Today is August first. Most of us will be returning back to school by the end of the month. Some of us will be going back to college, like me. Others will be beginning their first year of high school, others college. And some will be starting their last year of either.
My senior year was pretty memorable, despite not having as many privileges as my school’s past seniors due to schedule changes and adjustments. It’s still a year I like to go back to and reminisce. So I wanted to write a letter to all those incoming seniors. Just a bit of advice.
Dear incoming High School Seniors,
First of all, congratulations! You’ve made it to your last year of high school and are one step closer to being completely done with required schooling.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re excited for everything that makes up a senior year. Senior pictures, prom, yearbook, ditch day, senior picnic. You’re excited to have less classes and being able to leave after lunch or during lunch.
You’re excited to be your favorite teachers T.A or just sitting in the front office while your underclassmen are probably taking a math class. that you no longer have to take.
There are no more standardized tests you’ll have to take. Not many more requirements you need to complete. It is your free year, your social year. The year where most of your memories will be made because you’ll be living up to every second that you go through.
But I have some advice for you.
Yes, there is so much to be looking forward to. But you have to remember to slow down, to inhale and exhale, and to try not to rush through it just to get it over with. Everyone you’ve talked to about your senior year has probably told you the same thing; that it’ll go by in a flash and to treasure it.
You’ve probably taken it in but not let it sink in deep into your mind. You’ve probably just brushed it off your shoulder and thought ”yea, yea.”
But believe me. Believe them. Believe anyone that tells you some kind of variation of that advice.
Because while you’re picking out your prom dress or planning the greatest senior prank of your high school’s history, you’ll be walking across the stage faster than you can grasp the reality of it.
You’ll be in line to enter the bus to take you on that college campus tour and filling out applications to your college choices, if you decide to attend. You’ll be packing up and getting ready to leave the place you’ve called home for a few years, maybe even your entire life.
While you’re taking pictures that are Instagram worthy or Snapchatting all the cool things you get to do, you’re missing out on what would be the last moments you get to spend as a high school student.
So please, Seniors, put down your phones and look up. Look around you, look in front of you. Relish in it. In the careless moment you get to share with the people you’ve meet in the last four years.
Enjoy the gross cafeteria food, the dreadful fire drills, and the daily announcements. Enjoy those last football games and the nights where the clock ticks by too fast and you have to get home before curfew.
And please don’t put so much pressure on making this year the best year of your life because it won’t be. You still have so many years to fill with new memories. You still have so many years to live and enjoy.
This is just the beginning.
So be kind. Be generous. Be free. Enjoy every moment of it.
And don’t forget to breathe.