The best advice I can give my fellow high school students is to be open to change.
I had so many plans that I thought were set in stone as I began my senior year. I knew what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, where I wanted to live; but everything has changed since then.
Most of senior year is this uncomfortable period of growth, like a growth spurt in middle school when all of your joints hurt. But this time, it’s this important but difficult period where you have to look at and prepare for your future as it hurtles towards you.Growing together -- or apart
One of the hardest things for me was figuring out how to go through this transition period with another person. I was in a relationship for more than two and a half years and going through this period was so hard for us.
It’s important to remember that this period is about you as an individual, and either you have to learn to grow parallel to each other or you’ll grow apart. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to separate and allow the other person to grow and figure things out themselves and allow things to re-converge or just gently travel apart at their own pace. That is far easier said than done, as I know from personal experience.Bottom line: You’re growing up
The most important thing is to acknowledge that you’re not going to do everything right. You can be a 4.0 student and then fail your first quiz. You can be in a long-lasting, fairytale relationship and then get dumped. You can forget what day it is and miss a college application date. You can actually want to cry over how exhausted you are -- from lack of sleeping and from this entire process.
But you get through it, even when you don’t think you will. Some of the hardest days of my life have happened this year, but some of the best have as well.At the end of the day, you’re growing up, which is scary and frustrating, but also exciting and wonderful.
Appreciate every second of your last year, because it will be gone as fast as it came and you don’t want to miss a moment of it.“What are your plans after high school?”
The Barstow School, Kansas City, Mo.
Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.