To my younger sister the rising senior,

First, congratulations on finally reaching "senior status"! It wasn't long ago that I was in your shoes; I can't believe two years have flown by so quickly since I started my own senior year.

I have so many fond memories from that year that it's so hard to even remember them all.

You have so many things to look forward to this year, even if some may seem scary and overwhelming now. Applying to colleges and then deciding on the "perfect" school is no easy task.

There are so many different deadlines, essays, and repetitive questions on applications that you will drive yourself crazy, but by winter break those will (mostly) be done and you just have the stress — and excitement — of waiting for responses and seeing where you get in.

I promise that even if you don't know exactly what you want to do, you'll be able to figure everything out in good time and not to stress over something like an undecided major. Schools will see that you have proven yourself over the years academically along with all your other accomplishments concerning what you plan on doing (because most students will change their majors at some point anyway).

Maybe you'll figure it all out this year, maybe once you get to school you know, or maybe it'll just take you a little longer to get it all together. But no matter what you choose or if you ever need that push or extra encouragement with any of your decisions, know that I'm here for you every step of the way.

If an older sibling can't guide the way for their younger siblings, what good are they for anyway?

Senior year sports are so bittersweet. I'm so proud of you for working hard these last three years to reach captain status and lead your team day in, day out. You might be excited to be done waking up early for practice after this summer and wrapping up your time but remember truly appreciate your friendships with your teammates and all of the fun activities and bonding and memories from this season.

While I might not miss the on-field aspects or hot summer training as much, I miss meeting with my teammates every day, going to pasta parties, and celebrating victories with them. As a senior captain, there's pressure on you to lead the next generation of young players through, but I know that you'll do so well in that position and inspire many girls with your work ethic and pride for your team.

I wish I could be there for every part of this year with you, from your fall soccer season to senior trips to everything in between that I'm not going to be able to make it to.

Luckily, I'll be there the end of the year for all the really big things, like senior prom and graduation, but I hope that for you, those experiences take a long time to come up — even though they won't — to give you time to let all the other memories sink in and be fully enjoyed.

Good luck on everything you do this year, and promise me you'll enjoy every second, even the rougher parts. Remember I'm just a call, text, or FaceTime away whenever you need anything. Now, enjoy these last few weeks of summer before your big year!

Love,

Your college student sibling.