don't blink

@ high school seniors -

If any of you are anything like I was at this point last year, you’ve probably read every “open letter to a second semester high school senior” that exists.

Where you’re at right now is a weird place to be. You haven’t graduated yet but a part of you probably feels like you’re already in college. And, like every “open letter to a second semester high school senior”, I am going to give you some pretty cliché advice: don’t blink. Even if you can’t wait to get out of your hometown: don’t blink. Do not wish the next few months away. Spend time with your family, soak up every second of prom and prom weekend, go on too many brunch dates (if that is even possible) to your favorite restaurant, Tenafly seniors enjoy your last Olympics. Really, just embrace it all. Spend the next few months investing in the people you have spent the past 18 years with. Every single one of them. Invest in the experiences, places, and people that you will soon be saying goodbye to. Second semester is amazing, if you give it the chance to be. Don’t blink.

If your next few months are anything like mine were, you are about to make some of the best memories. That being said, after spending just five months in college, I can say with confidence that the phrase “high school is the best time of your life” just isn’t true. At least not for me.

College has opened my eyes. I finally started to figure out who I really am, started taking classes that actually interested me, started thinking differently about the world, started advocating for things I really care about. I have met some of the most inspiring, driven, and genuine people these past few months and I have heard more thought-provoking opinions since August than I had all of high school. High school wasn’t my peak. And I mean really, college might not be either. But what I know, is that college is a whole heck of a lot better than high school was.

So what I am trying to say, is that high school is great, but you’re surrounded by sameness. The same people, the same hallways, the same roads, the same everything, every day. And that can be taken two ways – I hope, at least in this last semester, that you take that as a good thing. Don’t blink. Take it all in. Everything that seems so mundane and boring and the same. Because in a few months you will be thrown into a new community and you will long for sameness.

But graduation is not the time to start blinking. Because graduation is only the beginning. You are about to enter a whirlwind and it is going to be hectic and crazy, but you are about to meet some of the most incredible people and starting making some even more amazing memories that you will cherish along-side those from senior year. Don’t blink. You’re about to start the rest of your life. You don’t want to miss this.

OpinionElle O'BrienComment