It is May 4th and it’s impossible to think that you’re a senior in high school. Your parents don’t believe it either, and your friends are holding onto you so tight. Even your dog knows something’s up. You’re waking up and going to school everyday now without realizing everyday is a “last”.
Your last ball is coming up and you’re anxious but you WILL look good, and you will have fun, and you probably will not remember much about it for many reasons but its going to fly by. When you’re at pictures, don’t forget to take a deep breath. Your bestfriends you’re taking candids with, take a deep breath. Don’t force the candids. You’ll get a picture with your best guy friend that everyone knows you should’ve dated since 7th grade that you’ll use for a throwback when you miss home. DONT yell at your mom because she got the wrong angle, don’t yell at your dad for wanting to kiss you on the cheek. Your makeup getting a miniscule smudge is worth it. Don’t be that girl who cries at pictures & certainly do not be that guy who cant figure out the correct hand placement. Don’t fight with your date, don’t stress about the girl giving you a dirty look about your dresses that look alike because of the 4 sequins that happen to be in the same place. Dance, drink, pick a theme for your after party and run with it. Have a blast. Don’t forget to take it all in, and tell the girl in your class that you never really said much to for the past 4 years that she looks pretty. (OH AND LADIES PLEASE POST YOUR PICTURES !!)
Here comes graduation. Its surreal, I promise you, and all the times you wished high school away will surround you. You’re sitting next to someone you probably don’t even know, but ask them how they are. Look around… You’ll see your 2 bestfriends. That sharp feeling hits your stomach and realizing that your years of “wondering what you’ll do without them” becomes a worry. You listen to the valedictorian make a long speech about being successful and your mind starts to wander about the mark you’ll leave in this world, your 10 year reunion, how great college is going to be; bring your mind back. Take it all in, don’t forget that. Walk across that stage and smile, let yourself tear up when you see how happy everyone around you is. You did it, you finally did it.
Your grad party will be the time of your life. To put it short, be a good host. Your parents will spend thousands for hundreds of people to come through this event. Make it good. Hug everyone that comes, don’t worry about the ones that don’t, and respect your parents gut feelings about not inviting that one dramatic girl who ruined your life in 10th grade. You don’t need it, this day is celebrating you and your accomplishments. (ASK ME IF YOU WANT HELP WITH A CARD BOX)
Suddenly you’re finding yourself in the middle of summer next to your bestfriends at a concert and you’re in love with your life. You should be. There is no better high than a life high, and you can never get enough of those. Sing loud, and go for drives at 2 am because you can. Call your old bestfriend from 6th grade and see if they want to go to the beach and get icecream. Even though you said “you were so done with high school and everyone in it” go to grad parties, (its free food). Work hard at your job, trust me you are going to want to save your money. The sun rises and sets everyday and youre finding yourself holding on to every single memory you’ve made here in your hometown with your people and how, how can you leave this in a month. Nostalgia sets in and every song you hear when you’re out with your friends becomes your favorite.
Goodbyes start. First it’s a couple of your friends from your group that you grew up with, and you hug them. They hug you back, tighter, and you tell them that you’ll keep in touch. You won’t. It’s their turn to start on their new part of life, as it is for you, but you’ll see them in a year. Do not worry about losing contact with these types of people, they are the ones you’ll be able to pick right back up where you left off. Wish them the best.
Next its your bestfriends. This is the day that you never thought would happen, but you can’t cry as hard as you thought you would’ve. The sadness you feel will fade, the tears will be wiped, and you’ll let go of the hug you’ve been in for minutes. You will soon feel what it’s like to miss someone, but you won’t feel it until you get to school. You can’t cry that hard because they tell you that they love you and “you’ll always be their bestfriend” and you will. Remember that change is good, and give them that picture frame with your favorite picture of you guys in it. They’ll put it on their desk at school, and your face will become so familiar to their roommate.
A few weeks may go by before its your turn, and you become overly anxious. Home isn’t home when everyone you love seems to be scattered around the state and even the country. You’re nervous. You don’t do well with change. Your mom can see it when you snap at her in Target about the type of lights you want to hang up in your dorm room. Your dad can hear it in your voice when you call him and ask how many cars you’ll take to bring all of your stuff. Stop. Hug them. Hug your little brother and take him to get sushi. Write your mom little notes about how you love her and watch sports center with your dad at 6 AM. Hug your grandparents, and let them tell you stories from their childhood. Spend time with the people you love, because everything is about to change.
Say goodbye. Your house, Your dog, Your cat, Your bed. Taking baths, say goodbye. (Pray that you do not have to) but say goodbye to Wegmans. You get to school now, two cars full, and there’s so much you want to say to your parents. “Thank you for the past 18 years” just doesn’t seem like enough. Hug them tight, and don’t let go for a little while. Your mom is going to cry, like a baby probably. Or maybe she’s done this before. But regardless, the two that raised you and the ones you grew up with are always going to be the proudest of you. Never forget that.
Say hello to change. Say hi to your roommate, hug them. Chances are you’ve picked them, and they will become your bestfriend, your eyes, your feelings and your 2 am life saver. Word of advice, keep your room organized. If you have a calendar, use it. Stop crying hanging up pictures from your past, this is the start of the best years of your life. Take your first weekend with a grain of salt. It is what my coach calls “amateur hour.” Whether you want to be that freshman girl who everyone remembers for all of the wrong reasons is up to you, but welcome to college. Note to you: if high school taught you anything, it’s to hold your liquor. Note: Boys did not “grow up” over the summer. Neither did you, girls. Your days of judging each other for what you’re wearing or being afraid of the words “gay” or “lesbian” are over. NO ONE HERE CARES. College is a place for you to be yourself, love yourself, and spread what you’re all about. College teaches you more than any high school class could ever preach to you.Syllabus week will be a joke. Your liberal ed classes will be a joke, and you’ll look back to the years you spent busting your ass (or not) in high school, and be thankful (or not). If you haven’t decided a major yet, welcome to college where anything is possible. If you want to major in drinking and minor in frats, you’re allowed. However, that first phone call to your parents about “how school is going” will worry your mother and when mama aint happy, aint no one happy. Go to class. You can skip whenever you want, but go to class. Word of advice? When classes start, sit in the front. Take good notes, and try not to fall asleep. In the dining halls, get ready to sit alone. When you’re still figuring out your friends schedules, its hard to coordinate. This will all pan out. You might as well draft a tweet now about how much you hate the food.
People most likely are not going to remember your name. Little fish, huge pond. Freshman are awkward. Sure, you can pick out who was prom queen and who probably sat alone at lunch, but this is your clean slate. This is everyone’s clean slate. You’ll make friends. You’ll end up with the group youre supposed to be with. The horrible transition of making new friends all over again is inevitable. But you’ll soon have 3 friends, then they’ll have friends, and you’ll meet upperclassmen, people in other sports, then you’ll be settled. It’s not so bad eh? (Save your money) You’re busy. (Save your money) You’re busy transitioning and you’re busy being a college kid in the rough. (Save your money)
Take a breath. Call your mom. Hearing her voice will make you homesick and you might cry. But you’re having fun. You claim “My new friends here don’t understand,” they will. College is about timing. You have to remember that your friend support system at home was 5+ years in the making, but I promise your friends here will adjust. You’ll catch yourself talking about memories from your people at home and they’ll be talking to their friends too. But your new bestfriends were someone else’s bestfriends just weeks ago, the least you can do is make new memories.
Utilize FaceTime, call the people you miss (including your cat). The excuses will come, and you will soon realize who your truest friends are.Final weeks will number two. Study for your midterms. Go to the library and stay there until you understand that content. Don’t cram for your tests but instead, keep up with them. Eat well, Eat when you can, and don’t let the Freshman 15 catch up with you because IT CAN. No one said to change your lifestyle when you came to college, so working out or joining clubs or re-making a name for yourself here is normal. You’re an individual on a very big team, but it’s comparable to a track meet because you have to compete by yourself. Play your cards right.
What im saying is, these are going to be the best years of your life. Theres new people everywhere, it’s the change you’ve been craving since sophomore year of high school. ENJOY IT. Stay out late, Stay in, live by the term “Go for It” because you can now. You’re free to create, to love, to be, to be ANYONE that you want to be.
College teaches you to boot and rally in every aspect imaginable.
College teaches you to grow up without instructions.
College teaches you to be the human that high school judgements took away from you.
Dear Seniors, good luck.
(and don’t forget to call your mom other than asking for money)