An Open Letter to my High School Senior Friends

To my friends who are graduating high school,

You just had your senior prom and now there will be a deluge of AP tests, yearbook signings, and awards banquets. In twenty days you will stand on a field in a shiny purple polyester gown with five hundred of your classmates. Hopefully the sun will be shining, the speakers will not be terrible and the ceremony will not be too long. You will have three months of beautiful Colorado summer and then you will head off to all corners of the country.

I know you’re scared and I hope you know that is totally valid. Your freshman year of college is scary. You’re moving to a new place where you’ll meet all new people and have very different experiences than what you’ve known before. And it’s true, it may not all be positive. 

You and your roommate will not get along 100% of the time. There will be classes you are required to take that you do not enjoy. Your laundry will emerge soaking wet, the food may suck and you will end up at parties with people you don’t like. You will oversleep and miss class and you will get far too little sleep working on an assignment you put off. You will go to club meetings and realize that you really don’t want to join that club at all. And you will meet people who you think you will be friends with that you actually have nothing in common with.  

But there will also be the wonderful parts. Your roommate will make you laugh and bring you food when you’ve had a terrible day. You will take classes that you love and have professors that inspire you. You will successfully do your laundry, the dining hall will serve something delicious, and you will go to great parties. You will work very hard on an assignment or study super well for a test and feel immensely proud when it pays off. You will find clubs and communities that will become your family for four years.

And you will meet the most amazing friends. You will meet people who change your worldview and expose you to new ways of thinking. You will have the best of times with them whether it’s epic adventures or watching Netflix and giggling in your dorm. They will listen to you rant and cry and be there for you when everything sucks. They will support you and cheer you on and love you. You will find a home.

So yes, it is okay to be scared. But don’t let that fear hold you back. Talk to everyone, join everything, and say yes to anything (unless it makes you horribly uncomfortable). Because for every negative person and experience, there will be so many more incredible people and experiences and that it was counts.  

You are an amazing group of individuals I am blessed to know. And I will be there for you every step of the way. Whether you are in my city or thousands of miles away, you can contact me anytime. I will comfort you when things go badly and I will be so happy for you when they go well. I cannot wait to hear all your stories and to visit you and see the lives you have built. And I promise I will always hug you excitedly at our reunions. Our friendships will endure whatever distance.

And when you walk across that stage at graduation, I will be screaming from the tops of my lungs for you. You have my support, forever and always. 

All my love.