My high school days are coming to a close, and I have begun to think back to all of the things that I have done and experienced. I realize that even though it doesn’t seem like it, I have learned a lot. I have learned that friends aren’t always forever, but the ones who are will be the friends you least expect to stick around. I have also learned that it isn’t always easy to do what we are supposed to, especially when something more interesting comes along, but in the end, satisfaction for doing right wins. It’s ok to not have five-hundred friends; friendship is about quality, not quantity. Find friends who are encouraging and have the same type of goals, or friends that have goals at all really. High school is complicated, it’s the first time in our lives where mom and dad start to take a back seat and let us deal with teachers and late papers and remembering to do our homework. It’s where we start gaining independence, and our parents realize, “hey, maybe they will make it… or not.” I have learned that family is important, they are our support system, and if your family isn’t very good at that, friends have parents who can be supportive of us instead. It isn’t always about what you have, but what you do with it. If you can’t play sports, don’t play them just to please someone else, find something you are good at and do it. If you can’t sing, please don’t be the loudest person in choir! If there is something you really want to do but aren’t very good at, work on it until you are. Don’t give up on your dreams just because someone else thinks they are stupid. Goals, dreams, and hopes are important to a healthy life style, they give us something to reach for, something to work toward until we accomplish it. I have also learned that high school relationships aren’t worth the effort you put into them. How many opportunities are passed up because “my boyfriend/ girlfriend won’t be there?” Do not let a high school relationship keep you from having your own dreams, because chances are the “we” you are a part of will not make it past the first semester of college. If it is meant to be, it will come back together at the right time anyway. There are so many lessons to be learned in high school, and the one thing I know is that you do not have to learn every one of them by experience. It’s like a child standing by a hot stove. If mom tells them it’s hot, do they really need to find out for themselves? No. If there is something you know will burn you, don’t test it out “just in case,” chances are it will burn you worse than you thought and the damage lasts a lot longer than the experience. High school has its good and bad memories, some you can’t stop and others are brought on by stupid mistakes, the best thing you can do is to pay attention and have compassion on others, remember that you make mistakes too.