A few months ago, during the school year, I was looking for an event on the calendar on my school’s website. After I found it, for fun, I kept scrolling through the calendar. I reached the virtually empty summer months, which led into the next school year. I wasn’t sure what was motivating me to keep scrolling, but I didn’t stop. Eventually I saw an entry on the otherwise calendar. When I read what it was, I froze. A week was blocked off for grad photos. In that moment, the reality that I would be graduating stunned me.

I have been at my current high school for two years (this will be my third), and I absolutely love it. Looking back, my time there so far has been an amazing whirlwind of positive memories. I know my last year will be equally amazing, but it will also be emotional. Because it will be my last year, I want to remember everything – including the small moments, like how the air smells in the morning on the way to school, and smiling at friends in the hall between classes.

Of course I’ll miss my high school, because I have had so many great memories there, but I don’t want to feel nostalgic about it. This year I want to be present in every moment so that after I graduate, I don’t spend so much time walking down memory lane that I forget to get out there and make new memories.


I plan to be present wherever I am by doing several things. Firstly, putting my phone away so I can really focus on the moment; secondly, taking stock of details in my mind to document later. The keyword there is ‘later’.

Last year, I was at a leadership conference with some people from my school. I was having so much fun that at one point I stopped to write everything down in a note on my phone, right in the middle of the excitement. Looking back, I was glad I had documented the memories I was making – but I wished I had remembered the moment without my phone, until later when I could write it all down without missing what was happening.

Another way I can be present in every moment is to clear my mind of anything else that I am thinking of, and focus on what’s happening around me. Even in amazing moments (like that leadership conference) my mind tends to wander and think of random things. It will be challenging to train my mind to focus only on what is happening around me, but ultimately I think it will be worth it.

I am confident that my last year of school will be amazing, and by being present in every moment I hope I can make it that much more special.