Advice - Your Last Month of High School
As we are coming into May, we are entering the time of year of graduation preparations. This advice is for those who are graduating high school. If you are about to graduate high school, I hope you will take my advice to heart, and may your graduating experience be nothing but the best. If you are someone who has a person or people close to you who is graduating from high school, or if you are a high school teacher with seniors, and you deem my advice worthy, share it with them:
I hope this will help you all in this exciting time in your life. This is a time of drastic change. You are about to graduate. You are ordering your prom wardrobe, you have probably ordered your graduation cap, gown, and tassel. You are entering your last month of your K-12 schooling.
Looking back on my own senior year, I remember the excitement of thinking about what lies ahead. There were many among me that were anxiously counting down the last days of school, hardly being able to wait for it all to be over. They were looking right to graduation day and beyond. Wanting for time to somehow speed up to the day that they would collect their diploma and be off either to college, trade school, or a better paying job. I remember all the "...20 more days, 19 more days, 18 more days..." While I was excited for my future, I also had somewhat of a different mindset, and I certainly don't believe I was the only one. Coming from someone who went through this, my advice is this: Don't spend this entire time thinking beyond graduation. Don't try to hurry this time along. Savor it. Enjoy it. Because when you walk the aisle, and you take your diploma, more has taken place than just the graduation of high school. At that moment, your childhood, effectively - is over. Even if you haven't officially turned 18 on graduation day. You will either have to seek out full time employment, or get ready for college or a trade school. This indeed is the first phase of adulthood.
When all this is over, the reality of it all will hit. You will fully realize that all of you will not be coming back to the same place to hang out next year. All of you will be pulled in different directions. A lot has changed since I graduated. We now have facebook, twitter, skype, and e-mail and cell phones are more widely used. This makes it much easier to maintain relationships and communicate at least briefly on a regular basis. If you are off to a college in the local area, you most likely will see some of your current classmates. But with most of them, your IN PERSON interaction time will be reduced or in some cases, virtually eliminated for a period of years, for those that are going to a far away college, or the service. Your communication time will be reduced due to your more hectic schedule. Especially if you are both working and going to school.
Don't neglect taking care of what you need to during this last month. Don't forget to do your homework. Study for your finals. But smell every rose that you possibly can along the way. Savor every pleasant interaction you have with your classmates, every laugh, every joke, every smile. These are the people you grew up with, who for better or worse, played a significant role in your first phase of life. Some of them you met in high school, some you met in middle school, and some you have known since kindergarten. Don't look past this time. No matter how bright your future is, this time can never be reclaimed once it's gone. There is plenty of time ahead, don't be in a big rush for all of this to be over, there is too much value in this time to experience. Again, you are not just graduating from a school, you are changing chapters in your life. I wish the best for your future, but don't forget to live in the present.