You are almost free of the building that adults call education, but students call it a prison. I get it. The cafeteria at my high school had so gray, it looked like a mental hospital. You are graduating soon, and I know your mind isn’t focused on nostalgic thoughts. You are too busy counting down the days until summer and then high school will finally be behind you. You don’t care about your final exams because you already know those grades don’t matter.
But I promise you this experience, you are going to miss. So take the advice of a now college sophomore who was in your shoes exactly a year ago.
These last few days walking the halls of your high school — try to take in all the people around you, even the teacher who dress codes everyone (trust me I didn’t like her either, a friend of mine almost didn't walk because her bra straps were showing. Who knew 18 year old girls wear bras? Obviously not the administrators) But try and talk to the secretaries who let you go in late to class, even when they know you didn’t have a doctors appointment that morning.
Talk to the janitors and the counselors. Some of them have the best advice. But, most importantly, talk to your classmates. The underclassmen you thought of as your younger siblings are going to miss your leadership. And, finally, your fellow graduating classmates. Talk to someone you didn’t even know was in your class. They could become some of the best company.
Remember that these people will not be in your life for very long or maybe not ever. The friend group you’ve had for years will be spread across the country or the globe doing awesome and amazing things. You will meet new friends in college whom you will love. But you should still take in the time with the people you grew up with; they know you best.
Talk to your favorite teachers. I know a majority of people never liked high school. I know I didn't but I think it's safe to say we all had a favorite teacher or one we disliked less. You will not have this close of a relationship with your professors in college. Also, they can help in the future for job references or just plain old good life advice.
Don’t forget to hang out with your family. If you have a younger sibling, make sure they know how much you love them. Because even though they claim they can’t wait 'til there's one fewer person to share a bathroom with, they are going to want to come visit you all the time. Your parents are your support system now, but in college you will be an adult.
Make sure you go to grad night. Some people will call it boring, lame, and will make fun of you because it’s a sober event. Trust me, this is the one sober event that is worth your time. It is your last chance to see everyone in one place in a casual setting.
On my graduation morning, I slept in since seniors didn't have to be there until late. I had breakfast, got my brother off to school, and then I got myself to graduation practice. I went in the lunchroom and sat with my friends at out usual table. We talked, had lunch one last time, the junior class looked at us with such jealousy, and I went to get my cap and gown.
When I got home I let it sit on my bed so it could flatten itself out and I wouldn't have to iron it. I did my hair, makeup, and got on the shoes I planned to wear. I didn't feel nostalgic until I doubled checked myself in the mirror one last time before I left. I got to my classroom and waited until we were supposed to walk.
Which it was total chaos trying to get in our assigned numbers we were supposed to walk. I can't even tell you how many teachers reminded us that we were adults now but we couldn't get in line correctly. We got out to grass, went to our assigned seating, and waited for our turn. Since I was the leader of my row, I told my row when it was time to go and we started walking towards the stage. I gave a few teachers and mentors hugs before they announced my name.
When my name was announced, I heard my friends screaming my name or just flat out screaming. I got my diploma and posed for a picture of me holding my diploma and shaking my principals hand. And just like that, it was done yet such an amazing experience. After I got my picture of me with the principal, I realized I was holding my diploma upside down. I look like such an idiot.
High school is not the best time of your life by far. I believe the people who consider high school to be the best time of their lives, have sad lives and they most likely talk about what they achieved in high school because they never achieved success after. But it is where you started off. So take these last days in, and remember to take lots of pictures. I promise you it's worth it, my tassel stills hangs from my rear view mirror.
The Class of 2015