Saying Goodbye to High School: A Note to a Senior

You did it. It’s felt like it has taken forever to get to this point where you are now. You made it through those late-night cramming sessions, sick to your stomach with nerves telling you that you won’t pass a test. You made it through studying for the ACT, and maybe taking it too many times to remember. You’ve made it through those days and nights you thought you never would. Here you are now, a senior in high school.

 

While you’re rushing forward and wishing for this year to fly by, please remember a few things.

 

Even though this may be true, please realize that you are going to experience your last night of Friday night lights where you’re dressed up in a ridiculous outfit to show off your crazy high school spirit while watching the boys of fall football. You won’t get to experience the feeling of your fingers and toes freezing in the cold autumn weather as your hands grasp that hot chocolate cup again. Your best friends won’t be standing right next to you in the stands screaming until your voices are hoarse. Late night Perkins runs while begging your parents for a later curfew will come to an end.

 

It’ll be your last high school Homecoming dance and the end of pep-fests and cheering your class cheer. Dressing up for each theme week before a big event will become expired, as will  walking through those halls the last time as a student, passing by all of your favorite teachers and friends. Let me tell you, I miss seeing my favorite teachers every day (shout-out to Ellertson and Bottineau). Feeling the anger rise as the person in front of you walks slower than a tortoise on the highway will also fade.

   

It will be the last of everything in between. Driving around blasting “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift with your three besties late at night, the Caribou Coffee runs in the mornings before school (which caused you to be late to first hour, but who cares since you have coffee), and all that pointless high school drama that you somehow got involved in, will all disappear in the blink of an eye.

 

It’ll be the last prom. It’ll be the last chance to have a promposal happen to you, even though it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place; The last time planning for months, RSVPing party buses, and the perfect dining choice. It’ll be the last time spending God knows how much on that perfect dress, and finding the perfect shoes and jewelry to match. It’ll be the last time to spend hours on your makeup and hair to look picture-perfect for those photographs later, and to dance the night away with all of your close friends surrounding you.

 

It’ll be the last few nights that your mom, dad, and siblings will only be a room over, and your pets being able to just come cuddle with you whenever they feel like it. Don’t take them for granted, especially your parents, because “looking cool” cannot compare to the love and support they give you. It’ll be the last time to call up your friends in the P.M. hours wondering if they want to go for a McDonald’s run only to find out their ice cream machine is “broken.” It’ll be the last of your high school late night bonfires playing Cards Against Humanity, laughing until the flabs of your stomach hurts. You won’t feel the familiarity in your hometown for much longer because the next time you come back, it’ll be way different. It’ll be the last few nights you’ll have a sleepover with your best friend realizing how hard it will be to be 374 miles away from them when you were only a 15-minute drive down the highway, knowing that the only way to communicate will be texting and Facetime. Seeing each other on winter and spring breaks won’t be enough time to catch up, but you’ll realize it’s better than nothing.

 

Soon you will be touring colleges, trying to find the one you see yourself calling home for the next four years or so. You’ll be waiting for the acceptance letter, praying that your high school GPA and ACT score were good enough, and hoping you looked like a “perfectly well-rounded student” to the review board. Soon you’ll be picking up your cap and gown, and the senior countdown will reach the big zero. Soon you will be walking up those steps in front of all of your peers that you’ve grown closer to in the last four years, accepting your diploma and shaking your principal's hand. You’ll be so nervous you might trip walking back to your seat or while flipping that tassel from right to left. You will finally be throwing your hat in the air and running to your high school best friend, attacking them with a hug. This will be the last night all these familiar faces will be in one place, so soak up the joy of your triumph.

 

Soon, you won’t be a high school senior anymore, so please stop rushing—stop and smell the roses. Live up your last few days as king or queen of your high school. Live it up because before you know it, you’ll be lost in this big world wishing you could go back to when things were easier.