Your high school years have raced right past you. You still remember being a freshman, nervous for your first day of school. You sigh as you look at your quinceañera dress, your homecoming pictures, and your digital camera full of friends who have become your familia. Perhaps you hold on to these memories, not wanting to face the fact that high school is going to be over very soon. You’re leaving your hometown, or maybe your friends are leaving while you stay. The little nest you and your friends created is emptying out.  No tengas miedo, the world of college will bring friends and new experiences that you will cherish.

Make the most out of your Senior year:
While you have time to meet with your amigas, make the most out of your senior year! Spend this time with your best friends as they will only make this year even better. As a senior, you are at the top of the school and you should make it count. Go to homecoming, football games, prom, pep rallies, and anything else your school offers. Enjoy these as if they were your last, because,well, they are your last. When you’re away from school, spend time with your familia. Your mamá’s home cooking may not be around for long -unless she gave you all the secret recetas– so make sure to eat up! While out in your hometown, do things in your city that you have never done before. Find activities that you didn’t know were happening and go to them. You will be experiencing things that may not happen in other towns and you’ll be having tons of fun!

Share the love:
Now that you are making sure to have fun, it is time to give back to the school that has given you so much throughout the best years of your life. Your teachers have put up with your endless excuses and have been incredibly proud of you throughout your accomplishments. Your coaches have mentored you on how to be successful at your favorite sport, and the underclassmen have seen you as an example since the day they walked through the door as freshman. They all deserve your gratitude as you leave the school.

A few ways to help out are by participating in school wide improvement and/or clean up projects, selling concessions at school events, joining as many activities as you can manage, or even creating your own project/idea that will benefit the school. For example, at  Daniela Lagunes’ high school the seniors and the freshman managed to better know each other through the program ‘Biggies and Littles’.

Daniela, a college student, gives a few words about her experiences with the activity, “Seniors would choose a freshman and be their mentor throughout the entire year. We sent letters and decorated their lockers. Eventually, we let them know. Then we went out to Chuck E. Cheese’s and exchanged gifts.” Another way to give back to the school is simply by not giving the faculty any behavioral problems and obtaining high grades.  Be a senior class the school will miss.

Summertime Bonding:

Before suffering through the pain of leaving for the first time, make the best out of the summer time fun by planning a trip with your friends. If your school planned a trip for the senior class make sure to participate. If you are or have been planning a trip out with friends, go!  Or fundraise the whole year to go to Europe with your closest amigas. Wherever you choose to go it will be memorable because hanging with friends is always amazing.

Daniela Lagunes, a college student reminisces about her trip to San Antonio, “My friends and I took a trip to San Antonio and visited all these really fun places. We went to Sea World, Six Flags, the River Walk, the IMAX theater. We also went to eat at a bunch of places: the Hard Rock Cafe and the Rainforest Cafe were my two favorites.”

If you’re going on a trip with your class it will probably be at a pretty decent price through whatever travel organization the school chooses to use. If that isn’t an incentive to go to Europe or maybe the Caribbean, think about how amazing these brand new places will be with some of your favorite people in the whole world. Aislim Athie admits her sweet but sour feelings about her senior trip to Costa Rica, “It’s kind of bittersweet because it’s the last adventure we’ll actually all have together (as a class) before we all go our separate ways, but I’m stoked to make new memories with everyone.”

BFF Time:
Enduring the last day with your best friends before parting can be a very difficult experience. Elizabeth Lara, a high school senior, mourns over the thought of parting with her friends, “I know for a fact I will miss my friends dearly. I think I will most likely cry and hug them tightly. I can’t help but think of all the memories we have together and get overwhelming nostalgia.” To make the experience a little more bearable, make sure to spend some time with your closest friends before they leave. While you spend time together you can agree on the dates everyone will be back in your hometown and make time for each other. You should also go through all those old photo albums, even the digital ones on Facebook, to bring back all the good memories. This will surely bring up a few tears, so it would be wise to pull out the Kleenex.

Tons of fun and excitement will await you in the upcoming years, and the best way to start them off is by enjoying your senior year. Like Nadia Garcia, a high school senior says, “Knowing that my friends are doing fine and have bright futures will be enough,” make sure to support your friends right now so that they may shine in their futures. Treasure your time with your best friends and all of the people around you. Last but not least, take a deep breath and make sure to relax before you go off to college.


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