Advice to Seniors

Many of you may be counting down the days until graduation. Before you know it, you'll be counting down the days until you start your first year of college. Both of these events may be overwhelming, but you're eager for them to to arrive. Your teachers and other staff members know how hard it will be for you seniors to pay attention in class, but I promise, hang in there, give it your all these last few weeks and you'll be glad you did.

Here are 5 tips for graduating seniors:
  1. Don't grow up too fast.
    While you're waiting for graduation, you'll soon be waiting to start college, then to graduate college to "start your life." A few years later, you may have a family, travel the world and before you know it, you'll be old enough to realize that maybe you shouldn't have been too eager to grow up. These next few years, into your early 20's really are the best years of your life. It's a time to have fun without having too much responsibilities, and a time to truly get to know yourself and your interests. Take advantage of that, because you have your whole life to grow up.

  2. Take risks, don't be afraid to fail.
    Let's be honest here for a second. I know you've all backed out of something, whether it was a date, trying out for a sport, participating in the talent show or taking your permit test because you were afraid it wouldn't end well or you'd fail, right? Right. I know I have! But let me be the first to tell you that trying will be way better than never finding out what you're truly capable of. Don't let the fear of bad outcomes get in the way of what could be possible success or new hobbies. No professional ever got to where they're at now without trying and failing. In reality, that's what professionals do. They try, try and try again until they find a way to succeed. And if they succeed the first time, they work to find ways to improve.

  3. Focusing on grades is a TRAP. Focus on your learning. 
    For many of you, your grades will be your motivator in college. Here's a secret though: That "A" doesn't mean a whole lot if you didn't learn anything over the whole course. There are many students that do not do well in class due to test anxiety or learning disabilities, which may cause them to get below average grades, but they do learn a lot. So, don't let your grades define your learning, but also don't let that be an excuse to get bad grades.

  4. If you want good friends, you have to be one. 
    This is one of the things people have a hard time with. We all want that perfect friend that will bring us pizza and our favorite movie when we're down on a Friday night, but that friend won't ever exist if you're not that friend first. A good friend is someone who, when you call them saying you're in a deep trouble, they don't ask "is there anything I can do to help," but "where are you?"  A good friend will want to help you without you asking them to. Learn to be that friend and surely they'll be one to you.

  5. Leave something behind.
    Without the support from friends, family, mentors, teachers or any other person, you wouldn't be at where you are today. Graduation would have been short of impossible without these people to guide you down the right path. Leaving a legacy doesn't mean leaving thousands of dollars to show people you were successful, it's leaving behind your knowledge, the difference you made in peoples lives, the thoughtfulness and kind gestures you made on a day to day basis. Make a difference in this life you have.