If you’re in grade 12 right now, it’s understandable that you are feeling a lot of different emotions right now! You may be feeling stressed for your current exams, anxious about starting the next chapter of your life, or sad about leaving the place, and the people that you have grown to love over the last four years. All of these emotions are extremely valid, and though it may be hard to feel all of these things, you should embrace this unique time in your life! Here are some important things to remember as you leave high school behind.

This doesn’t mean the end of your friendships. While you will make plenty of new friends, no one can replace the people who knew you when you had braces and played the trombone in the high school band. These people will still be your go-to over summer holidays and winter breaks. You may actually find that these relationships are made better by a little bit of separation!

While the summer after grade 12 may be a great time to have fun, it is also a great time to get ready for what is coming to you in the fall. You may be able to find facebook groups for your major or get information about your roommates! These next couple months may be a great opportunity to get to know your community a little bit. This is also a perfect time to confirm your first year courses and prepare academically for them (we recommend Minute School for this, of course).

Take this opportunity to try for a summer job, or try and pick up extra hours at your part time job. Working up some savings is important, especially considering the financial strain you may experience in the next couple years. Having multiple interviews (even if they’re not all successful) is great practice, and helps with character building.

Embrace your free time and take opportunities to be with your friends and family. I also encourage you to really enjoy the home-cooked meals being provided to you. Your meals may not be as wonderful if you move away in the fall! Your time of dependency is coming to a close, but don’t worry, this change comes with plenty of perks too! This is your journey to becoming your fully realized self, and it is just starting. How exciting is that?

Take the time to be grateful about leaving behind such a vital and self shaping part of your life, but look forward with excitement and hopefulness. This is just the beginning.

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