To the Class of 2019: Some Things You Should Know

Real quick, while this is a letter to the class of 2019, I am specifically talking to the new senior class of the school I just left. Some of these things could apply to everyone who is graduating next year, but most of are specific to those graduating from the school I graduated from. 

To the Class of 2019,

You're here! This is the home stretch of your high school career, and I can promise you one thing: it will nothing like you expect it to be. Yes, you may know which classes you're taking and where your locker is and who your best friends are, but you still have no idea how different this year will be from what you expect. With that in mind, I thought I would put together a small list of things I would have liked to know, so here you go: 

This year will be more stressful than you thought, but it will also be less stressful than you thought. There were times last year where I wasn't stressed at all. Everything was going well. All my homework was done and I was working with people I liked for group projects. My family life was good, and I was excelling at the things I loved. But then there were times when I wasn't getting an essay in on time because the conclusion wasn't coming together. There were moments where I was so anxious everywhere I went that even my own room was a stressful place to be. I struggled with my mental health last year in ways I had never struggled before. Senior year is stressful, but there are good moments. Savor those good moments because they will make the stressful ones worth it. 

You will experience things differently. If you're like me, you will feel nostalgic all year long until everyone else decides to be nostalgic as well. I was sad about graduating all the way from August to the end of April, and then May hit and all my emotions completely disappeared. I was so stuck in my stressful headspace that I didn't let myself think about anything besides school and homework and enrolling in college. By the middle of May I started to feel nostalgic again, but those feelings always disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived. In this upcoming school year, your floods of emotions may cause you to experience things differently than you have in the past. The Christmas banquet may be the best one ever, but you may find yourself on the verge of tears the whole time. Same goes for basketball games, and choir performances, and maybe even the last period of your least favorite class. Just remember that whatever you're feeling is completely valid, and it's simply your own way of preparing for the many changes that are ahead. 

Teachers are there to help you, even though it doesn't always feel like it. I have always been that person who is on the teacher's side, but last month, during one of my few mental breakdowns, I exclaimed that none of the teachers understood all the stress I was under, and none of them seemed to care about it. My mom smiled and nodded and waited for me to climb out of my hole. There will be moments where it feels like no one, especially the teachers, cares about what you're going through academically. It gets really busy really fast, and the end will creep up on you no matter how many countdowns you have on your wall. When it feels like the teachers don't care about you, remember that it's their job to make sure that you do well. Ask them for help, and listen when they give you information that will inevitably come in handy later. 

Some final things I'll leave you with - Remember that vulnerability is courage, and remember that you are all so brave. Remember that any of you can change the world. Remember that you are smarter, stronger, and better than you may think. I hope you all know these things, and I hope that you don't forget them when this upcoming year gets rough. Be there for each other, help one another through whatever this year will throw at you. Lastly, remember to have fun. This is your senior year, and there is nothing that feels the same as walking onto campus the first day and knowing that this is your year- the year where you know more than you have ever known, and the year where you are more prepared than you ever have been. Go out there and live your year to the best of your ability. I know all of you are going to do amazingly. 

~ Me, Class of 2018