Monday, 15 August 2016

ft. unrelated photo from my senior ball on the weekend. 
Dear Younger Generations,  

I know that you are so excited to be a year thirteen, ready to drive, for the ball, parties and to be finally leaving and getting out of high school. And who can blame you. I've been there – we all have, when you feel like it's never going to end and you aren't ever going to get out of this place.  Now, yes, your last year of school is amazing. You have so much freedom, teachers are more like friends, you have chosen all of your subjects so you get to study things that you actually find interesting, you can finally get yourself around without depending on your parents and really, you're on top of the world.  


It's also bittersweet. Everyone has always told you that but you never really listened because you've only just started high school and you keep telling yourself that you've got a few years before you have to start worrying about this stuff.  

Let me tell you exactly what it's like. 

Your last first day at school. Freshly covered school books, the smell of your new bag, the people in the hallways, the rush between periods. Actually making an effort to look good. Anxiously waiting to see if you're going to be in the same form class because still to this day after five years at this same school you haven't realized that it never changes and you're always going to have the same one, hoping you have at least one class with your best friend. Debating whether or not you really need to go to form class because that extra half an hour of sleep seems way more important than sitting in a classroom while your teacher does roll call. You miss more than just one and soon you realize, never again. 

This is what it feels like.  

Your last high school sports event. Athletics day, house points, dressing up in crazy costumes, cheering on your friends, signing up for every event BUT sprints because that’s the one event everyone stands back to watch. Forgetting about your face paint and accidently tanning the American flag on your face and regretting your entire existence the next day when you realize the day after athletics is always for class photos. Mock Rock, house chants, dancing, embarrassing yourself in front of the whole school all for the "golden microphone", the spirt throne – the only time that winning a toilet seat would be considered a good thing. Athletes on the field, track or court for the last time, running, hearing the crowd – your friends yelling in the background, shouting at your team mates, shouting at you. Now the court is empty, the field is dark, the games are over. Never again.  

This is what it feels like. 

Worship assemblies. Your friends standing on stage singing and giving praise to the creator of the universe, being given the opportunity to encounter God's presence alongside your closest friends. Listening to your classmates absolutely kill that song that you thought no one but Amanda Cook would ever be able to sing that well. Realizing that you shouldn't have taken it for granted and you should have come expectant rather than worrying what the person standing next to you was going to think if, god forbid, you ever decided to raise your hands, a wasted opportunity. Never Again. 

This is what it feels like. 

Your last summer holidays. Days spent at the beach eating ice cream and fatty foods because it's already summer and that bikini body you were dreaming of isn't as important as the chicken nuggets from the fish and chip shop. After church hangs with your best friends, panicking after they loose their keys so you spend the next hour searching an empty parking lot when eventually you find them at the top of a big black rubbish bag in the dumpster. Realizing that everything is going to change once you don't get to see your friends everyday and the pointless conversations you've been having for the past five years are going to turn into "How have you beens?" And "I've missed yous". Dreading the first day back at school because you know that that freedom you spent the past year dreaming of is coming to end. Never again. 

This is what it feels like. 

Everything you've ever known. Chicken nuggets in the freezer, pringles in the pantry, rushing to make school lunches because you "forgot" to pack your bag the night before, those people you only talk to in class. The way your mum greets you with a smile when she picks you up from school, the way your dad slumps down on the couch when he gets home from work, arguing with your siblings about things that don't even matter. Spontaneous snack runs with your best friends to the super market in the middle of the night, climbing into bed after a night out. The way your mum used to reassure you when you came home from school after having a fight with some of your friends by saying, "It's okay, when high school's over you won't have to see them ever again...", then it hits you - high school is almost over and you realize you will never see them again.  

This is what it feels like.  

Graduation day. Something that you keep pushing to the back of your mind, trying not to think about. You feel like you have all the time left in the world and then just like this you have only 40 days left. It's funny because when you first started at this school, not knowing anyone, you had no idea that this place was going to feel like home, you now know everyone, the teachers, the students, you know your way around because this is where you have spent the last 5 years of your life and as much as you want to get away from high school and all the drama and feelings of being stuck that go with it, this is still home, this is where you are. Planning your final goodbye, pranks, your last assembly, knowing that as you run through that tunnel at the end that it's all over. Never again.  

This is what it feels like. 

And you know now that you are alone in the world and there's a very big, long life ahead of you and you have to face it head on, you'll have to go out and find a job, learn how to make a mortgage work, take out a student loan. Life is starting a whole new chapter and you are leaving everything that you have ever known behind and you wish that you had made the most of it because this is the last time that you are ever going to have this much freedom. Everyone is setting apart in their lives and going their own separate ways and you can only hope that one day you'll still be having this much fun with these friends of yours as you are now. You swear that you remember turning 10 like it was yesterday and are you sure you're eighteen because you don't feel ready to do this just yet and then suddenly you're doing it.  

And this is your life.  

So before you go rushing through it and wishing your days away, remember. 

This is what it feels like

XO, Danielle


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