Dear me in 2017,

I have one question: Do you miss high school yet? At this point in my junior year, I am very overwhelmed and ready to be done. Everyone keeps telling me that once I graduate next year I am going to miss high school, but I am not sure I actually will.

Between regular schoolwork, SATs, and college searching, I find it hard to have time for myself. When I take time to hang out with my friends, the never-ending list of school assignments is scrolling through my mind, and I can’t get it to go away.

I know junior year is supposed to be the hardest, but I did not think it would take this much of an emotional toll on me. Every day I feel like something else goes wrong, and everything is out of my control. I think about all of the things I need to do and feel like I am struggling to keep my head on straight.

However, I know I will only become more stressed next fall when my college applications are due and I am waiting for acceptance letters. Future me, did you get accepted into any of your top choices? If not, just know that I am confident that you will end up where you are meant to be.

As you pack your things for college, do not think about how your life would be different if you did get in to your number one choice, rather be happy that you have the opportunity to go to college anywhere. You will be able to find happiness, friends, and success wherever you are.

Also, I know you are getting close to graduation time, and I want to remind you to thank your parents. Although you may think you had the most important role in your high school career, they played a big part too. Thank them for the countless sacrifices they had to make in order to send you to an amazing high school. I am sure it was just as hard on them to pay tuition as it was for you to get all of your work done.

Not only thank your parents, but also your teachers and friends. Your teachers have helped you grow into a mature young woman, and they deserve some credit. Thank them for pushing you to be your best, even when you did not want to do anything at all.

Thank your friends for always being a shoulder to cry on when they were struggling with their own problems. I hope they are able to find friends in college that treat them as well as they treated you. Don’t be afraid to hug them and tell them you love them. This is the end of an era, and make sure they know how you feel.

Although you are going to be experiencing many new changes in the upcoming months, don’t be scared, and seize every opportunity that presents itself to you. The people you meet in college will help to shape you to become the adult you always wanted to be.

Congratulations on graduating high school, future me. I cannot wait to experience everything we end up doing when we grow up.

                                                With love and admiration,

Shannon from 2016

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