Senior year: the year all students anticipate over the course of their lives. By now, you've realized that this isn't high school musical (and it's far, far from it) and, in fact, you're probably ready to rush into post-high-school-life. But before you pick out your graduation outfit or fret about how your head will look in that cap, take a moment to hold on to the peculiar state you're in.
There's still nine months until graduation.
Senioritis—it doesn't get any more real than this. The struggle to give 100% on assignments (or 50% at that) is eminent from the moment classes begin. Your mind is a jumble of college decisions, Netflix, and most importantly, graduation. However, you have to remember that you are still in limbo. It's hard to remember that you still have 1/4 of high school left, so power through with anything you've got left in you until the very last test.
Take a moment to love your friends.
I didn't know that the last day of school would be the last time all seven members of my #squad would be together at once. Don't think you're going to find a day that everyone can hang out during the summer, it just doesn't work out like you think it will. So laugh through the confusing math classes you have together and spend the money to have lunch with them. Have a shameless "Fergalicious" jam session in the car and take pictures together even if you're not doing anything particularly exciting. Tell them you love them. Be there for each other during hard times and savor the good moments. Actually, savor all the moments, because soon you'll be in seven different corners of the earth wishing you could have another squad hug.
Take a moment to enjoy your teachers' presence.
You don't think you'll miss them, but you will. This doesn't mean you'll miss high school, but when your little brother tells you that he has one of your old favorites for 3rd period, you'll look back fondly on the days you could joke around with them. Don't wait until graduation to thank them.
Be aware of everything around you.
Memorize the agonizingly slow pace of the person blocking your way in the halls. Smile a little bit when people park like idiots in the student parking lot (this still happens in college by the way.) Don't be "over high school" too soon...if you can help it.
College goes from next year to next week real quick. Don't stress the decision deadlines. You'll be laughing about it in less than a year's time. Senior year is a long stretch of time in which you are constantly being prepared to launch, but aren't actually allowed to launch. Take this time to get motivated. Make a bunch of Pinterest boards for staying organized. Read all the advice to college freshmen that you can. Use this period to ready yourself for the next chapter. Before you know it, you'll be sitting in a dorm room thinking about how surreal it is to finally be there.
Appreciate and build stronger relationships with those who have built a community for you.
These are the goodbyes you end up unprepared for. Youth leaders at your church, your coaches, and music teachers--all of them have shaped who you are. You'll look back at these figures as some of the greatest influencers of your current identity. Thank them.
Good luck to all of my friends completing their last year of high school! Have a great time!