When I left for college three years ago, you had just finished your freshmen year of high school. You were young and ambitious, your whole high school career in front of you. You tried new sports and joined clubs, you made new friends and started dating people! It was so hard to have to watch you go through your last phase of childhood from a distant lens. That lens being whatever mom posted on Facebook or the few Snapchats you sent me. But even from far away, I was so proud of everything you did. I was shocked whenever I came home for a break and you had grown 3 inches and teared up a bit when I saw your prom pictures.
But now, high school is ending for you, just like it did for me and we are all going to go in different directions. It's crazy to think that in a few months, you won't be at home anymore. You will be in a strange new place with people I have never met and that worries me because I always will want to protect you. But I know you will be okay.
But on the eve of your high school graduation, I have some advice for you. I know you always say that I make everything seem more dramatic than it really is, but please listen for once.
Make as many memories as you can with your high school friends this summer. College breaks are weird and rarely line up with each other. Make the most of your last guaranteed months together.
Don't blow all the graduation money you receive. It may be tempting to buy all the really cool stuff in Bed Bath & Beyond but trust me, that money will be a lot more useful when it's midterms, you're are strapped for cash and need to eat something off campus. Or in January when you need to spend $300 on textbooks. Learn to budget!
Please study. You may have skated by in high school but now you're in college. You're taking classes you're actually passionate about, once you get past the gen eds, so there are no excuses for not doing your very best! I know you are incredibly intelligent, work hard to make sure your professors know that too.
Also, call mom and dad.
But not late at night because then mom will be up really late worrying about whatever you're stressed about and that won't help anyone. They want to know about your lives, and I do too!
Be social. I know I am the more reserved one in our family and you shouldn't have a problem with this but it's worth being said. Find a group of friends who will last the long run of breakups, finals, and summer breaks in different states. You'll know them when you see them.
Going off of that, join a group. There are thousands of people on your campus and hundred in your lecture halls, you will never know everyone. So find a niche group of people who you can do things with and have a common bond! Joining marching band was the best decision I made because it gave me my lifelong friends.
I really can't believe you got so old so quickly. Knowing every obstacle you overcame to get to this point, I am so impressed that you handled it all with grace. You have made me proud to be your big sister and I can't wait to see all you accomplish in your next chapter.