Olivia, you did it! After 4 long years that actually seemed to fly by even with a pandemic, you are on the cusp of saying adios to high school. You’ve worked hard, you’ve played hard, and now you get to celebrate all of your accomplishments. And those accomplishments are many. Part of me wants to give the highlights of all of them, but quite honestly, I don’t think I can remember all of them. Instead, I’ll use this blog just to tell you how dang proud I am of you, and maybe even give you some words of wisdom/unsolicited advice. I know I already did that for your 18th birthday blog, but these words are tailor made for a new graduate who will become part of The University of Washington student body in September.
So here goes:
- Take advantage of the opportunities UDub has to offer, but not necessarily all of them
- Celebrate your successes, but lean into your failures
- It’s ok to change your major
- Always have an exit strategy
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Be yourself
- Befriend people outside of your friend group
- Embrace the diversity of a diverse college campus
- Have Fun
- You can always come home
Even though I did give you a bullet point list of advice I know you well enough that you may very likely not take any of it to heart, but that’s ok. Glancing at the list every now and then would be nice.
Now onto the proud Momma part of this blog. You have absolutely SLAYED your high school career, and dare I say squeezed out just about every opportunity that you could from Freshman year all the way through Senior year.
You tried new things that didn’t fully take, but that never discouraged you. Instead, you took what you learned and went onto your next adventure. And there was always something new to check out. That’s just one of the many things that impresses me about you. You pretty much take things in stride. Yes, you get frustrated and annoyed when things don’t go exactly your way (who wouldn’t), but you also find a way to mostly look at the bright side of things, and move on.
One thing that stuck from the get go was your love of leadership and student government. That was never my jam, but this isn’t about me now is it? It’s all about you. I know you don’t necessarily seek the limelight, but that spotlight seems to find you. Your leadership took center stage this year as you represented your class as Senior Class President. That’s never an easy job, but spending the school year mostly distant learning added in so many extra layers of difficulty. Just like everything else though, you took on the challenges, and made the best out of a sucky situation, still finding ways to make this year meaningful and fun.
You’ve also gone out of your way to be there for others when they need it most, to lend an ear or nourish them with cookies. That compassion will serve you well throughout life, and when life gets difficult for you, I hope you lean into the compassion of others. You’re not one to often ask for help, but think of it this way; people want to help you just as much as you want to help them.
Your future looks bright kiddo, maybe even brighter than your 1000 watt smile. It has been a true joy watching you grow and thrive into the beautiful woman that you are today. I know that big things await you in the future, and you can bet I’ll be cheering you on as you start your next big chapter in life.
I love you!