Dear Second Semester High School Senior,
You made it; congrats! I promise you, this will be the time of your life. It's hard to explain what changes when your second semester begins. For starters, you start to care a little (ok, a lot) less about grades. And then you start to care when you realize you need to get 5s on all your APs to get college credit. You start to stress about prom, and pre-prom, and after prom, and prom weekend. For the vast majority of you, you start to hear back from colleges. You start to realize the end is scarily near. I'm telling you, you won't know how close the end is until it's already over. So take advantage of it while it lasts.
Second semester is arguably when Senior year starts. You'll start to rack up an embarrassing amount of absences just because you didn't feel like showing up that day. Your backpack will start weighing less and less until the only thing you bring to school is your phone, your keys, your phone charger, your headphones, and gum. You'll do something stupid, like show up to school in a Snuggie, and love every minute of it. You will go out on school nights and you will wake up the next morning both loving and hating yourself. Don't stay in and watch Netflix- Shameless will be there when you come back. Hang out with your friends, even if it's to just sit in someone's basement; those are the nights that will make some of the best memories. Take pictures and videos of everything; they'll remember more than you do. Try to make "Funky Fridays" a thing, and fail miserably (@Aly, we tried).
Spend more time with your family. This is the last time you'll be living with them full-time. Make an effort to hang out with your parents, and sit through your dad's corny advice because it's just not the same over text. Eat dinner with your parents and ask them how their days went, because I guarantee you, you will not be speaking to them nearly as much when you get to college. Go to your mom for everything, even the little stuff, because she's not going to be there to help you when you don't have a voice after Welcome Week.
As amazing as college is, don't spend the rest of your Senior year waiting to leave your hometown. Because before you know it, you're going to be saying goodbye to the people you could never imagine life without. I'm not talking about just your family and friends. I'm talking about the guy who sneezed on you during the NJ ASK in seventh grade who never quite lived it down. Or your strictly in-school friend who was always there to complain about homework or a hard test. Or the teachers you saw every day, who whether you wanted them to or not, became integral parts of your life. You're also saying goodbye to places: your home, your best friend's basement (thanks, Fallon), your Dunkin Donuts, your favorite bagel store, your favorite sushi place.
I'm telling you, you're going to miss it all. All of it. Even the bad stuff. A few months down the line you're going to be wearing a cap and gown wondering, "where the hell did the time go". So appreciate it now, before it's too late.
A College Freshman