I was home most of last week for Thanksgiving and I spent a lot of time talking to some of my dear friends who are just one year younger than me and are going through that horrible time where you’re trying to decide about college, don’t have a clue what you want, but everyone expects an answer from you. So this is to you, all of my high school Senior friends:
So this is a really weird, exciting, stressful and crazy time in your life. Every conversation you have with your extended family starts with the dreaded question:
So, what are your plans for next year?
You’re nervously awaiting acceptance letters, making spread sheets, setting up visit dates, writing essays, sifting through tons of mail that we both know you’ll never read and all sorts of other new things.
I was a train wreck the entire first half of my senior year. I wouldn’t talk about college, I refused to even acknowledge that it was coming. I was so afraid of growing up that I would just ignore the whole concept of it. A word of advice: don’t do that. It causes so much unnecessary stress and frustration. Yea, growing up is scary and weird, but you have to do it and I promise it’s not nearly as bad as it seems.
Some other random pieces of advice:
Do stuff. Don’t miss opportunities to make memories.
With that: go to things! By now, you’ve probably realized that a lot of the things you’re doing are the “last” of their kind. Last homecoming, last prom, last concert, last football game and the list goes on. Take advantage of those things. Do everything. Take the opportunities you have to make memories and spend time with your friends.
Take pictures! You will never regret having too many pictures of your senior year.
Make weird traditions. Find a place for you and your friends late at night, find a favorite song to sing in the car, find a stupid movie to watch over and over.
Care less about what people think about you. Seriously, just do you.
INVEST IN YOUR FRIENDSHIPS! This is a crazy time in your life, make your friendships count. Be real and honest with your friends and be there for them.
Be spontaneous. Go on little road trips, stay out late. Don’t be so busy that there’s no time in your life to just do whatever you want.
Talk to your parents. Believe it or not, this is hard on them too. They raised you for 18 years and they probably don’t just love you, but also like you a lot. Ask them questions, give them hugs, listen to their advice, spend time with them, tell them what’s going on in your life.
Do things with your siblings, especially if they’re younger than you. Take them to breakfast, decorate the christmas tree with them, give them hugs, watch movies with them, play games.
Really invest in your friendships with younger people. You know what they’re going through, so talk to them. Who knows, they might teach you something. I know that I have really benefitted from having friends who are younger. Maybe you’ll have something to teach them.
Listen to your teachers. They might have something useful to say. I really grew as a person during my senior year thanks to some really incredible teachers who taught me more than just Music Theory, Choir, Journalism or English. Listen to them and don’t be afraid to talk to them.
Don’t be afraid to ask people who are older than you about what’s coming. They know. They’ve been there. They probably want to help.
Lastly, don’t freak out. Life is going to be OK. Whether you’re going to college, going into the armed services, working or you just have no clue, life is going to be alright. You’re going to survive and even if you don’t know what you want to do right now you’ll figure it out eventually.
I lied, this is the last thing. Make choices! Take action! DOn’t be passive! It’s your life, and when you choose to not do something about a situation or to not make a choice you are being passive. You aren’t avoiding the action you have to take or the choice you have to make you’re simply putting it off and stressing yourself out even more.
I love you and I feel you. I know where you’re at. I’m here for ya. So keep your head up!!