Make memories you won't regret
There comes a time during your senior year when you're faced with many stressful things at once: scholarships, grades, your social life — and don't forget prom.
During the second semester of your senior year, all of the stresses and burdens of your high school life catch up to you. Your deadlines become closer, the graduation date is fast approaching and you've got to make many important life decisions that could change everything for you.
Even the little things like your school attendance play a major role in affecting your graduation and getting into a good college.
Although your social life can become very important to you as a senior, you've got to remember it isn't everything. Your social life doesn't get you into a better college, get you a higher GPA or count as an extracurricular activity.
Some people don't realize that the one time they take off from doing their homework will turn into two times ... then three times ... and so on. Taking responsibility for your actions is the first step in the right direction.
One social event that preoccupies everyone in high school is prom. Prom is supposed to be the night of your life and a night that you'll never forget. Many people make prom out to be something so amazing that you end up spending a lot of time planning every little detail just to make sure that it really is that perfect night. Although it's just another dance, it's usually your last one in high school.
Regardless of the amount of money you spend, prom will be a night you'll always remember. Prom is a time when you can enjoy being with a group of your friends, being with your girlfriend or boyfriend, going to dinner, getting dressed up and dancing.
Wheatland Union High School alumna Courtney Avilla said, "Prom is definitely something in which we live for the night we'll always remember with the people we'll never forget."
But with these unforgettable times comes great responsibility, not only for yourself, but for others as well. Many people have been known to drink or party before, during and after prom. Even though prom may seem like all fun and games, it's also a test of your self-control. Your senior year is a time when you get to have more freedom, and prom is one of the nights when many people tend to take advantage of it.
Taking advantage of your freedom — or pushing your boundaries — often results in disaster. People get pressured into doing things that they normally wouldn't do, such as to drink, do drugs or other things that they will regret later on in life.
Just remember not to get all caught up in the hype of prom. From your date to getting a dress, finding a ride and dinner reservations, realize that this is your last big senior event before graduation. In the blink of an eye, you'll be graduated and have only memories to last you for the rest of your life. So be sure to make all of the good memories you can, while you can.
Enjoy prom, but also be sure to make smart decisions. Oh, and don't forget to keep the regrets to a minimum.
Natalie Ross is a senior at Wheatland Union High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.