The day I have been waiting for is here. Today.


My last day of high school. Ever.


I thought I would feel more emotions, but I don’t feel much of anything. Time is a silly thing. Minutes feel like hours, but somehow the days seem to fly by.


I had a countdown at 50 days, and tonight I am ripping up the last one. The shredded paper means so much, and it will be gone just like my time here.


I started my ASK A SENIOR articles because I feel like I have lived a thousand lives here. I have so much advice I wish I knew when I was a baby sophomore, or a stupid junior (by stupid, I mean I made many mistakes).


My voice is loud and fierce. I felt all my life that I had to quiet her down. Not here. This newspaper family was exactly what I needed. I have no regrets in my words. I finally feel like they had a place and that I am free to let them go.


What advice do I have for you today? Well, I feel a million years old in my 18-year-old body. Let me share some wisdom.


Tell that person that you love, that you love them. Whether it be your best friend, or mom, or maybe even that person who you’ve had a crush on for way too long. Trust me when I say that “I love you,” is something that people don’t hear enough.


Love the person you see in the mirror. Mirrors and pictures are mean. They trick your eyes. It took me losing 50 pounds to finally smile at myself. That was wrong of me. I should have loved her from the beginning. So, go out there and fall in love. Find out you love makeup, or you love the way you look in red. Find what makes you feel absolutely stunning. This isn’t just you gals. Men: you can have a style too. Find what makes you feel handsome. You can do it!


Find a hobby, and then find a career.  What makes your heart race? What is the best part of your day? Singing? Dancing? A sport? Drawing? These are the things that make you magical. Your gift. This is my advice, and it may seem contradictory, find your hobby, and then DON’T CHOOSE IT FOR A CAREER. Wait, what? YES, I AM SERIOUS. The second you take the thing you love and make it something you have to do, you grow to hate it. Yes, I love singing. I will sing for the rest of my life. But that is because I want to, not because I have to.


Your gift is for you. Your best skill is for your job. I am unafraid of speaking to large crowds. So, I chose to go into Communications and Public Relations. I tried going into music, and it hurt my love. My voice. So, I beg you, keep your gift for yourself. I don’t want you to lose it.


GROW UP. Do you remember when you were young? When you looked at adults and thought that they were so far away? You look up to them, literally and metaphorically. Well, because Time is silly, you’re here. You’ve grown, and I ask you, have you grown UP? There is no specific time when you magically become a grown up. Not the minute you turn 18. Not when you get your first job.


I promise you though, you will have a moment when you realize that your childhood is done. I lost a friend, and the pain of grieving shot me into adulthood. I grew up in an instant. So, when your moment comes, LISTEN. Please don’t fight it. Be strong, and know that this is important. Take each step like they are stairs. You are going up my friend. This is your journey.


Lastly, there is no point in being negative. This may be the hardest piece of advice I have for you. I promise though that this is vital. Complaining is the absolute biggest waste of oxygen. Yeah, life sucks sometimes. But if you complain about how it is raining, you miss the chance to dance in it. Negative energy is a disease. Once you are infected, it is hard to feel happy. I am not saying that you need to be all fakey positive about everything. That is almost worse.


What I am saying is, you are in charge of how you react to things. This took me a long time to learn. I used to listen to sad music and write angsty poetry. While those things are great, don’t let yourself only focus on them. Listen to that sad song, cry, and then wipe your eyes clean. Get up, and go change the thing that made you feel that way.


That person you like hurting you? Don’t wallow in the pain. Tell them how you feel, and accept that it might be time to move on. Your friends stabbed you in the back? Don’t gossip about them like they did to you. Go find new friends.


You are completely in charge here. This is your story. You are the author. There is nothing wrong with having to end a chapter to be able to start a new one.


So you may ask, what the heck does this have to do with being a senior? Well, these are all the things I learned this year. You can get started early, and maybe you can avoid the mistakes I put myself through. I want you all to enjoy every day you wake up to.


Oh no, I have to say my last words here. They have to be awesome. Ummmmmm, hold on. Let me think… OH!




Written by Emma Kossayian

Pennsylvania born, Iowa grown.

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