An Open Letter to the High School Senior...
In honor of graduation season approaching, and senioritis becoming more and more relevant, I wanted to write to any and all of the people graduating from high school in the coming months. I’m almost a year out of high school (how, I have no idea), and here are some things I may have wanted to read right around this time last year.
To the student about to graduate from high school…
FIRST THINGS FIRST…
You made it! You are almost done! You are about to officially be done with cafeteria lunches, lockers, random emergency drills, assemblies, and lanyards you have to wear all the time!!!! I was gonna say pep rallies because I dreaded those, but I know the majority of students don’t mind them so… scratch that.
I HATED when someone congratulated me when I was graduating because I didn’t see it as a big deal. However its not foreign that high school is hard, and can stink sometimes. So, my friend, congratulations!!! I know it seems like this isn’t a huge deal in the long run, but I learned a long time ago that celebrating any victory, however big or small, is never a bad idea.
I know that you are probably SO SICK AND TIRED of everyone and their mother asking “What are your plans for the future?” or “What do you wanna be?” or my personal favorite: “What are you gonna do with your life now?”
I know you either feel like a broken record reciting your plans for the next season of life, or you feel super discouraged and/or pressured because you have no idea and you dread those questions more than anything.
The latter was me. It was fine at first, because I knew everyone had good intentions, and what else are you supposed to say to someone who is gonna graduate? But after weeks of graduation festivities, and probably 100+ people asking me that over the course of all the celebratory activities, I literally broke down after someone asked me that at a graduation party.
Yes, I looked like a freak, and probably like a complete mess, but I had gone weeks and weeks of telling everyone what they wanted to hear; a somewhat thought out game plan for the future or a good idea of what I wanted to do with my life career wise.
And the truth is, I had no idea. And honestly friends, I still don’t know EXACTLY what I wanna be or what I’m gonna do with this piece of paper I get in a few years.
So, I want, well, I need you to know that IT IS OKAY to not know exactly where you want to go, what you want to be, or what your next few years look like as you’re preparing for the rest of your adult life.
IT IS MORE THAN OKAY.
I am almost a full year into college and while I’ve finally found what I want to study, I don’t know the exact career title I am aiming for. And I’ve come to terms with that.
Not knowing what you want to study, or exactly what you want to do, is NOT A SIGN of weakness or immaturity. Frankly, I admire the fact that you aren’t acting on impulse.
And if you DO know exactly what you want to pursue, and have since you were a kid, KUDOS to you friend. I wasn’t that lucky. :)
I also need you to know that you and your friend group are probably about to part ways to different cities/paths of life, and you never need to forget the IMPORTANCE of COMMUNITY.
The 1st week you get to school, if you’re going to college, or if you are moving and don’t have a set group of solid friends to do life with, and confide in, FIND THEM.
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE on this.
My situation looked different, because I graduated a year early, ahead of my longtime friend group, and regardless I was starting over as far as community goes.
I know its hard and intimidating to go to an event or gathering for the first time, or to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know well, but I promise, once you find community that you can count on, that initial hesitance and nervousness will have been MORE than completely worth it.
Also, don’t abandon your parents, home church, long time friends, or anyone who has been with you up until this college season completely. You don’t want to come home on the weekends or during summer and regret not having kept in touch, or somewhat plugged in with the people and community who made you who you are.
Lastly, never ever ever forget your roots. What keeps you grounded, and rooted, is what helps you grow and blossom, friends.
While you’re in college, its going to be more than easy and convenient to get swept up completely, and very tempting to go with the ways of this world. Which is also a part of why finding wholesome community is such a vital, big thing.
You aren’t gonna miss anything by not going to that party, or getting drunk like everyone else. However, you WILL miss the opportunities to create some of the best friendships of your life if you don’t find your group of people that will be doing life with you for the next 4ish years. :)
It is more than okay to not know where you want to go, or what you want to do.
It is vital to find wholesome community in this new season of life. These people need to be people that will lead you to the feet of Jesus, people you can confide in, and people you can have fun with and enjoy life with.
It will be so worth it to keep in touch with what made you who you are. Take a second to call your parents. Or to visit your home church, or some friends while you’re home and have free time.
Finally, ENJOY these last few months as a kid!!! Debt free, bill free, not exam ridden, and not restless!!
Cherish the last few months, but get ready and prepare your heart for the next huge, beautiful season you are about to embark on!!!
And remember your worth is found in nothing other but the fact that Jesus deemed you priceless, not any degree, grade, or job title.