August 09, 2017

Advice for High School Seniors

Senior year is the best. You will have fun, you will be stressed, you will make choices that will impact your future, you will cry, you will learn to love your best friends more than you thought was possible, and you will cherish your last year in the place you call home with the people you have grown up with.  

I am the oldest in my family so I really did not know what to expect from my senior year, so I am here to share what I learned and would have wanted to know about a year ago. As cliché as it sounds, senior year was hands down the best year of my life thus far. Somehow it went from showing up on the first day of school in September wearing our senior shirts to sitting at graduation in shock that it was all over in the blink of an eye. So, to the class of 2018 (and senior classes to come) here are a few things that you should keep in mind over the course of the next year. 

Get your college applications done ASAP // Last summer I finished my essays before heading back to school and it made my life 10x easier. My English class focused on college essays in the first month of school, so I was already done with some of my homework and thus was able to focus more on perfecting it rather than starting from the very beginning. Additionally, it is so nice to not have to come home from school and do your homework and work on the common app. 

Apply Early // I would highly suggest applying early decision if you have a clear cut favorite and know that you and your family can make that choice financially. I knew where I was going to go to college on November 30th thanks to going ED and had such a stress free senior year because of it. If early decision does not work for you, apply early action to any schools on your list that offer it so you know some of your choices by December. 

Don't let others impact you during the college process // This piece of advice was not applicable to me as I went ED and none of my friends applied to Elon, but the college process can be stressful and you have to really focus on yourself, not your friends or those around you. It can be difficult to see others get into a school you were denied or wait listed at but you need to just move on and accept that it wasn't meant to be. In addition to dealing with potentially uncomfortable situations around the times you hear back from schools, you also need to make your own decision about where you want to attend college for the next four years. Don't let your friends or even your parents sway you into going somewhere you don't think would be a good fit, after all you will be the one attending school there, not them. 

Say Yes // You will quickly come to understand how fast senior year flies by, and with this realization I can guarantee that you will want to make the most out of every day left with your class. If your friends invite you to do something or go somewhere, try to say yes as much as possible. There will be some nights when all you want to do is be in bed and watch a movie, but trust me, as the days start to dwindle you will regret not spending every waking minute with your best friends. Go to the soccer game, drive to get pizza at midnight, have a sleepover on a school night, participate in senior skip day, whatever if may be just say yes and really seize the day- or the year :) 

Spend time with your family // Depending on where you decide to go to college, your time spent with your family could significantly decrease in the next year. Don't forget to hang out with your parents and siblings during your senior year, they have played a major role in getting you this far and are your biggest supporters. 

Enjoy second semester // By the time second semester rolls around, if you haven't made your college decision yet, you will at least know the schools that you got into. I'm not going to write an advice post and then tell you to give up during the second half of the year, but trust me you can 100% get by with doing a lot less. At my high school, seniors who maintained a B average for the year did not have to take finals. Personally, I did not find it all that difficult to keep my grades up (I actually had my best grades of high school during senior year) because as the school year started to wind down, my teachers lightened the workload and wanted to have their students have an easy and fun few months. So, don't let homework stress you out too much on a dreary day in February, or on that first nice day in spring. 

Hang out with your friends as much as possible // The most important for last. Take it from someone whose best friends are about to be plane rides away and doesn't know how they will go without seeing them everyday, spending time with your best friends is sooo important. I am really lucky to have an insanely close group of friends that have been by my side since our sixth grade homeroom. In fact, three of us got jobs on the Cape and lived together this past summer- so we really took this piece of advice to heart. With everyone leaving for their respective colleges in just a few days, it is difficult for me to write about this one without getting emotional and sentimental, but just do me a favor and cherish every second with your bffs during the next year, you will thank me later. 


Preppy by the Sea 

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