Just Look...

Just Look...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dear Senior on the Last Night of the Last Spring Break

I know that you are hearing this from everyone, all the time... Enjoy these days. Make the most of your time. Carpe this Diem. Cherish the moments. Etc. Etc.

But tonight, this last night of Spring Break of your senior year, let me add to the chorus and say...

Enjoy these days. The next month and a half is going to pass so quickly it will take your breath away. I don't like it when people say "These are the best years of your life" because good grief, I surely hope they aren't! I hope I'm not in the best years of mine, either! What a sad future, to look ahead and think, "It's all downhill from here." While I don't think they are the best years of your life, I do think that your life will never be exactly as it is right now. Every passing year is going to bring more responsibility, more pressure, more obligations. Many of you have so many of those right now, far more than I had at your age, but they are only going to increase with time. So enjoy the next month and a half-- the events, the people, the activities, and yes, even the classes and lessons.

Make the most of your time. I hear so many say they can't wait to get out, don't want to go to prom, don't care about graduation. Don't be that person. This is your final opportunity to make the most of this thing we call high school. Don't miss out on all of the little things and big things just because you were too cool to be seen enjoying it. Dress up for prom. Go to the senior night event. Attend the senior party. And find the good in each of those events, don't just sit around and look for the flaws and aspects that don't suit you. So much of your experiences are based on your attitude. Take a good one.

Carpe this Diem. Have you skipped all sporting events throughout high school and you always wondered what the hype was about? Right now, get a group of friends together, find the baseball or softball or boys soccer or track or tennis schedules, Raider yourself up, and go. Trust me, it may even be more fun at these sports than football or basketball because guess who doesn't ever really expect a cheering crowd and who would appreciate it tremendously? A baseball player, softball player, soccer player, runner/thrower, or tennis player, that's who! Catch the spring play and Voices, go to the band concert or the choir concert. It is the absolute coolest experience to see your people doing what they do best-- do it NOW, while they are still your people!

Cherish the moments. On my wedding day, I remember trying to be incredibly conscious of every single breath. I did that because so many married people I knew had told me that they regretted the fact that their weddings felt like a blur. If you aren't careful, you are going to blink and it's going to be time to put on that ridiculous looking pointy hat and walk in to the notes of what I believe is the second most tear inducing songs on earth ("Star-Spangled Banner" comes in first for me). In what is going to feel like only seconds, you are going to look down the aisle at the boy who peed his pants in kindergarten and the girl who always saved you a spot on the swings in 4th grade.... you're going to watch as the boy you had that massive crush on in 7th grade walks across that stage and the girl who sat by you in every science class all the way through high school smiles at you as she takes her place in line... you're going to clasp hands with the girl you didn't really get to know until junior and senior year but suddenly aren't sure what you're going to do without her... you're going to join in the Alma Mater with people you've loved and people you've hated and people you've never really gotten to know but for the very first time, you're all going to have something in common because suddenly, that song means something because it's your Alma Mater... you're going to gaze at the stage and see misty-eyed teachers who are looking at you with such pride because you're ours and you did it...

{Yeah. Totally crying right now. I can't help it. I'm a sap and graduation breaks my heart every single year. I always think if I just didn't love so hard it wouldn't hurt nearly so much but then the next year comes and I just do it all over again. Oh well. Year 14 for me... why change now?} 

So right now, cherish this time and these people. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. Celebrate the talents of your classmates. Thank your parents for putting up with your smart mouth freshman self and your junior know it all stage. Resolve a long-standing conflict with a friend or classmate. Love on your teachers and coaches. Talk to someone with whom you've never really had a conversation before. Take a moment at prom to take snapshots with your mind. Look around at graduation and take note of the fact that the Class of 2015 will never again be all together again.

19 years ago right now, I was at the end of the same journey you are. And as much as I love the life I have now (and ohmygoodness, I so do), I wish I had done a better job of cherishing the moments of high school than I did. I wish I had one more day in Coach Miller's Contemporary Issues class, one more sleepover with Nicole and Kelly and Nikki and Holly, one more meaningful conversation with Sara and Melissa, one more marching band performance, one more laugh with Mrs. Wyche, one more argument with Paul, one more chance to show kindness to someone I didn't ever pay much attention to... I wish I had spent more time telling people what they meant to me and less time worrying over the future. I don't get any more chances. I don't have a month and a half to make things count... But you DO.

So close your eyes tonight and purpose in your heart to end this journey with the intention that it deserves.... that you deserve.


  1. Now I'm crying! I think we can still have one more sleepover. - Holly

  2. This is very good. For the record, though, Melissa and I are still available for meaningful conversations.....