The last day for many seniors is inching closer. Finals are popping up on the calendar. Graduation party invitations are appearing in the mail, along with college solicitations that never seem to go away. It's easy to feel lost or frazzled towards this final closure; the first big definite change many of us remember. That's why it's important to cross off all those boxes before your big walk across the stage. It only happens once. So, to make it all easier, here's 10 things every high school student should do before they graduate.
1. Go to a high school sports event.
Sure, maybe the football team isn't your thing (their season is over anyway), but it's important to expose yourself to the unfamiliar— those stereotypical high school experiences that you'll miss out on later on. It's better to do things out of your comfort zone than regret not carrying through later on.
2. Join a club.
It might be last minute, but it's never too late to meet new people and find something else you love to do or continue that with your peers. Schools have tons of different kinds of clubs, so stick your nose out and see what you find. Maybe you're the brainiac that gets into cheerleading, the skateboarder who plays the cello or the basketball player who bakes. Just so long as you're having fun.
3. Get detention.
You may have been taught the opposite, but if any romantic comedy teen drama has taught us anything, it's that detention is a right of passage. The experiences aren't always like they are on screen (in fact, they're usually pretty generic), but the story of how you get there sticks through your mind as you age (just don't do anything too extreme). Suspension and arrest are still very un-cool and can tarnish your permanent record.
4. Learn to drive.
Some of you might have already done this, received your permits on your birthday and driven on the first day your test was available, but if you haven't, now might be the time. The independence of driving is something that everyone should start while still in high school, whether or not you get your license soon thereafter.
Cruise down the road with the wind in your hair. Buy groceries for your parents. It's a right of passage and expression of your newfound adulthood; something much of which is independent now.
5. Skip Class.
Senior skip day is the perfect opportunity for this. Go to a party or hang out watching movies with friends. Take a road trip. Camp out at your favorite place. As long as everything you're doing is legal, have fun with it. Taste the freedom on your tongue before high school finally lets you go, before your friends and classmates migrate in different directions for winter and everything changes for real. School right now might be great, it might not, but, you'll miss it when you're gone.
6. Go to prom.
It's going to be bad. You're going to spend money on a ticket and a dress and eat bad food and listen to bad music, and yet, you'll never forget it. Prom isn't like it is in the movies, so don't go in expecting that. It's a night to dress up (preferably on a budget) and have fun with friends that you might never see again until your 10-year reunion. Have those funny moments. Dance to those already outdated jams your vice principle puts on while wearing a sideways hat. Go to those after parties and have dinner with your friends. Take pictures you hate now but will laugh about in five years (or more, depending on how bad). It's a night to remember, so don't miss out.
7. Take pictures of all your friends.
Yearbooks just aren't the same as they used to be. Not everyone shows up just how you remember them. So (it might sound "dorky," but) take pictures of all of your closest friends right now to hold on to. Print them out as your favorite story about them. You don't necessarily have to make them into a time capsule for when you're looking back on life years from now, but just hold on to them and keep them fresh in your memory.
Make a photoshoot out of it, if you want, or take them in a natural setting. Think of it as your own personal yearbook— something to remember all your years through in those halls. It's a token of what high school was to you and how you've grown.
"High school wasn't meant to last forever," Olesya Rulin said, in High School Musical. And, sadly, she's right. With that soon-to-be diploma comes bigger and better things— things that will soon outgrow your high-school-self, hopefully changing for the better. With this list of moments and memories, you're sure to have "a night [or life] to remember."
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