Those kind adults are unwittingly making you feel awful. Not every minute can be enjoyed. Some moments you will be trapped in the sluggish mud of classes you no longer care about. Sometimes you will physically ache to be somewhere else, somewhere other than this classroom, this cafeteria, this hallway. Some teachers voices will make you want to claw out your eardrums. And now you feel worse because you aren’t loving every single minute.
Be patient with yourself and with time. Each day of this season may seem to last forever. You might feel itchy, as if you have outgrown your skin. Well, you have. You are the caterpillar just about to emerge from the cocoon. It’s too small for you in there right now, but not yet time to leave. Be patient; try to enjoy the warmth and security for the brief time you have left.
Spend as much of that time as you can with your friends. Most of the people around you, after May, you will never see again. A small group you will still see in summers and on breaks, for the next few years. After that, only a handful will stay in your lives. These moments with friends, those are the ones the adults are longingly remembering.
With your friends, watch as the weather gets a little warmer each day. Together, watch as concerns about grades and course work gets a little weaker. Watch teachers become more like friendly guides than point-withholding ogres.
What is to come is so filled with hope and possibility that you can’t imagine it will be anything but perfect. What you have been doing for 13 years is no longer important. With your friends, relax, possibly for the first time since your parents tried to get you to sound out words.
Don’t bother looking nice at school. Leave your backpack in your car. Have endless conversations with your friends about how you will always be close no matter who else you meet. Tell your girlfriend you will always love her.
On the horizon, almost an infinity away, but so close, is prom. Off to the left is senior picnic and on the right are graduation parties. Just past that, if you squint, you can see graduation. Attend those events, with your friends, even if they seem lame and cliché. At the very least, you’ll have a good story to tell.
You know that everything is shifting and changing and a year from now, you will barely remember this person you are right now.
I implore you, don’t forget this person. Look at her from a distance, if you can. See how much she is loved, by her family, her teachers, her friends. See how her dad looks at her, so wistful and proud. See how her friends light up when she comes in the room. See how hard she has worked to be here, and how much she has learned. Be proud of that girl, and remember that feeling, always.
Look in the mirror. See how much you have changed. Remember how big and mature you thought seniors were when you were a freshman? Now you are who the freshmen are awed by. People are awed by you. I hope you see their awe.
All seasons pass, and this one will too. The days will grow warmer, and then too warm, and then it will be over. Soak in the love and the joy that surround you now, and know this love and joy are a blanket you can pull out and wrap yourself in, whenever you feel cold, in the seasons to come.