What I Learned My Senior Year of High School (and June 2020)

Much like the way I approached senior year, this post is late. But I realized that the past year has been one of the most influential that I’ve had, so I ought to give it the attention it deserves. So, here is what I learned my senior year of high school (and June 2020).  

  1. Dream big, I mean really big, and imagine every path that your life could take, and then take the steps to get yourself there
  2. Apply to that school. Just apply
  3. Senior year is the year where you constantly tip-toe along the line between hopeful dreams and utter practicality
  4. Learn how to think critically. Learn how to think critically. Learn how to think critically 
  5. Everyone is making shit up— no one actually knows what they are doing— so you can make shit up too 
  6. Suddenly your hometown is going to start screaming at you to get out but then it starts begging you to stay. It’s a weird feeling. 
  7. Not to be dramatic, but idiots run the world
  8. One of the most important skills is being able to listen to your body. Physically and mentally and emotionally 
  9. People will drive you insane and you’re just gonna have to remind yourself that in a few more months you won’t have to see them ever again unless you want to
  10. Senior year is all about contingency plans. One after the other. 
  11. Life is only gonna get harder if you can’t be honest with yourself. The honesty is gonna hurt, and it won’t be what you want to hear, but you have to be honest with yourself
  12. Think out loud and treat the voice memos app like your therapist
  13. Always keep moving forward. Never back. Do better, be better.
  14. Just when you start to see the excessive amount of hard work you put into school pay off, you are gonna realize how much it doesn’t actually matter
  15. Read the book for your English class because books are important
  16. It is important to work hard and take pride in the things that you do
  17. In more ways than I thought possible, Troy Bolton’s Scream from HSM 3 is a decently accurate representation of senior year
  18. You ought to forget the God you don’t believe in and find the one who believes in you
  19. Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back!!!
  20. To each their own timing
  21. Dignity means something different to everyone- everyone has their own version of it, so you will find it hard to understand each other
  22. When you know something is wrong, that acknowledgment alone gives you enough responsibility to say something about it. One of the worst kinds of selfishness is to disavow what you know is right simply because it frightens you, or makes you uncomfortable
  23. Just because our life itself may be insignificant does not mean we cannot find significance in it
  24. Full body laughter. Full body dancing. This is the best way to live

I suppose that one of the reasons we are able to exist on this vast green and blue mess of tears is because we are always, no matter how remote it may seem, susceptible to change. But I think this much remains true. Please- listen to good music and whenever the weather is nice always drive with the windows down and hug all your friends, I mean all of them, even if they think it’s weird or if they smell bad, and always buy bread and butter chips and don’t complain when you don’t get home till 10 pm on a weekday and always always always go watch the sunset because even though the sun has set since the beginning of time and will continue to set until time is taken from us the sun setting is still beautiful. So go watch the sunset. Read books, and if you think books aren’t for you, I promise you haven’t found the right one. Appreciate the classes you truly enjoy, I mean the classes that make you think hard and make you laugh and make you want to keep learning— don’t complain about or skip those classes. Do not neglect the humanities, because they are what make you smart and wise but above all, a better person. Always talk to the people that make you think about life just a little bit differently, the people that tell you to take a step back when they know you’ve taken one too far, the people that give you advice, even when you didn’t ask for it, because of nothing more than the fact that they care about you. 

Life is bitter; more bitter than it is sweet. It’s hard, expects commitment, and wants us to experience it without forgetting the fact. But every now and then we get to add a little bit of sugar, make it smoother and overflow it with laughter and smiles and friendship. And for a couple of minutes, those few moments of sweetness blend together and sum to be just enough to beat the bitterness.

See you soon.
Val

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