of my life was coming to an end.
This time is one of celebration, reflection, and excitement. Celebrate with your loved ones in the places you cherish the most. Reflect on the memories you have made and who you have made them with. Get excited for the next chapter of your life and know that it is okay to be nervous. Have fun and know that even though everything will never be the same, it will still be amazing in a different way.