Dear Class of 2018,
You did it! You have reached the final year of your high school journey — senior year! As a member of the class of 2017, I welcome you to what I hope will be an enjoyable and rewarding next 12 months for you. I can't lie and say that it will all be easy though. So here's some advice that a couple fellow graduates and I had to help you through the year.
1. Senioritis is fun online but not in real life.
You will probably come to a point where you feel completely drained out. Laziness suddenly kicks in and you decide to take a break from your assignments. A long break. Senioritis is a real thing. Many of us suddenly become overwhelmed or develop the mindset that you have already graduated. It's all fun and games until you no longer meet graduation requirements. I had to watch many friends quickly catch up on assignments and retake tests to receive a passing grade in their classes. It's always nice to take a small break when you worked for hours but remember to keep going so you have more free time later.
2. Don't stress too hard on standardized tests.
Chances are you are either taking the SAT and/or ACT for the first time or retaking it this year. As someone who indeed stressed majorly on this exam, remember that it's not as big of a deal as it seems. These scores will not make or break your dream college's decision. Don't let the test get to you. Study and relax the day before the test. It helps a lot in the long run.
3. Appreciate your friends while you still see them daily.
For most of your friends, this will be the last year that you see them consistently. Some that you may have spent your whole lives with will be attending different colleges or going off to do other things after graduation. Visit them if you can and hang out with them more. Make some good memories. Just in case the friendship does end after graduation, at least you can have amazing moments to cherish.
4. Be involved at school.
You may have a burning hatred for your high school, but show it some love while you are still there. Attend a sports event, a musical or maybe even participate in a pep rally. These things could help enhance your senior year as you can't do this again after your graduate. The proud feeling when your school wins a homecoming game or the laughter you share with classmates at people's spirit wear outfits can't be experienced again. I participated in my first spirit week at the end of the school year and I wished I had done it more. High school can be a pain, but enjoy the small things that it provides. You can't get them once you are gone.
5. Follow your passion, no matter what.
Follow your dreams and take chances no matter how cliché it sounds! If you want to apply for an arts-based program, go for it! If you want to pursue something deemed as impractical, go for that too! No matter if it's applying to an Ivy League or deciding to take a gap year, do what you want to do. It's your life at the end of the day. Your friends nor parents (though there are parents that do have good advice) won't be as affected by your decisions as you will.
All in all, we hope your senior year turns out swell and you take some of our advice into account. We know what we are talking about.
— Signed, the Class of 2017
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