Friday, August 26, 2011

Letter to Seniors in High School

Dear seniors,
School started last week back in my hometown.  Around the same time, I began to see Facebook statuses popping up, written by the upcoming seniors at my old high school.  These statuses said things like, "I can't wait to be done with high school!" and "I already have senioritis.  I hope this year passes by fast!"  Honestly, those statuses made me a little sad.
Don't get me wrong.  I was the same way.  I vividly remember the senior girls above me, warning me "not to wish high school away."  I would usually think to myself, "You're just saying that because you're finally almost done with this nonsense!"  And I even loved high school.
When senior year rolls around, you quickly acquire this feeling called senioritis.  (You may have it already!)  The end of your high school career is in sight and everything else about high school begins to feel a bit meaningless and boring.  Graduation, college, and moving out all linger in your mind.  Some days they feel a little scary... most days they tend to feel exciting.
I thought senior year was the best year of high school.  By far.  Here are a few quick tips I wish I would have known before I started my senior year.
Be a leader.  The underclassmen truly look up to you.  Participate in Bible studies.  Reach out to the younger girls.  Strive to be kind and Christlike in everything you do and say.  Shine through your life.  You seniors are the most influential group of people in your high school.  I wish I would have reached out to younger girls more than I did when I was a senior.  Don't let hesitation and timidity keep you from shining as a leader.
Participate.  If there are senior activities, pep rallies, service projects, or even get-togethers with classmates, attend!  These are your last high school memories, so make the most of them.  You don't want to look back in nine months and wish you'd done more.
Senior year will be different from what you expect.  My friends and I all had unique experiences of expecting one thing from senior year and quickly learning another.  In a lot of ways, senior year can be hard.  Emotions will be running high.  These are your last days of high school, which is a scary thought.  Know ahead of time that you will struggle in sometimes unexpected ways.  Tough, unexpected situations might occur that you have to deal with.  Choosing an applying for college and scholarships is stressful.  Be prepared for some unexpected trials to come, but know that although they may be tough in the moment, you will overcome them and senior year can still be wonderful.
I walked into senior year thinking that the "right" college would somehow find me, that school would be a big party, that I could easily step up and be a leader and leave a legacy for my class, and that senior year would be fun, fun, fun all the time.  I was wrong.  School was still school.  I still felt shy and was often hesitant to reach out to younger girls.  Some difficult things happened in my life and in my friends' lives as well.  While senior year wasn't the 24/7 party I expected, it was still a blast.  I still made a lot of great memories and I will never forget some of the things God taught me that year.
Enjoy these moments.  Don't wish them away.  I can't repeat this enough.  Savor each moment you have left with your family at home, with your friends, at your high school, feeling like a "kid..."  Everything is about to change--and the change will ultimately be good!--but don't rush this time.  It will pass more quickly than you realize.  Senior year can be such a great year.  Don't let it go to waste.
Try to not let stress consume your life.  I know it's hard when you have deadlines, essays, and applications weighing on your shoulders.  Choosing the right university and waiting for acceptance letters can feel incredibly overwhelming at times.  Remember that it will all work out.  Spend time in prayer and Scripture every day.
Set your standards for college ahead of time.  Decide whether or not you'll be going to church, joining Bible studies, drinking, dating, having a quiet time with the Lord each day...  Set your standards and make your habits now so you won't be thrust into heavy temptation and difficult decision-making when you're in the moment.
Don't fall into apathy.  As a senior, it's easy to fall into an apathetic mindset, thinking, "None of this really matters.  I'm leaving in a few months anyway."  Don't be apathetic.  That isn't beneficial to you and it isn't what the Lord wants for your life.  My senior year, I would switch back and forth.  One month, Ali and I would be planning a big social experiment or the 30 Days of Kindness.  Another month, I wouldn't want to go out a whole lot or participate in senior activities.  Mostly, I was apathetic when it came to my schoolwork.  I procrastinated pretty badly, especially towards the end of the year.  Although I kept up with my grades and made A's, I didn't do my best, which is what the Lord asks for.  You'll probably feel apathetic at some point this year.  Even if the schoolwork is boring or if senioritis is hitting you hard, try to make the most out of the time you have left in high school.  Leave a mark for Christ on your school.  Apathy can be a huge temptation senior year.  Do not give in.  Make something great come out of your year.
I'm so excited for you as you begin your senior year.  I will definitely keep the seniors in my prayers.  You have such a large platform to make a difference at your high school.  So many kids look up to you right now.  Leave a legacy behind you as you finish up these last few months of high school.
Enjoy these moments.  Please, please, please don't wish them away.  This year has the potential to be amazing.
I love you, seniors!
(If you're a senior and you have a specific question or prayer request, feel free to write me at or in the comments below.)


  1. Hey Emily,
    I was looking through some of your older post when I came across a picture that made me wonder! The post was "Unafraid, yet terrified" or something like that. In the post there is a picture of you holding a song visual, and I recognized the song! I've sang it several times this summer with different backyard bible schools. So I was wondering, have you ever worked with Child Evangelism Fellowship? Thanks!

  2. Helloo Emily, I came across this post of urs by mistake but loved wut you wrote every single word of it, I'm a senior this year and I totally get it! I even felt like crying and I definitely won't wish those moments away ;)!

  3. Yes, I did CYIA for two years with Child Evangelism Fellowship. My mom has also been involved with CEF since she was a young girl.

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