10 Things I Wish I Knew As A High School Senior

10 Things I Wish I Knew As A High School Senior

I'm simply passing down the keys to the kingdom.

Despite the ongoing stress of college applications, maintaining a social life, and retaining a sturdy GPA, senior year was easily one of the greatest years of my life. Now, having experienced high school from the first day of school to receiving my diploma at graduation, I can only hope to offer meaningful advice that I hope will help the "new kids" who are now entitled to my parking spot.

1. Be mindful of every single day.

I know I sound like a grandma on a rocking chair when I say, "Appreciate every day", but trust me, you will naturally sink into a routine once September is over. Then, multiple days will jumble into one instead of being remembered individually. And whether you've already graduated or are eighty years old, you'll thank yourself for making an effort to remember your high school days.

For this, I recommend using a notebook to write in any format five things that happened during your day--sad, glad, comical, even stressful moments of that day. It'll take five minutes before going to sleep, and you will appreciate it once you're an alumni.

2. Do not look for what you don't have.

For this, I am specifically referring to relationships. If you do not already have a steady significant other, do not desperately seek one out because you simply want to "be with someone". Trust me, this one is hard to stick with, especially when your "GNOs" turn into a boyfriend scientific analysis with which you have nothing to contribute to. Good people will come into your life when you least expect it.

Not being in a relationship will allow yourself to truly assemble your priorities, especially when deciding a college or university, Also, you do not have to stress over the infamous "Are we staying together or splitting before college?" debacle.

3. Be nice to everyone, especially underclassmen.

I really should not have to explain why you should act like a decent human being to another human being. It's 2017, treat people with respect. That freshman walking like a slug in the halls could possibly be your boss one day.

4. Say "yes".

Senior year quite possibly contains the most awesome school trips ever. For my high school, all five-hundred of us traveled to Walt Disney World. For others, there are ski trips and of course, prom.

While these are amazing trips, senior year also has great leadership opportunities and service projects you should get involved in. If you're ever asked to attend a service project or be a leader of a club or activity you love, say yes. It is not only a great thing to mention on your college applications but also a rewarding experience that enables you to meet such amazing people and become close with some teachers too.

5. Power through the "College" talk.

Nothing's worse than religion or politics at the dinner table? Try asking a high school senior that question on Thanksgiving, and they'll quickly assure you otherwise. We all know extended family dinners can be awkward, especially when you're persistently asked what your college aspirations and future plans are. So, before you sit at that dinner table, remember that it's okay to say "I don't know" because you truly do not know. And please note, most people don't know either.

After that, continue to smile and change the conversation as subtle as possible. Do not in any way lose your temp er or get frustrated, it'll make the rest of the evening five hundred times worse. So power through, and save your breakdown for the car ride home if necessary.

6. Go to a "Senior Night".

Even if you aren't on a sports team, attend a "Senior Night" or any "last home game" for any sports team, or try to attend your last high school homecoming. Confidently saying you want to go will influence some of your friends who were iffy from the start, and eventually a group will surround you, making the experience more enjoyable.

So, deck out in your school colors, make signs, paint your face, and most importantly show your support.

7. Never be afraid to say "Hi".

By senior year, people change. The friends you declared your "ride or die" squad during freshman year have most likely gone their separate ways with different groups. And while that's normal, you should never feel embarrassed or awkward about the friendship you once had. So, whenever you pass them by in the hallway, a simple "hi" can go a long way. It shows how high school has enabled you to mature and will definitely ease any awkward tension between old friends.

8. Do not get "I hate you, high school" syndrome.

Please do not be that person who continuously rants on their finsta about how they "can't wait to be done with this school and everyone in it", especially in October. High school isn't over yet, and most people won't converse with you if you claim to hate everyone. No one likes a Scrooge.

9. Find your "go-to" teacher.

Honestly, senior year is a rollercoaster of emotions. From college applications, acceptance/rejections, and your final college decision to inevitable drama and the "last time" for anything, there will be tears. You might be the next Niagara Falls, but everyone understands you on some level.

First, find a teacher you can trust. Someone you admire, whether you've experienced them in a classroom environment, as a coach, a guidance counselor, or even an adult who supervises a club or organizes events. This teacher will be your "go-to", and their office will become your new therapy center where tissue boxes and arms are always open.

The biggest advantage to this is that by the time you receive your diploma, you are no longer a student. So, your "go-to" teacher transforms into your friend, and this friendship will always welcome you with open arms whenever you come home.

10. Break stereotypes; make new friends.

By senior year, most people have abandoned the general stereotypes surrounding high school and its students. So, start a conversation with that football player in your art class. Or talk to the track kids who sit at the adjacent lunch table. Be comfortable to ask the cheerleader what your assignments are.

There are two consequences to this approach:

One, you will have a relationship based solely off of "What was the homework?" conversations which will turn into discussions based on tests, papers, and of course, what you think about your teacher.

Two, you've made a friend, a friend you've grown somewhat close to in such a short time span that it'll leave you amazed whenever you think of it. When you think about this type of friendship, you'll simply wish you knew them four years ago and simply had more time to spend together.

Class of 2018, I truly wish you the most exhilarating senior year with amazing opportunities, friends, and family surrounding you. Take care of my parking spot.


A High School Alumna (Class of 2017)

Cover Image Credit: Juliana Cosenza

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15 Signs You Have Senioritis

Wondering if those last 3 months are realllyyy worth that degree

People always say, “College is the best 4 years of your life!” While college is a great time, it’s almost like having a baby and the baby is you. You get no sleep, you cry a lot, you depend on others to feed you, and you have no idea what you’re doing. So here are some telltale signs that you need a breather…or a 12-day nap.

1. People tell you how nice you look when you actually wear jeans instead of yoga pants.

2. You cancel your weekend plans just to catch up on all the sleep you’ve been missing during the week.

3. You say the words “I can’t wait to get out of here” at least once a day.

4. You have competitions to see whose dark circles under their eyes are the darkest.

5. Sleeping through the 20 alarms you set is a normal occurrence.

6.You calculate how many classes you can miss without failing before you even start on the homework assignments.

7. You constantly say, “I have so much to do!” and then proceed to binge watch Jane the Virgin on Netflix.

8. Apologizing to your teachers for forgetting to do your assignments has become part of your everyday routine.

9.You text people “are you going to class?” to see if you’re the only one who is slacking today.

10. People don’t recognize you when you actually wear makeup.

11.You wonder why you bought the book for class when you know you're not going to read it anyways.

12. You’re constantly running late…or as I like to call it, “making an entrance."

13. You forget how long it’s been since you showered.

14. You’re forced to do laundry because you ran out of all your yoga pants and t-shirts.

15.You start wondering if those last 3 months are realllyyy worth that degree...

Cover Image Credit: harrypotter.wikia.com

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How To: Prepare For Mid-Terms

It's the most stressful time of the year.

It's that time of the semester again. The tests are beginning to pile up, the homework is non stop, and you don't remember the last time you had a free second to yourself. Midterms are upon us once again. I have test after test after essay after project. The work seems never-ending. Here are tips on thriving, not just surviving.

1. Study

This one is first and obvious. if you want to do well you have to study. The best way to study in my opinion is to write things down. That is the easiest way to memorize key terms or just any simple facts that will be needed for a test.

2. Be organized

Have a planner, and write in it. This the only way I am ever sane during the school year. I look at my planner every day to see what I have to do for the day and weeks ahead. It is also nice to be organized as a whole. Keeping papers together in folders for each class and notes neat and organized will make studying for midterms even easier.

3. Do not procrastinate!

This is something I am definitely still working on. The best way to prevent procrastination when it comes to studying is to take it a little at a time. A week or so in advance of a test, starting studying. Maybe a couple key terms, or a chapter a day. Your memory will strengthen, and the night before review everything you have already covered. Instead of cramming it all in the day before, you will recall all the material quickly and accurately.

4. Sleep

Another thing that college students do not often make a priority. It seems that everyone focuses on drinking coffee and trying to stay up as late as humanly possible. It is not healthy, at all. Get some sleep. Even if you are studying up late at night to put as much information as possible into your head, it will affect your mood the morning after. If you wake up with a headache after getting little sleep, it might be hard to succeed on a test compared to a good night's sleep.

5. Take a break sometimes

After a long day of studying, a break can be needed. A simple 30 minute break can help refresh your mind to be prepared to study more. Personally I like to watch Netflix. Any shows like Friends or The Office really help me take a break and not think about school for 25 minutes. I also like food breaks. Eating is a great way to gain some energy while talking to friends, and not worrying about studying.

6. Don't forget to be positive!

While a lot of work all at once can cause stress, think on the bright side. With a negative attitude, the work will never get done, and the studying will never be as successful.

Cover Image Credit: User:K.lee

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