to the second-semester high-school senior

You have likely heard this 400 times at least today, but I’m serious. Cherish your time. You have only around 6 months left until you move out and away into college, and it will be the fastest 6 months of your life. Don’t waste it away.

You’re probably in one of two categories. You either absolutely cannot wait to leave for college, and you’ve already started packing. Or you’re nervous and unsure of what the future holds for you, and you don’t want to be pushed out of your comfort zone of your home, your friends, your family, and the familiarity of everything where it is now.

If you fit into the former category, be patient. Move-in day will be here all too soon, and you’ll wonder where the time went. If you’re a part of the latter, also be patient. Eventually, the places where you are out of your comfort zone and the people you don’t know will become familiar.

In the meantime, cherish everything.

Enjoy the family dinners where your mom makes brussels sprouts, which you hate. Soon enough, you’ll be cooking Easy Mac in your dorm microwave every day.

Memorize where all the furniture in your house is, and spend some extra time sitting in your favorite spot on the couch you’ve had since you were 8. Soon enough, your “house” will be a dorm, your bed will be 5 feet in the air, and there’s only one spot on the futon.

Take extra long showers before you have to get in and out of the community bathroom with lukewarm water as fast as you can.

Drive to your friend’s houses at 8 PM just to say hi to them, or drag them to Target with you to buy multiple things you don’t need. Have long, deep conversations because soon, you’ll be in long-distance friendships, and you’ll only see each other on holidays and over FaceTime.

Go to every high school football game, and go all out with the theme, and wear paint all over your face. It might be the last few times that you see the boy that never plays but is still on the team and that you’ve had a crush on since Kindergarten.

Form relationships with your teachers. Most of them truly care about you or they wouldn’t do what they do, and coming back to visit them when you come home from college will make their day.

Say hi to people when you pass them in the hall on the way to 4th period. It could make their day, and they’ll remember you when you see each other in Publix over Thanksgiving break. Be friends with the people you’ve always wanted to even if it’s only for a few months.

Cherish these last few months. Don’t wish it away. It’s okay to be excited, and ready to move on to bigger and better things, but there are times when you’ll be homesick and longing for familiarity when you’re in a world with entirely new people. It’s better to look back on your last months as still a kid and remember that you enjoyed every moment rather than wished it all to go away.

High school may not be the best time of your life, but right now, you’re in a season of lasts. Your last math test, your last Friday night lights football game, the last time you walk through the gym during graduation, the last time you make the drive to the Publix that’s 3 minutes down the road to buy cookie dough that you’ll eat raw, the last time you check your school’s website to see if you get a snow day, the last time you have more than $5 in your bank account before you achieve broke college kid status, the last time you hug your dog as you walk out the door to drive to college.

Make each last count while looking forward to a season of firsts. The future is uncertain, but you are in right now, so make now matter.

I’m not saying you’ll never do these things again because you will most likely make many trips back home, but these little things have a certain feel to them. Like when you know change is coming but it’s not quite here yet. Cherish your time, make every day your day, be intentional, allow yourself to take in every moment before this chapter of your life is over. Change is not always bad, and it’s certainly something that everyone has to do, but you only get to graduate high school once and you only get to move in to college once, and you can always revisit these memories, but you cannot relive them. Cherish your time, and you will find it to be well worth it.

 

Love, ~E.

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