Lessons I've Learned During My Senior Year Of High School
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Lessons I've Learned During My Senior Year Of High School

Confessions of a Teenage Procrastinator

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Lessons I've Learned During My Senior Year Of High School

I think people learn best from their personal experiences, after making mistakes, falling, failing, getting a few bruises here and there - at least that’s how it is for me. I was careless, lazy and a little confused, but after going through the unpleasant experience of senior year in high school, I know my do's and don’t's for college. I’ve tried, messed up, and plan on trying again in better form. But what if you were lucky enough to get it all right the first time? Save yourself from the packs of Band-Aids you will otherwise end up buying and read this article to have a smooth-sailing senior year. (This advice isn’t limited to just prospective seniors, but can be useful for anybody who is studying!)


Procrastination. It’s like that girl or guy you can’t help falling for, but regret getting involved with every single time. The problem with procrastination is that it doesn't seem like that big of a deal when you are doing it. You will think, What harm would one episode of "Breaking Bad" do? I'll do my homework right after it's over. The truth is that you will end up on your laptop for an hour and a half and will have absolutely nothing done except having gone through every possible picture of that girl you’re stalking on Instagram. If you continue to waste time and start your work at night, you face the risk of getting sleepy and not getting anything done at all. So it's better to just start doing your homework as soon as you get home - no matter how tired you are or how much you think you deserve a break.

They key to this is self-discipline and determination. It gets really tempting to just come home and fall on your couch and do something relaxing after a whole day of class, BUT if you just push yourself a little bit more when you get home, then you'll save yourself A LOT of trouble. After you’re done, reward yourself with whatever you want - it’ll feel 10 times better.

This is my experience with procrastination in a nutshell (and maybe you can relate): I have, countless times, come home from school and thought I really needed a break before studying and have ended up doing nothing productive for hours. This would then lead me to start my homework at night and finish it at odd hours. Because I would be sleepy, the work would take longer for me to finish and it would be a torture just to try and stay awake - drinking coffee, walking back and forth, splashing water on my face….crying. I would often be sleep deprived and then come home from school the next day tired again, treating myself to what I thought was a “well-deserved” break. In many cases, I was just not able to finish my homework or prepare for a test, and so I would skip school and then miss that day's work - making me fall further behind. So the vicious cycle would continue.

SO yes, a little 10 minute video or a "short" visit to Facebook will make your life miserable IF you do not have the self-control and discipline to tell yourself to just stop. Sadly, most of us teenagers don't have that kind of attitude and that is why it's just better to avoid these distractions until you're done with everything.

Also, never compromise on sleep. This is so hypocritical of me because I NEVER get enough sleep, but I know how important it is. Sleep deprivation has some serious effects on your body and it makes you unable to concentrate or perform at your full potential. Not only does lack of sleep affect you study-wise, but it really takes a toll on the way you look.

When I get my good 8-9 hours of sleep for a couple days straight, my skin clears up. And the day I don’t get my sleep, voila – there’s a pimple to greet me, Good morning. Oh, and don’t forget about the eye bags and dark circles. If you’re a girl and you’re okay with using concealer, you have a quick-fix, but if you’re a girl who wants to be make-up free (or a guy), then you’re stuck looking like a raccoon. Other than getting good rest, always load up on water to keep you fresh and active and make time to exercise - even if it’s for 10 minutes. These habits will keep you fresh, active, more alert, and better at processing information.

Since we are talking about your senior year, there's a whole lot more than just school work that you need to get done. I know I told myself in the middle of junior year that I would get everything prepared during the summer so my senior year would be easy, but who really wants to work during summer? No one. And so I didn't end up doing anything at all.

To have a timely college application process:

  • Just put in 20 minutes every day to prepare for your SAT/ACT if you plan on taking it in 12th grade, or use that time to research colleges and majors.
  • If you're unsure of what you want to major in, take some online quizzes to help you determine where your heart lies.
  • Talk to your parents about how much they would be willing to pay for tuition and what states they have in mind for you to go to.
  • Start gathering your certificates and awards: make a list of your accomplishments and extracurricular activities. Think about what positive quality or strength you have that makes you different from your peers and can attract the admissions departments at the colleges to which you’ll apply.
  • Pick a few teachers whose classes you do well in and have good relations with, and request they write your recommendation letters.

All these little things will add up and make your senior year really easy. The key to getting through college applications with ease is to plan ahead and follow the tips I gave for getting through schoolwork. And if you make use of your 2-month summer (unlike I did), a time where you won't have the pressure of finishing school work, I guarantee that your senior year will be smooth.


Maybe you’re like me and written advice coming from a stranger isn’t the best way to get you on track, but honestly, I’m just like any other teenager and probably have the same habits as you. And of course, all these things are easier said than done, but it's important to keep in mind your goals and the rewards that come with reaching them, and control your urges to get off track. If you try and follow this advice, you will: save yourself from a lot of stress, be healthier, feel accomplished, and be happy. And who doesn't want that?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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