Senior Year Tips on the Road to College

By Jordan Harper on June 16, 2013
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Dear students,

Senior year is great. It really is. There are so many opportunities to have fun, get involved and simply enjoy yourself. Then February comes. It will be (if you’re anything like me) a whirlwind of scholarships, applications, deadlines, forms, money (or lack thereof) and a bunch of other things.

You will get sick and tired of hearing terms like “due dates,” “fees,” ”transcripts” and “letters of recommendation.” Then, just when you think you’re done, a whole new wave of scholarship competitions, interviews, job searches and craziness will hit you harder than it did the first time. Don’t get worried, though, because you will enjoy every bit of it. All of it is good; there are no bad decisions, only different ones.

Tips for Success

So, with that said, here are my five tips for senior year that I wish I’d have followed and hope you follow.

  1. If it is free, fill it out. No matter how much you “guarantee you won’t ever go there” or “won’t win it,” things change. After finding out that I wasn’t getting as much scholarship money as I thought I would, I am probably going to a certain school that I made fun of all throughout high school. As far as scholarships go, once you do one, you might as well do a million. They all ask for the same basic information and a general essay that you will use more times than you ever thought possible.
  2. Find out where your family is financially. This is probably my most important piece of advice. Don’t wait until March to find out that you can’t afford to go to your dream school. Talk with your parents/guardians as soon as possible and realistically determine where you can afford to go before you get your hopes too high.
  3. Get involved in what you want to get involved in. There are countless opportunities for seniors out there because we are “the future” and people in the community like to support us. Look for jobs, internships, volunteer activities, clubs, teams and organizations to get involved with. Some pay, some don’t, but there are great experiences to be had. Most importantly, do things that are fun and related to your interests.
  4. Ask for advice. Your church, school, community and family are full of people who went through what you are going through. My life has been forever changed by the countless hours of conversations I had with people all over the community. Find someone in the area of expertise that you are interested in and call them. Odds are you will find someone to talk to who has great advice.
  5. Have fun. Enjoy the process of senior year, because it only happens once (hopefully). There are so many great opportunities out there and, like I said earlier, there are really no bad decisions, just different ones. Do what you are interested in while putting your full effort into it. There are great rewards out there for those who work hard for what they believe in and what they enjoy.
College Update

I am enjoying many different activities inside and outside my school. College in the fall is the goal, but the destination is not quite clear yet. I do know what I want to major in, though.

About the Author

Jordan Harper

Jordan Harper

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