Whether you were a cheerleader for one year or all four years, graduating high school and leaving behind your squad is tough. Your teammates are your family; you’ve endured triumphs, losses, heartache, challenges, and successes with them. Whether you’re planning on saying goodbye to each team member individually or as a group, plan ahead. Think of a few special words to share. Talk about your time on the squad, what you learned, and advice or tips for younger members. Hopefully you’ve already started, but it’s never too late to start saving memories in the form of pictures or journal entries. Make a scrapbook of your time on the squad. You can take it with you if you move or go to college and look back on it whenever you’re feeling blue or nostalgic. If you had a disagreement or argument with a squad member, take the time to talk to her and clear the air before leaving. It will give you closure so you won’t later regret anything. You don’t want to leave with any bad memories or ill feelings. Leave on a positive note with nothing but good vibes! When you graduate and say goodbye, it can be difficult to avoid depression or feelings of sadness. First, remind yourself that change is inevitable. Just like when you first started cheering in high school, you were nervous about joining a new squad and starting at a new school. But things got better and, maybe even within weeks, you were well adjusted. Even though you’re heading off to college, it’s just like four years ago when you first started high school. It’s hard at first, but it gets easier. This may sound obvious, or easier said than done, but find happiness. You are in control of your attitude so think optimistically, see opportunity instead of misfortune, and think like a winner! A positive mindset results in a positive mind. Similarly, when you find yourself feeling blue, think of the happiest moments of your cheer years, not your worst. While you may think it will only make you miss your squad even more, it will actually help you smile and find happiness. Another great way to avoid depression is to stay in touch with your coach and former squad mates! Become pen pals or schedule a weekly or monthly Skype date where you can catch up and chat about what the team has been up to. You’ll feel part of the squad and it will make your transition to post-cheer life easier. For those that plan on cheering in college, don’t fall into the pit of comparison. It won’t do you any good to constantly compare your high school squad with your new college squad. Your teammates will be different, but they’re cheerleaders just like you. Just as you did four years ago, you’ll bond with your new team and make new memories. Are you a senior preparing for graduation? How are you handling goodbyes? What will you miss most about your squad?