Two years ago, I remember being in your place. I remember the mix of emotions and the stress of preparing for high school graduation. I remember being told that it was likely the last time my classmates and I would all be together. I still look back on that day once in a while.
Graduating seniors, I hope you are able to keep a few things in mind as this month concludes, along with your high school experience.
1. Do not let high school be the best years of your life.
I know that high school had its highlights, but for no one should it be the best years of your life. If you think that, you are not dreaming wildly enough. Make the future even more wonderful.
2. It will be hard to keep high school friends, but it is partly your choice if you do or not.
Remember to send a few texts a week to them. Do not get completely caught up in your new adventures, if you truly do want to keep them around. I know that it may seem hard to do at times, but if they mean enough to you, you will make time for them. Just do not let your want to keep them in your life hold you back from experiencing something new. The world is yours now, embrace the freedom.
3. It will be scary.
Growing up is horrifying at times. College, especially, is if that is your next step. It is a whole new world with a new social scene and a step up from what you are used to. Having to be away from your parents is a scary unknown adventure.
4. It will be fun though, at the same time.
Do not let fear hold you back from anything though. I know it can be hard at times, but you will never know what is truly great until you try. In high school, you face many boundaries, but afterward, a lot of those disappear. Life will feel new in many ways.
5. Remember where you came from.
Let the lessons you learned in your hometown, in your childhood, in your high school year grow with you. Let them affect your daily life, who you will be from now on. Do not just forget them. There was a reason you learned them.
6. Never think you are too good for your hometown.
In my case, I grew up in a small town. Those people, my neighbors, helped raise me. I might not live there in the future, but I will always come back. I will never right that town off in my mind. It will always mean the world to me.
7. Do not let the drama follow you out the door.
Yes, you may have faced drama with classmates in high school, but you do not have to let that be a part of your future. You are out of that place. Do not be stuck on the hardships of it that will not matter a year from now.
8. You need to decide what matters to you.
Life will become blurry, there will not be an instruction manual or someone to hold your hand. Find your priorities. Look at your family and friends, realize your love for them all over again. Do not forget what matters most.
9. Appreciate your teachers.
They put up with you for four years. Simply put: Say thank you. Over. and Over. and Over. Make them annoyed with your appreciation.
10. You do not have to smile always.
Be yourself in the future. Do not pretend like you are someone else. In high school and past those doors, you will find society putting pressure on you to be the perfect standard, but you do not have to be. No one really is. Do not fall for it, embrace who you were born to be.
11. You are amazing.
Congratulations on your graduation. You have worked hard to reach this point. There is much hard work ahead, but you have got this. Good luck.