Student Life

Savoring the Rest of Your Senior Year

Madison Sheldrake

January 21, 2016

Savoring the Rest of Your Senior Year
Everything you have ever done in your life has lead up to these final few months as you transition from a teenager into an adult.
<i>“I cannot wait for senior year.” For years, this is all we’ve all been saying to, and hearing from, our classmates. Now that my senior year is underway, I’m finding that it is flying by really fast. In the blink of an eye, the excitement of beginning a new school year, college applications, and finals have passed. Poof! I’m already half way through!
One of the most common themes in movies about high school are the highly anticipated aspects of senior year. Prom. Graduation. College admissions. Everything you have ever done in your life has lead up to these final few months as you transition from a teenager into an adult. Something that has been on my mind a lot recently is the finality of it all. I know that most of my friends can’t wait to “leave the nest” as it is often said. I know that I’m excited to go off to college too; it’s a big adventure and I know it’s going to be some of the best years of my life. However, I cannot help but feel I’m not quite ready yet. A goal that I have set for myself as I prepare to tackle the final semester of my high school career has been to make the most of my senior year. It’s a broad goal I know, but I don’t want senioritis to get the best of me (although, sometimes I think it’s the monster that hides under my bed).
I find that writing things down is the best way for me to remember my goals and actively think about them as I go throughout my day. That way when things get super busy, I can look at the list I have made. It helps me remember what the light is at the end of the tunnel which I am trying so hard to work towards. The most shocking thing I have realized about senior year is that it is not the “blow off” year that I have heard so many others label it as. The assignments still take a lot of time and effort in order to do well on them, and it’s still really easy to lose focus and fall behind. However, this list has been vital to keeping up my motivation and remembering my goals for getting the most out of my senior year. Hopefully, it can help you with yours as well.
• Always remember to be kind to teachers.
They’re people too, and the nicer you are to them, the more likely they will be there to help you when you need it. It has been my experience that teachers can be really awesome and make a boring class surprisingly exciting as long as you try your best to stay positive and participate in class.
• Avoid time consuming distractions.
We all want to stay caught up with the latest trends, watch the latest videos, and keep in touch with friends. Seriously: how easy is it to log on to social media and suddenly realize it’s been two hours and all you’ve done is watch cat videos and create memes? It’s happened to me a few more times than I’d like to admit. Try and limit your social media binges to times where you don’t have a lot of time to spare, but can still keep up with the latest feeds.
• Keep a planner and note important deadlines.
Senior year is filled with important meetings and deadlines, especially when it comes to learning about and applying to colleges. Important scholarships will also have deadlines that tend to creep up on you. Stay one step ahead by having an updated planner and checking it regularly.
• Make time for friends (and memories).
While academics should always be your top priority, also make time to spend with your friends. In my opinion, one of the most important things about high school is establishing friendships that will last for the rest of our lives. I don’t mean partying all weekend every weekend, but the social and communication skills we build now will benefit us in future careers and responsibilities. The time is now to find some of the people you know you can count on.
• Take it one day at a time.
It’s hard not to have a constant countdown. Some classmates have already started a graduation countdown. How can we enjoy the present when all we are doing is focusing on the future? Preparing is important, but it is easy to get too overwhelmed when you try to process everything you need to do before graduation. (Trust me on this one.) The best thing which helps me keep down the stress and anxiety is to focus on today. What do I need to do to finish my assignments today and prepare for tomorrow? Is there anything major next week that I need to start prepping for now? This kind of thinking helps me to stay focused and remember the smaller details.
• Stay involved.
Senioritis is coming. It is so easy to want to slack off a little bit here and there, especially once your college acceptance letters start flying in. Some of my recent experiences have taught me that once you start letting a few things slide, everything starts to crumble. Staying involved, whether in an extracurricular activity, a part-time job, a sport, or a hobby helps to keep your focus aimed in the right direction.
• Find a new hobby or develop a new skill to take with you to college.
Although senior year is not a walk in the park, I am finding I have a little bit more time on my hands to devote to other aspects of my life. If you find you are in the same boat, I would suggest finding something that you have always wanted to try for the first time or a skill you’d like to improve upon. Learning skills and taking up hobbies like cooking, drawing, sewing, writing, or trying a new instrument, can lead to new passions in your life. Some even be really useful in college!
• Take lots of pictures and keep a journal.
Your senior year is the year of high school that’s filled with many important memories. With the technology we have today, it is so easy to take pictures to celebrate important memories and events. This is the year that your kids will ask you to tell them about when they ask you what you were like in high school. Even before that day comes, having a journal to read back through on your high school days can bring back memories and demonstrate how much you have matured over the years.
• Never forget your family.
Your family consists of the people who love you the most and have been there for you day in and day out. Spending time with them now, before you head off to college to build your life as an adult, will make a huge difference to you and to them.
• Keep an open mind.
Remember, the world is yours to take.

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