Enduring the final year of high school feels a lot like composing the last few brush strokes on a giant mural painting, taking the last few steps of a marathon, or connecting the final Lego pieces of a Millennium Falcon scale model. Messing up your high school career right at the end would be a huge bummer—though probably not as heartbreaking as ruining your Lego model—so let me help you out before you get ahead of yourself.
People have told you what it’s like, but you won’t really grasp the full concept until it’s actually over. It’s like being told you’ll be flying to another country, but the fact that it’s a whole different country doesn’t hit you until you arrive. It’s how I imagine Neil, Buzz, and Mike felt when they actually stepped onto the Moon’s surface for the first time — that burst of awe and amazement at the sudden reality of something that they knew in their heads was real all along.
There’s only one lesson I’ve learned since the end of senior year that I wish I’d known before the year started. It’s something that I regret taking so long to learn; something that could have helped me make the best of my time, rather than just a piece of insight that might have helped me stay ahead of the game.