While it may be easy to forget, your senior year of high school is a crucial point in life. It is where you set up and prepare yourself for the next four years. Here is some advice from a college senior on how to make your last year of high school really count.
Stay on top of applications. One of the best things I did during my senior year in high school was getting my applications done in a timely manner. Just like homework, no matter how long you put it off, the applications aren’t going anywhere. Unlike homework, college applications can’t be rushed through or taken lightly. Applications require more than simply filling out your name and address. You will need recommendations and those who you will ask will need plenty of time to actually complete them. You will also want to actually visit the schools or at least a few of your top choices. Perhaps the most important element to all of this is applications entail meaningful time and answers which can help someone understand who you are. I can’t lie, the college process is a huge time commitment, but if you allow yourself to get behind not only will you then have to cram, but you won’t be giving institutions your best work. All in all, the more responsible you are with your applications the more time you’ll have in the second half of the school year.
Make your own choices. One of the biggest mistakes you can make during your senior year is allowing other people to seriously influence your decisions. High school relationships are a great example of this. Picking a school because your current girlfriend/boyfriend is also going there is a huge mistake. Whatever college you end up choosing, it has to be a place where you feel comfortable by yourself. If you love the school and the campus and your significant other happens to have the same stance for themselves then so be it, but DO NOT attend a school for simply that one reason. Along with this idea, don’t let your parents make the decision for you. I know that sounds difficult because, in the end, they’re the ones helping you pay for it. Your parents will have pull, and you should take their thoughts seriously, but don’t attend a school because your dad liked the campus, or because your mom went there too. Attend the school because you love it yourself, just as myself and so many other Nazareth students have done. What are the reasons we love Naz? You can read about just a few of them here.
Take your classes seriously. I think my biggest mistake of my last year of high school was not taking my AP classes seriously. In the spring especially, it’s easy to convince yourself that nothing in the classroom really matters. You will have already gotten in and a picked a school so who cares about tests? I urge you not to take this approach. I took two AP classes my senior year and did exactly what I described above. I was already attending Nazareth so I didn’t give a care in the world how I did on the tests. Little did I know if I had prepared and done well on those two tests, then I wouldn’t have had to take two of the courses I took in college. I have friends who took their APs seriously and came into college with a semester’s worth of credits. Meanwhile, I came in with zero and was forced to take a full 15 credits per semester of college. Stressful. Oh and also, taking two less classes would have saved me $5,000-$6,000 dollars.
Have fun. Your senior year of high school should be everything you dreamed about since you started as a freshman. Yes, it requires work, but it’s the last full year you will spend with your group of friends and your family, so make it count. The featured picture is of me and my best friends from school who I still see as often as possible, and the picture below is of our entire families during a weekend we do once a year. Go to sports games, do things on weekends, and spend time with the people you are closest to. My senior year of high school was an absolute blast. It was probably the best year of my life up to this point and I often wish I could go back to my boarding school and do it all over. Unfortunately, I can’t, and you won’t be able to either. So live it up and make some memories because it’ll all be over shortly.
by Packy Jones