Senior year is one of the most exhausting, stressful, but exciting years of high school. There is so much work to do and so much anticipation for events like Prom and Graduation. The things that television doesn’t glamorize like FAFSA forms, scholarship essays, saving money, etc. are a huge part of senior year, so I decided to make a guide on what to expect. Well, here it is.
//Start College Applications Early
Start it literally the day it comes out. You will be thankful you did.
There’s all this tedious stuff like the date your parents bought your house and paperwork for all the cars you own… you know…stuff that proves you are in-state or out-of-state along with citizenship information.
Also, for some colleges, the earlier you apply the earlier you are accepted. I know so many people who waited last minute to apply or finished the application and never sent it in. I got accepted to a college months before others because I applied early, but others didn’t because they were scared to get rejected.
Also, the earlier you are accepted, the earlier you get to choose your dorm room, roommates, classes, etc. before there are other students to compete with.
I’m pretty sure the Common-App website opens applications August 1st and that the essay topics are already out so get on it.
Related – College Application Timeline –
//Take the SAT/ACTs Again
I’m really glad I took them again my senior year because my score rose a lot, which definitely helped me in my college applications.
//Know The Due Dates
There are so many of them, you are bound to lose track of a few. I also had yearbook club, so I needed to know when events were to take pictures, along with college application and FAFSA deadlines. Not to mention school stuff. My planner helped me a lot.
[Just so you know, I did do some things last minute because I didn’t have time to write it in my planner, so don’t be me. Make time for it. To-do lists were life savers.]
//Your GPA Still Matters
By second, semester, you will stop giving a crap (Pardon me). You won’t see the point of going above and beyond because you will have already been accepted into a college and know how much scholarship you have or need.
Remember, your GPA can still break your acceptance. If you don’t graduate, your acceptance status probably will be changed. Not to mention, you’ll be pretty embarrassed.
So make sure to keep your grades up in the end because I know many people who didn’t do as well as they could have because they didn’t care anymore (Myself included)
//Attend EVERY Event (Or at least as many as you can)
This is your last year. Soak up as much of your school atmosphere as you can. These people around you won’t be here for long (Don’t be misled. On graduation day, I was happy that I wouldn’t see most of these people again. And I LOVED high school.), but there is something nice about knowing you are doing something for the last time.
You can soak it in and appreciate it more, so make sure you don’t have any regrets.
//Make Sure You Have All The Credits You Need To Graduate
This is important. It’s amazing how many seniors forget that they need to pass P.E to graduate. Then they don’t put in effort anyway.
I’m also assuming you WANT to graduate, so I won’t get into this any further.
//Apply For College; FAFSA; Scholarships EARLY
These deadlines will creep up on you. There is also a TON of paperwork you’ll have to deal with, so make sure you and your parents are up to date on what tax information and other stuff you’ll need.
//Spend As Much Time With Your Friends As You Can
You’re all going your separate ways soon, so enjoy time with them while you can. I know that I am going to miss my friends in other schools despite the fact that some are only a subway ride away from my college.
I know that life is going to catch up with us and that we won’t be able to hang out every day, which is why I made the most of the time I had with them in my senior year. You should, too.
There are going to be so many expenses coming up soon. How do you expect to pay for all the dorm decor you want to buy for next year? Not to mention random coffee dates with friends. And Graduation gifts! Don’t forget those. Last year, my friend asked me what I wanted for a graduation gift, and I said, “We are going to be broke college students soon, so how ’bout you give me twenty bucks and I give you twenty bucks and we’ll call it even.”
Last year, my friend asked me what I wanted for a graduation gift, and I said, “We are going to be broke college students soon, so how ’bout you give me twenty bucks and I give you twenty bucks and we’ll call it even.”
Also, I didn’t plan on being a broke college student, so I made sure to save as much money as I could for necessities, future travels, and just for financial emergencies that are bound to come up.
Preparing for the future is one of the best things you can do for yourself in your senior year.
Related: 6 Money Habits To Start In College
//Senioritis is Real
Oh God! This was hands down the worst part of senior year. There is no avoiding it. It may not be as severe for you as it is for others, but it’ll creep up on you.
But remember: This is NOT an excuse
Your senior year determines a huge part of your future, so make sure not to indulge in your laziness and get your work done.
//Become A Leader In A Club
It looks great on college applications and it’s such a fun thing to do. You should really consider it because I noticed that I had a lot more downtime in my senior year compared to other years, so it’s a productive way to spend your time.
There’s also something nice about knowing that all your years in an awesome club led to something worthwhile.
//Buy A Yearbook Early
It’s just cheaper that way. The yearbook was like $15 cheaper if you bought it in August instead of March at my school. The earlier you do it, the more money you save.
//Always Have A Back-Up Plan
Things happen. Sometimes you don’t get into your dream school or you can’t afford it. Or you get an internship you can’t pass up. Or you have major responsibilities at home that take priority.It doesn’t mean your life is over. Just go through the obstacle like any other things that pop up in your life and deal with it.
It doesn’t mean your life is over. Just go through the obstacle like any other things that pop up in your life and deal with it.
//Graduation Can’t Come Soon Enough
Up until senior year, I was fine with being in high school. There was no countdown or anything. I was just enjoying what life was at the moment.
Did that change in senior year. Every moment of that year was waiting and living for the future. It was terrible and exhausting. I’m glad I won’t have to go through that again until I’m a college senior (which’ll probably be worse).
//Take A Million Photos To Look Back On
Not taking enough photos is a regret of many people. I am not one of them because I love taking them. I am so glad I have a whole arsenal of pictures to look back on. They are so nice to go through and reminisce.
I’m not one to post on social media, so these photos are purely for myself, but I know a lot of people enjoy it, so I say “Have at it!” There will be like a million photo-ops, so you might as well take advantage.
I really hope this senior year guide helps you in your endeavors next year.
I am currently heading to New York on yet another long-haul road trip (Fingers crossed that I don’t get sick again) and will post on that soon. Same goes for a trip recap of Disney World.
I hope your summer is going well because it is almost over. School is about to start soon and I’m already anticipating the excitement and stress that is college, so try to soak in your last moments of summer like I am.
What advice would you give your senior-year self? If you are about to be a senior, what are you most excited or worried about?