It's early August, and you have to start mentally preparing yourself for your final year of high school. Some of you are beyond excited to start your senior year, but that's only because you don't fully understand what it entails. And some of you claim that you're ready to get it over with, but we all know you're lying. Your senior year of high school will be a hurricane of emotions, stress, and indifference. The best thing you can do to prepare for it is take advice from someone who just finished going through it. So, here it is.
First of all, be aware of the amount of stress that you will probably have to endure-- that is, if you really care about your future after high school. In just a few weeks, you'll start off your senior year working on college applications. This will not be an easy phase of your year. I urge you to begin the Common Apptoday. A lot of colleges use the Common App, so if you're applying to a bunch of schools that use it, you only have to fill it out once and only write one personal statement. Some schools may require an extra piece of writing that is exclusively theirs, though. The2016-2017 essay prompts are already out, so get to it! If any of the schools that you're applying to aren't on the Common App, be sure to find out any important dates, such as when the application is available and any other deadlines.
That being said, please do not make the mistake of only focusing on one school. Sure, you may think that the University of Dreamtown is an exact match for you, but that doesn't mean that you should use all your energy on this school. I made this mistake while applying, and I didn't even get accepted into my dream school. And chances are that if I had gotten accepted, I wouldn't have gone there because of their insane tuition costs. Which reminds me: do your research! Don't just settle on a school because it's where all your friends are going or because it's in New York. Take time to look at the things that are important, like tuition. And don't forget to diversify your choices-- apply to a few public schools, a few small liberal arts schools, and so on. You'll definitely appreciate your hard work when you have a larger range of choices come May. And please, do not forget that you have a counselor who is ready to help you! If you take the time to sit down with your counselor, chances are that he or she can help ease the stressful college application process.
While you're in the midst of college application season, don't forget to go to homecoming. It's your last homecoming with your graduating class. Don't be the one person who doesn't go to dances because "it's not cool." Even if you can't dance, at least go for the free food and music.
And don't make the mistake of not participating in spirit weeks or school events. Go all out this year; you're not going to see most of these people ever again anyway, so you might as well have fun. I wore a Christmas sweater with working fairy lights built into it, and it was amazing. I kind of stopped caring my senior year, and I'm glad I did. It gave me something to look back on once I graduated. Oh, and don't forget to include your friends in any and all school events. This may come as a shocker to you, but you probably won't speak to like 90 percent of the people you graduate with after you get your diploma. My friends and I (the same group of people who coordinated our outfits to look like the SpongeBob crew during homecoming week) had a group chat going for a large part of high school, and within about a month-and-a-half, it was no longer in existence. It's a sad truth. Enjoy the time you have with your friends as long as you still have it.
The senioritis season will roll around after winter break. It will be second semester, and you're going to try to give up as much as you can. You may or may not do your homework, and if you decide to complete it, it will surely be the night before it's due. Well, do not fall into this trap. Don't do it. I fared well with my senioritis, but that doesn't mean you will. Not everyone can drive to school while running on two hours of sleep (unless you're me). Not everyone can afford to get an F on a test because you didn't want to do the essay portion. So, just do your work as you did at the end of your junior year, when you were still responsible. You'll thank yourself for it later.
Start saving up money, now. I'm not even kidding. If you work a part-time job right now, put away five dollars from each paycheck you get up until graduation time. Because of prom, senior trips, graduation, etc. the fees and payments will only continue to pile up until you're stuck under a pile of bills and receipts. And trust me when I say that you're going to want to make sure that your final school dance is lit. I'm talking glamorous dresses, model-status suits and tuxedos, party buses-- the whole shebang. Prom was one of my most memorable high school experiences, and that's because I did it right. All I can say is to make sure to make the experience yours, and enjoy every single part of it.
And finally, graduation season will come around. It happens so suddenly. One moment you're in your second-period Spanish class, sitting in your desk with your head down, and the next you're crossing that stage. You have to start saying goodbye to everyone that surrounded you for approximately four years of your life. You grew with these people, you disliked them at times, and you loved them at others. Thank your teachers and all staff members, because you'll miss them. Add everyone on Facebook to keep up with them, because you probably won't see many of them for a while. And be sure to clap for every single person who crosses that stage, because they deserve it.
Please listen to me when I tell you to make the most of your senior year of high school. Don't be one of those "I just wanna get it over with" types of people. Make all the memories you can, and make sure to stay focused and prepared. It should be one of the best experiences of your life-- one that is incomparable. No other experience will be just like your high school days. Believe me when I say that it will be over in the blink of an eye (figuratively, of course), and that you'll be glad you experienced it.