Ever since turning the tassel on the last day of being a top dog, I always thanked my lucky stars for the fact that I was finally going to college—it meant a final, sweet goodbye to AP tests and horrid SAT practice problems, and hello to a newfound sense of freedom. But in the midst of being delightedly shocked knowing I could choose to skip a few lectures without any discipline, plan my course schedule in whatever way I wished and get Fridays off, I found myself wishing I could have the chance to relive the second semester of my senior year.
You’ll never know the value of a moment until it’s gone for good. You get to be a second semester senior only once, and unfortunately, there aren’t any do-overs. Looking back, there are a lot of things I wish I had done during my last days as a high school senior, and I honestly regret not considering those moments precious. So if you happen to be one of those lazy seniors in the Class of 2016, you’d better listen up.
1. I wish I’d participated in senior week activities.
When your college friends say you won’t ever see a majority of the people in your senior class ever again, they mean it. I was so excited to be completely done with everything a week earlier than the rest of the school, and I spent a majority of senior week at home catching up on sleep I missed for the past four years. That’s something I really regret up to this day, and I certainly do not want any of you to be lying in your dorm room a few months later, thinking about the “ifs.” Go out there and mingle with your class. It’s the last time all of you guys will ever be together as one big senior family, and it’s also a good time to right any wrongs so you can leave without any regrets or hard feelings.
2. I wish I’d taken more time to thank my friends for everything.
I was seriously a hot mess back in high school, and if it weren’t for my friends constantly pulling me back up on my feet, I don’t know where I’d be now. Fortunately, my closest friends all attend universities here in California, but we all get news of each other via text or social media. My friends have given me the biggest support next to God and family, especially when I received a lot of flak from classmates and teachers for publishing controversial articles in the school newspaper. I’ve always put a lot of meaning in expressions of gratitude said vis-à-vis, and I regret not doing so.
3. I wish I’d personally thanked all my teachers.
Ah, high school teachers. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with most of my teachers, but regardless, all of them played a role in shaping the path I took to get all the way here. I know you’ve had teachers you absolutely loved, and also those you’ve absolutely hated, but they also had to put up with your half-assed assignments, rowdy behavior and constant sleeping during lectures. You’ll probably change your mind about a few of them once you get to college anyway, so take the time to thank all of your teachers. You won’t be here without their help.
4. I wish I’d spent more time with my family.
I attend a community college so I’m basically home every day, but I found I don’t have the time to talk to my parents or siblings as much as I’d done back in high school. A lot of you will be going to college far away from home, and you’ll be forced to communicate with your parents via text or facetime. You might be totally ready for that first taste of freedom outside the comfort of your home, but your parents aren’t. You’re still their precious little child, and both you and your parents will be thankful to have great memories of times spent together during these last few months.
5. I wish I’d taken the time to go out and explore the place I live in.
I live in a fairly small city, but I haven’t even visited half of the places here. Luckily, it’s not impossible for me to take a few hours off on a Saturday to go and explore my city, but my busy schedule makes it really difficult. If you’re planning to attend an out-of-state college, spend a small chunk of your summer break really getting to know your hometown. You’ll be able to leave for college with a deeper sense of knowledge and love for your home.
Class of 2016, get up and start moving!