Transitions are plentiful during this time of year. Students are returning to school or going away for the first time. For many, this is the last year of life as it is known and familiar. High school seniors are applying to universities and bracing themselves for higher education in the field of their choosing. For college seniors like myself, we are preparing ourselves for the oh-so-ambiguous “real world” which is around the corner. This letter is for those seniors everywhere—including myself.

The time that you’ve been either waiting for or dreading is just around the corner. This is your victory lap, your final go ‘round, the end of an era. Despite what you’re feeling: you are ready.

For those of you in high school, this is the time for you to really evaluate what you want for yourself in the future! Don’t put yourself in a box, ever. I know it is daunting to think about the mistakes you may have made in past three years and wonder if you can even succeed at the school of your dreams, in the field that makes your heart sing and burst from passion. I’ve been there and I am living proof that everything works out in your favor if you let it.

It’s hard being 17 or 18 years old, never really having much of a say in your life and then being told to chose the school for you and the major for you. Who are you, really? What do you know? Some of the best advice I can give to you at this time is to trust yourself. Your innate sense of self and your gut feeling can guide you even more than you know. Trust when your heart is pulled to a school or when heart flutters when you think about a potential major. It doesn’t matter if it seems irrational or reasonable, if you feel something honest and true but you can’t explain it, it is more than valid! Go for it!

In that same breath, don’t count out your backups. Although your Plan A may not work out and your Plan B isn’t what you initially envisioned for yourself, it may be even better than anything that you could have ever envisioned for yourself. Keep the faith. Keeping working hard. You too will succeed.

This is your last year of high school and while it is imperative to crack down on college applications, remember to have fun! This is the last year of life as you know it and it deserves a great final hurrah! You’ve made it this far. Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars to get to know yourself and the world around you in a new way. Even if you have no idea what you're doing (hint: no one really does) just know that everything will be okay if you put in the work. Go forth and be awesome and grow and change and learn!

To my college seniors: I’m right there with you. I’m honestly a bit terrified to be ending my collegiate career and be thrust into the real world. At the same time, however, I am excited for everything this year will bring me and you should be too! Whether you know what you’re doing once we cross the stage or you, like me, have no real clue yet, I know that we’ll all figure it out and it’ll be more than we could’ve ever imagined.

So breathe in, exhale, and get ready. Now is not the time for fear!

Published by Wiltz, Gabriella