Letter to My High School Seniors

 
 
Dear Seniors, 
 
     I get it. I get the stress, applications, confusion, excitement, craziness, and 
 
exhaustion of senior year. I was in your spot last year listening to everyone tell me 
 
that I’d get through it. I listened to people tell me how I’d love college and I’d end up 
 
where I’m meant to be. I was hesitant to believe them. In my mind, I wanted to live in 
 
the moment and not to rush things. I loved being a senior, and I felt like I finally had 
 
my group of friends that meant so much to me. Why would I want to leave a place 
 
that had everything I needed? But more importantly, would I ever find a place that I 
 
could call home?
 
     It terrified me. The long lists of colleges and universities were overwhelming. I 
 
didn’t know how to narrow it down, and I felt lost. Don’t get me wrong; I knew 
 
college was the option for me. I was excited underneath all the anxiety. But, the 
 
anxiety still reappeared every chance it could. The fall of senior year is a whirlwind 
 
of college tours, applications, and essays. You feel like your head will explode if you 
 
have to list your extracurricular activities one more time for potential colleges to see. 
 
Campuses seem to blend together. But trust me when I say that it is all worth it. 
 
     I just came home for fall break, and I could see how you, my senior babies, were 
 
enjoying your last high school year and simultaneously stressing about college. I 
 
could see the eagerness to get to college already and the frustration at having to 
 
apply. You could list off due dates to applications without even thinking. I 
 
understand it all. So let me share some advice…
 

 

 
Make sure you breathe. In all this craziness, slow down and take in it all. You’re 
 
only a high school senior once. Please, please, please enjoy it. Next year, you’ll be on 
 
your own, so try to live in the moment for the time being. Go to everything! You’ll 
 
going to miss the student section at football games, the cafeteria chatter at lunch, 
 
and your carpool to practice afterschool everyday. It doesn’t seem like much now, 
 
but you’ll be exponentially glad you lived out your senior year. Remember that high 
 
school memories are made outside the classroom.

Appreciate people. Friends, siblings, teachers, parents, coaches. These are the 
 
people whose shoulders you’ll be crying into come August before move-in day. They 
 
are the ones who have impacted and shaped you the past 18 years. Whether you 
 
realize it or not, they are part of you. High school friends are there for the crazy 
 
adventures, late-night texts, and pep rallies. Your best friends are high school. High 
 
school isn’t a building as cliché as that sounds. It’s the time in your life when you 
 
begin to see where you fit in the world. And the people you choose to surround 
 
yourself with are the ones who help you figure it all out.
 
Picture yourself on the different campuses. Each time you tour a college; really 
 
look to see if you could imagine yourself calling it home. I suggest going on self 
 
guided tours after the main one. Ask random students questions about campus and 
 
college life. Explore the areas of the campus they don’t show you. I wrote down 
 
everything that I liked and didn’t like about each campus. But no matter how many 
 
sources you consult or strategies you try, you will know where you belong. I knew 
 
because my mind always went back to Clemson. I always compared each campus to 
 
Clemson’s. I knew financially it would work out, but I also knew that it was the best 
 
fit for me. The atmosphere, the people, and the school spirit drew me in. Your list of 
 
criteria will be different then your friends and classmates, but there is seriously a 
 
college for every person if he or she so chooses.
 
 
Do your best on applications, but don’t stress about them. Some college 
 
admissions’ processes are intense; others aren’t. You’ll apply, you’ll wait, and you’ll 
 
get the decision. It is not the end of the world if you don’t get into a school. I got 
 
rejected from 2 of the 5 schools applied. I know classmates who found other schools 
 
to be excited about after their first choice schools fell through. I also know students 
 
who got accepted off the wait list. It happens. You’ll love where you end up. And by 
 
the off chance you don’t like it, transferring is always an option. But, college is really 
 
about yourself, so you’ll make your own college experience no matter where you 
 
end up.
 
Begin to recognize yourself as your own person. Other people’s choices and 
 
decisions are not yours. You get to live your own life. You have the chance to make 
 
mistakes and learn from them. You are in charge. It may not seem like it entirely in 
 
high school because you are still under your parents’ roof and you still need to 
 
follow their rules. However, since starting college, I’ve realized that I get to go on my 
 
own adventures. I get to build my life, and I get to choose how I spend my limited 
 
time on the Earth. It’s exciting because I have control over my actions. I have control 
 
on how to present myself to the world. No one else’s opinion really matters, and that 
 
is extremely freeing.
 
College was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I understand college may not 
 
be for everyone. I don’t have my life figured out (not even close), but college is my 
 
opportunity to figure it out. I’ve been in college for 2 months now, and I have 
 
learned more about myself in these 8 weeks then in my last 8 years of life. In college, 
 
you learn how to take care of yourself, but you also realize how strong you are. It 
 
puts you in unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable situations. It’s foreign and 
 
strange. You go through homesickness, anxiety, and stress. But, you get through it. 
 
And you realize how amazing you are. You meet so many people with so many ideas 
 
that you feel more connected and involved in life. You realize how messed up but 
 
united the world is. You realize that you have things to contribute to this crazy 
 
world, and you become excited to take part in it. It’s difficult to describe this feeling 
 
college gives you because it’s hard to put it into words. Just know, that college will 
 
push you academically and personally in your growth. That’s why you go. 
 
     I don’t have all the answers, and I know you’re not necessarily searching for them. 
 
I just hope to give you a little insight as you prepare to leave high school. It’s a 
 
challenging time in the best possible way, but it’s necessary for you as a person. This 
 
confusion and stress will only make you appreciate your next four years even more. 
 
Take care and know that people will help you if you ask. You don’t know everything, 
 
but you do know how to get through the ups and downs of senior year. You just 
 
need to take each day at a time and realize that life is just getting started. So enjoy 
 
every minute! 
 
So Much Love, 
 
College Girls Who Promise it Gets Easier