An Open Letter to the Upper School Students

Dear Upper School,

The end of the year is quickly approaching us, and soon the senior class will leave, and you will all take your final exams and your AP tests, and then you’ll leave the school too. You’ll say goodbye to all of your senior friends and you’ll tell them, “It won’t be the same without you! I’ll just miss you so much.” You’ll soon realize that you will move on, and things will become the same without us. You’ll come back next fall, and everything will feel new and exciting, but by the end of the second day you realize it’s the same old school, just a different year. Then all of the sudden it will be the April before you graduate and you’re sitting in front of your computer trying to write a newspaper article about the last 13 years you’ve spent here at this school and you can’t think of a single thing to write, so instead you just sit there and cry and look at old yearbooks. Right now that seems like centuries away, but just know that time flies and soon you’ll be sitting in a coffee shop with your best friend saying things like, “This is so weird. We’re out of here in a month,” and, “I can’t wait for graduation!”

If you take nothing else away from this letter, I want you to take away this: you can wait for graduation. Right now everything is hectic and stressful and all you want in the world is to be in college and away from home but you can wait. You can sit down, take a deep breath, appreciate the wonderful school we go to, and just wait.

That being said, senior year is really stressful. So here are a few tips for the future senior classes of LCDS:


 1. Pay attention to deadlines. Colleges are really strict about deadlines, and each college is different. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of so many things, so my suggestion is set alarms and reminders on your phone or computer. No one will remind you to sign up for the SATs and ACTs, you have to remember to do that yourself. Also, no one will remind you to bring a calculator…so, you know, do that. Learn from my mistakes.

 2. Explore your hometown! Don’t underestimate the value of impromptu Chocolate World trips with your best friend, or self-guided tours around Downtown Lancaster with your co-president. In a year you’ll most likely be somewhere other than Lancaster, and you’ll probably miss it much more than you think you will.

 3. Become best friends with your teachers, specifically Bostock. He likes White Chocolate Mochas from Starbucks and his birthday is the same day as Groundhog Day.

 4. Don’t spend all of your money at Starbucks or Sheetz. It’s tempting to use your senior privileges every day to go out to lunch and to get coffee during study halls, but $7 lunches and $5 drinks add up quickly. Unless you have Starbucks giftcards….

 4 1/2. Give tours at all of the open houses and offer to show up early to help.

 5. Once you’ve been accepted and have committed to a school, buy a t-shirt and/or sweatshirt from the college bookstore and never take it off. Make sure people know that is where you are going. After all, you’ve earned it.

 6. When people see you in your t-shirt and/or sweatshirt and ask you, “Oh is that where you’re going next year?” Smile and proceed to tell them everything you know about that school. Make sure they know that it’s The Best School in the Whole Wide World and you’re super excited to be going there next fall. If the person is an underclassman looking at schools, tell them they should visit you in the fall because “that would be soooooo cool!”

 7. When teachers, or relatives, or prospective families you’re giving tours to ask you what you’re majoring in next year, it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” If you do know what you’re majoring in and you have these Big Plans for the future, then I admire and congratulate you. For those of you who have absolutely no idea what you’re going to do, I want you to know that that’s totally okay. Don’t freak out. Seriously.

 8. Go through your Facebook profile pictures from middle school. Laugh, and then cry… and then cry some more.

 9. Go through your friends’ Facebook profile pictures from middle school. Like and comment on all of them so they show up in everyone’s Newsfeed.

10. Be thankful. Like, actually be thankful. Write thank you cards to your teachers, your college guidance counselors, your friends, anyone and everyone. You’ve (probably/hopefully) accomplished a lot in your academic career, and I guarantee you haven’t done it alone.

  1. Make sure you thank your parents and tell them how much you appreciate everything they’ve done for you. Sometimes at the end of senior year parent-child relationships get a little weird–make sure to take a moment to tell them how much you love them.
  2. It’s tempting to download the countdown app on your iPhone and set a countdown for graduation. Don’t. You’ll spend all of your time counting down the seconds until you graduate, and you’ll miss out on your Senior Year Experience. It really is an experience… so, don’t waste it.


So, to the Class of 2014, congratulations! We’ve made it. I’ll miss you bunches and I’ll never forget (most of) you. Just kidding.

To the rest of the Upper School, I’ll miss you too. I really will. I hope you cherish the rest of your upper school career, because LCDS really is a special place. Don’t underestimate its charm.

Are there anymore announcements? No? Okay. Have a good day.

Best Wishes,



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