There are a lot of things I’d like to pass on to the younger students about to embark on what I’ve been working on for a year and, as my time comes to go to college and leave high school behind, it’s also time to give some advice. Senior year isn’t by any standard an easy year that can be blown off to “senioritis.” I say this because I was always led to believe that the last year of being the top dog at school is easy and goes by fast. Only half of that statement is true.Planning your Future
Senior year is not easy simply because finally, after three years of working on quizzes and tests, new real responsibilities fall on your shoulders. It’s about the time that the future you’ve planned for is quickly becoming the present. Suddenly real decisions that can change everything have to be made and, all the while, you’re responsible for calculus homework, too. That last year of high school status goes by in a blink-of-an-eye. Before you know it, college app season is afoot and then it’s a one-way stop to second semester and the holy grail of graduation. In between are the normal high school activities like homecoming, volunteering, sporting events and other things happening in the community. Before deciding to say “no” to these events, remember it is the last year that you’ll be able to do them.Blowing Off Steam
Take a chance, dress up for spirit week, goof off with friends for a bit over the weekend or go to a soccer game. Although big things are taking place, don’t forget to blow off steam (in a healthy way, of course) because you’re only a teenager once.
Through this transition, it’s incredibly important to stay open-minded about what’s happening and, most importantly, what may happen. No one person can be in control of everything, some situations are out of our hands and we just have to accept that fact and move on. This applies to nearly every factor of this important transition. From turning in our college applications to sending off our roommate information form, some things are not under our control. There is already a huge amount of stress on our shoulders and we don’t have to add any more. It’s imperative to make double and triple sure that the application is the way you want it and that everything is squared away but, once it’s sent, there isn’t much you can do but sit back and relax or dutifully work on the next one.
College applications eat up first semester of senior year when some exciting things are happening, but keep in mind that they are one of the most important tasks you will have as a senior. It may be the last year of high school, but it’s the preparation for a whole new life. Work hard, make a schedule (stick to it) and stay organized. College apps seem like a full-time job and, at times they really are, but all the while there is still a full load of coursework to do.One Step at a Time
Do not let stress get to you and do not compare your situation with others. Everyone has his own level of stress.
Keep your head up, take a deep breath, count the days left until graduation and plan something fun with friends after college applications are done (I had a Lord of the Rings marathon). Take senior year as a challenge. You have all the tools you need to make the school year spectacular. Now you just have to do it. Good luck.