Senior year is insanely busy. There are so many things you have to do: schoolwork, college applications, finding scholarships. At the same time, you want to have time to relax, hang out with friends, and make some amazing memories of your last year. On top of that, many students juggle sports, clubs, or part-time jobs. It's enough to make anyone go crazy with stress.
So how do you make time for all of it? While it's undoubtedly going to be a hectic year no matter what you do, here are a few tips I've used that have made my year a little less stressful.
1. Use a planner
As I've gone into senior year, my planner has been my best friend. I have Cross Country practice every day after school, and by the time I get home I am way too tired to remember which classes I have homework for. A planner is an easy tool to help me remember everything I have to do. It can also help you figure out how much time you need for each assignment so you can budget your time and make sure everything gets done.
2. Set aside a specific time each week for college applications, your scholarship search, etc.
With all the busyness of senior year, it's easy for things like college and scholarship applications to get pushed to the side in favor of projects with more immediate deadlines. Don't let this happen to you! I've found that if I set aside one hour twice a week, I am able to stay on top of my college applications and scholarship search while still keeping up with my homework.
3. Start projects early
I know, I know, no high school student wants to hear that they should do extra work. But trust me, if you get projects started before they're due, you will be less stressed and your work will be better quality. If you wait until the last minute, your work will be sloppy and rushed and you will be really stressed trying to finish it all in time. Save yourself the trouble and get a head start whenever possible.
4. Set aside one day a week for relaxation and spending time with friends/family
Before I started the IB Diploma Program during my junior year, I was given this advice by a friend who had just graduated from the program, and it has helped me manage my stress ever since. When you have so much work to do for school and college apps, it's easy to get caught up worrying about everything you have to do and forget to make time to relax. If you set aside one day a week where you don't worry about school, it can help you keep a good balance in your life. It works best if this is a weekend day. For me, it's Friday - once school is over, I don't have to think about schoolwork for the rest of the day and I can go out with friends or have a night to stay home, watch Netflix, and decompress. Even one day of relaxation a week can keep you from becoming overwhelmed by stress.