Your senior year of high school is coming to a close. Some of you may have a countdown until graduation day, ecstatic by the thought of leaving your high school years behind you. Others may be clinging to these precious final days with your friends and peers. As the school year comes to an end, you will probably go through every type of emotion.
For me, I found myself feeling guilty. I felt guilt over my excitement for graduating. Most of my friends were dreading the future; they didn’t want to leave their best friends or do things on their own as adults. After discussing the imminent future, I found that I was the odd one out; I was looking forward to the next chapter. I could make decisions on my own. I was going to a place I chose and not one where my parents were too. I was eager to start studying something that I was passionate about. I could not wait until my high school graduation!
But after talking to my friends about it, I would always walk away feeling culpable. I thought it was wrong for me to be excited about graduation. I thought I should be feeling anxious like everyone else.
I am the youngest in my family and have a great relationship with my parents. Graduation means moving out of the house for most people, including myself. I knew my parents were also sad that graduation was coming closer, so I felt guilty for not being sad as well. I was going to miss them of course, but I was looking forward to the next phase in my life.
All of these negative feelings started to wear away at my excitement. But when my second semester of senior year started, I realized how I was being influenced. I needed to keep my motivation and elation up and put a stop to this guilt!
I did this in many ways. First, I quit worrying about what others thought. High school was almost over, and I won’t see most of these people again. I stopped trying to fit in and let myself be excited! And I changed my outlook on college. Instead of picturing it as an intimidating and scary development that I couldn’t control, I picked a school that I would be ecstatic to attend. I know the environment is friendly and safe, and my education is important to my professors.
If you are worried about your parents, I promise they will be fine. They knew this day was coming for the past 18 years. You will miss each other, but you’ll only be a phone call away. And you’ll see them again for Thanksgiving and Christmas break. Everyone, including you, will be okay.
So put that giant red circle on your calendar for graduation day. Have a countdown on your locker. Post the number of days left on social media. Do not let other people take away your joy. Have fun, and congratulations, graduate.
How do you feel about graduating high school: Excited? Scared? Both? Feel free to talk it out in the comments!