Here’s to the class of 2017

Last year, I wrote you a letter (If you haven’t read it and want to, it’s right here).

This year, you get an entire blog post dedicated to you. Really, it is a very big thing, you should feel special.

Because you are.

Today is the day, you’re luca-baggio-211858graduating. Just like that, four years of high school, 12 years of mandatory classes, and ultimately your childhood is about to be behind you. Once you cross that stage, there is absolutely no going back. You have made it.

For the past four years, you have made new friends, suffered through boring classes, taken the SAT’s as many times as it took, gone through the stress of college applications, and so many more things that led you to where you are now. In advisory, you spent four years with the same people and now, you may never see some of them after tonight until the high school reunions that seem so far away. People told you to make the most out of high school, that it would be “the best four years of your life…”

I think they just said that because those are the only consecutive 4 years any of us could really remember that well. Whether that’s true or not, here we are.

Take a look at what waits for you on the other side of graduation. Your future is uncertain, none of you really have any idea what the plan is for the rest of your life. Maybe you’re going to a university, 4 year, community, or military. Maybe you’re taking a gap year or following a dream. Maybe you’re going to trade school or joining the working work right out of high school— that’s the thing. There are so many options and so many different roads to take from here on out. In the end, it’s your choice which way you go and there is no one but you telling you where that yellow brick road is.

aaron-burden-261110Because, well, you’re not in high school anymore.

So forget the petty drama, the detentions, the bad grades, and the missed connections. Let go of the admin rules, the rebellion against the system, and the groups you were never a part of. Walk away from the long classes, the scheduled days, and the essence of irrelevance.

None of it matters.

From here on out, you’re growing up and everything is changing. High school was only the beginning. You’ll see what I mean when you’ve been out of high school for a year and have no idea how things look so different. They just do.

Four years ago you walked onto a new campus, back to the bottom of the food chain, ready to show the world of high school what you’ve got. Maybe you wanted to go out for sports, join a bunch of clubs, get the best grades ever, and sail your way into a good college or wherever you might go after that. Some of those years were rough— it’s only four years but its funny how long they can seem when you’re in it. And some of it was the time of your life, you found people who it all made sense with, and high school didn’t seem so bad. By year four, you’re a senior. Taking on the first day of school for the last time, ruling over all of the rallies, and making the most of the time you had left.

Everyone else looked up to you all.

Because they knew, soon enough, that would be them. And they needed to know what to do, how to be, and what they were headed towards. One day, you would graduate and leave them a legacy to fulfill.

Who knew that day would come so soon? 18721448_1216275755165856_1380549139_o

Leaving Vista last year, it was the end of an era. There were some people I would really miss and most of my class that I would probably not see for the next 10 years, at least. After going from seeing people every day to seeing them every few months, you’ll see what it really means to have certain people in your life due to proximity. And if you’re as lucky as I have been, you might also understand what it means when I say distance is not enough to keep some people apart. No matter what you do from here on out, remember that if you want people in your life or you’re striving for something big, it takes effort. A lot of it. But it is always worth it in the end.

So as you cross that stage and head off into your future, don’t forget where you have come from and the person you have become. If you don’t like who you are, you can change it. And if you do, surround yourself with people who will make you even better. Whatever you do today, make sure you thank your parents and anyone else who got you to that diploma in your hands. They’ve done a lot for you. Make sure they know how much it means to you.

railroad walkWelcome to the rest of your life, what was the best summer of my life, and young adulthood at it’s finest. This is only the beginning and I am so proud of all of you, both those of you who I knew well and those of you I didn’t. Because you made it, today is your day.

Make it count. And happy graduation day.

 

P.S. I was right when I told you about Disney Grad wasn’t I? Best. Night. Ever.

The Beginning of the End

Happy Cinco de Mayo, or what is actually the celebration of a battle victory from back in 1862. We are celebrating a lot today, from the beginning of May to the end of the school year. For a lot of semester colleges, this is the end of the road for their year. If you’re a senior, this is the end of an incredible journey— welcome to the beginning of the end.

It’s been a long time coming, but before you know it, summer will be upon us. Summer means heat, sun, and a whole lot more freedom;loreta-pavoliene-2175.jpg at least I’d like to think so. Whether you’ve been working, going to classes, or just working your way to something better, this is it. This is the beginning of the end for all of us.

For the Class of 2017, high school and college alike, take a look around— you made it. This month will fly by even faster that it seems like the rest of your life already has. All the hard work and the late nights, just a few more weeks for a lot of you, and it’ll all pay off in your hands. For high school seniors, this is the last time you’ll walk around campus for a while and really know most of the faces you see. The last time all your teachers will know your name and the entire school will feel like your own stomping ground. The last time the title of home belongs to a single place. Don’t forget to appreciate it all. And for you college, graduating seniors, congratulations. I looked up to a lot of you as a high school freshman and somehow, four years later, you made it to where you wanted to go. It’s time to graduate and assimilate into this world to be the person you set out to be. Nothing says carpe diem like graduation.

So to all of you, seize the day and never stop.

As a student on the quarter system, I’ve still got another 6 weeks of classes before I can be released into the full summer spirit. For a lot of you however, this is it. This is the end of our freshman year. They all told us it would go by quickly, but I know I didn’t really get that until now. Because today, today friends are flying home or taking their last day of classes, people are saying goodbye to friends for the next few months, and everything is wrapping up with all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Just like that, freshman year is flying by and I barely saw it go. To all my friends finishing up classes, I’m so proud that you msarah-crutchfield-549.jpgade it through the year with flying colors. Welcome to summer. And to my fellow quarter system people, I promise we’re almost there.

I used to think that summer was only important for the kids in school, we’re the ones who got 2 and a half months off with no real responsibilities (before this whole adulting thing). Now though, I’m starting to understand how much the adults, and more specifically our parents, needed it too. Because the longer I think about it, the longer this road of life seems to get. We start off in elementary school, the basic knowledge we need for middle school. Then middle school, honestly, I really don’t know what we did there, and high school where we did everything we could to get into college. I used to think that’s all we needed to do. But then there’s college to get a good job, and a good job to raise a family or just build a good life for ourselves, and the work never really stops from there.

For our parents, the work never really ended did it? Those summers were for them, the vacation they might have saved up over the years and that week or two off they finally get… Those were all for the adults. Considering my parents may be vacationing without us this year, I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Because my parents have done a lot for me, even being 6 hours away while Nick and I are here at Cal Poly, they still send care packages or come all the way here for our birthday. annie-spratt-135307At 19,I have to say, adulting isn’t all that great. But all the adults I know… they work their asses off and a vacation during the summer is well deserved. So for all of you who will finally get that break, make the most of it. And thank you.

May means a whole lot of things, like today I had a calculus midterm as a friendly reminder that we’re in the middle of a midterm season that never really ends. But it also means a break, a little more time, hopefully more sun, and a whole lot more relaxing. So for those of you who are finishing up your semester, congratulations on the end of another year. And to the Class of 2017, this is it— I hope you’re ready.

How to define Senior Year

A year ago, I was a senior in high school preparing to stare down the mouth of my final month of high school.

Talk about mixed feelings. baim-hanif-89800

I was excited, I mean graduation was a BIG deal. The day we had been looking forward to since forever was finally catching up with us… My class was getting ready to walk across a stage together before we split across the world to go pursue our futures. I was ready for it, but at the same time I wasn’t.

Everything was about to change.

I remember riding on the bus home from our final league track meet and I was just sitting there trying to define every little feeling that moment held. From the races and the relays to the friends and the unforgettable moments, it was like watching adolescence slip through my fingers.

And in that moment, I could only come up with one way to describe my senior year. So to the Class of 2017, this one’s for you. One month to go, make it count.

 

How do you define bittersweet?sebastian-pichler-20071.jpg


Maybe it’s saying goodbye to someone with a kiss, knowing that you are together this way for the very last time. Or how about being ready to move on to new wonderful things, while looking at all the priceless memories and people you are leaving behind. And maybe it’s looking at the people you are so proud of take on their new future, the ones who have been meant to follow in your footsteps since the beginning, and realizing that they no longer need you anymore.

That’s when you know it’s time to go, to get that chin up, and move on. Because time has run out, the days have run thin, as there is no longer anything left for you to do here. And it’s hard, it’s hard to shut thajoshua-clay-27368.jpgt door without quite knowing what’s behind the one you’re about to open. The possibility behind it all, it can just be so indescribable. It’s heartbreaking, it’s exciting, it’s confusing, it’s inspiring, it’s breathtaking, it’s unreal…

It’s bittersweet.