Surviving Senior Year: Tips to Make it Out Alive

Surviving Senior Year: Tips to Make it Out Alive

As the holiday season fast approaches, many are getting excited for what the New Year may bring. But for some seniors, this is a stressful time of college applications, admission essays, and searching for scholarships, making it seem almost impossible to enjoy the holidays. Though you may be worried, fellow seniors, I am here to help you make it through your last year of high school prepared for what comes after graduation and with at least some of your sanity.
Tip One: Keep Your Grades Up 
With all of the other things going on in a high school senior’s life, it can be easy to slack off a little and put your schoolwork on the back burner in order to focus your attention on other things. But if you do not put the effort in now, you will only be wasting all of the hard work you did in previous years. Plus, if your grades were not so great the first few years of high school, it is never too late to make a change, and your extra effort will be evident on your final transcript. And this goes for attendance, too. Do not spend your last year of high school not showing up to school; you are only going to add more stress if you let yourself get behind in all your classes. So if you think you are too busy to fit in mounds of homework, college applications, extracurricular clubs, sports, and working an after-school job, it’s all about prioritizing; adjust your schedule to allow time for activities, cut down on a few hours at work, and start your applications and essays for college early, so you have plenty of time to work on them. And that brings me to my next point…
Tip Two: Pay Attention to Deadlines and Start Early
This one is really important for a busy high school senior. It is easy to look at an assignment, application, or whatever and cast it aside because it’s not due for another month or two… then forget about it until the week before. So, instead of ignoring something until closer to the due date, get a head start on it now and you will thank yourself later. You do not have to work on it all at once, either; a lot of college applications are available online and automatically save your progress so you can come back to them, and if it is an essay you are worried about, start an outline and then write a paragraph whenever you have a little free time. Another tip is to keep a planner. Whether you are an old school paper-pen type or if you would rather find an app for that, write down due dates as soon as you find them out or set reminders a few weeks before. And if it is a college application, make sure you give Miss Allison plenty of time to send your transcripts in (which means, do not fill out a transcript request form the day before your application is due).
Tip Four: Start Preparing for Your Future 
Whether it is college you are excited about next year or finding a job or going into some branch of the military, start taking the steps to reach those goals now. Plan visits to the colleges you are looking at and make a list of questions to ask before you go. That way, once you are there and are overwhelmed by the campus and all the information the tour guide is throwing at you, you will not forget what questions you had before you came. Also, if this is going to be your first time living away from home, it might not be a bad idea to learn a few basic skills, like cooking a meal other than Ramen Noodles or doing your own laundry. If you are looking to get a job after graduation, it is never too early to start looking; some employers might hire you part-time before you graduate so they can start training you. And if it is the military you are pursuing, make sure you talk to recruiters and decide on the branch/job that best fits you. If you start planning for your future now, you will not feel so nervous about it when graduation rolls around, and you can enjoy this year more if you are not worrying.
Tip Four: Enjoy Your Year
This is it. The year you have been waiting for. It is your last year of high school, the last year of seeing all your friends every day, maybe the last year you live at home- so enjoy it. Keep on top of all of your duties, but do not forget to make time for a little fun, too. After all, these are the best four years of your life, and your senior year can be the greatest one yet.