It's here: the year that you’ve been dreaming of since you knew it was the way out of this place. We see the same groups of people five days a week. We eat cafeteria food with questionable origins. We sit through all of our classes just counting down the days until we get to walk across the stage in our cap and gowns. But guess what, I’m going to say the words that you were all expecting and probably rolling your eyes at this second; slow down, enjoy your time, and make some memories. We are all so focused on leaving this place the second we get that diploma in our hands, but we always seem to go about our final year in auto-pilot.
The majority of us have activities that we devote most of our time to: football, volleyball, theater. We are making the ends of our high school careers and most of us don’t realize it until it’s too late. Your senior night might even bring a tear to your eye, sorry football boys. Before you mindlessly play your last games or perform your last shows, take it all in. Accept the compliments, cherish the win, bask in the applause. This may be your last chance and next year at this time, you’re going to realize how much you enjoyed your final year.
As of right now, we’re all stressing. College applications, scholarships, trying to get into the Union of your choice; we’re all going through something. Where are you going to go? What are you going to do? It’s on our minds 24/7. I’m sorry to break it to you, but there’s no easy way out of the constant worrying, but the one thing you can do is to trust yourself. Don’t go to a college because your friend is going or your parents went there or that the parties are supposed to be lit. Go to the place where you can see yourself and grow when all of this anxiety has subsided. Trust your gut, do your research, and finish those applications!
Spend all the time you can with everyone around you; you never know what the future holds. I can’t tell you that you and your best friend’s relationship is going to overcome the distance as you part ways. I can’t tell you that it won’t either. The point is, we’re all going in our own direction. I’d say at least half of us are planning on leaving Indiana here in the near future. The people that you’ve spent the last 13 years with are going to disappear from your life and guess what? You’re going to be lost. The kids in the fanblock that you cheered your heart out with, your lab partner in chem, that one kid that you kinda had a crush on but never admitted it to anyone because it was totally embarrassing. Yeah. All of them. Don’t wait to make more memories with everyone. You’re going to miss them.
Your parents love you. Let them be annoying. I know how they are: “How was school? Did you learn anything new? Did anything exciting happen? Blah blah blah…” We just answer with a quick, “Good. No. No,” and make our way to our room. We’re tired, we want to get anyway from people, gosh, why do we have to have a conversation as soon as we walk through the door? But one day, mom isn’t going to be there to ask how our day went or what we ate for lunch. It’s our last months with our parents and they’re taking it hard. It’s sinking in for them that we’re about to go our separate ways, but it’s still just a blur for us teens. Sit down and talk to your parents. Tell them all the stupid little details of who said what and who’s with who. You won’t have them right there when you need them because you’re hours apart.
Soon enough, we’ll be walking across the stage with our peers that we’ve grown to love. We’re going to thank everyone who helped us with homework, shake our teachers’ hands because they somehow let you pass their class, and thank Miss Wood for letting us slip past the dress code rules that one day Freshmen year. A wave of relief is going to rush over us and then suddenly… it’ll hit you. Your senior year has come and gone and now, you’re into the real world. So what I have to say is, don’t let this year come and go.
Laugh at those awkward jokes Mr. Horn makes, try something new that you never thought you’d do, enjoy every second. Be yourself, don’t second guess your choices, become your own person. Whether you’re furthering your education, going straight into the workforce, or taking a year off to decide what you want to do, everything is going to change! You’re going to miss it, I can promise you that. So don’t blink and just enjoy it.
Here we go guys. This is our year!