First and foremost, congratulations! You survived your junior year! That deserves a big congratulations because I know junior year is no joke. Now, you’re getting ready to take on one of the best academic years of your life. Personally, I was a student that was ready for graduation before my first day of high school. I didn’t attend anything beyond what was required for the first three years, but when senior year came around, I wanted to be more present. And I was. I attended more games, finally went to homecoming, and made a plethora of memories. The best decision I made that year was to stop and smell the roses. Freshman year of college is a blast, but your last year at Noble Schools will be a time you treasure. I know that it’s hard to balance priorities and stay focused during senior year, but I can tell you that staying present and focused is extremely important.
I’m sure you’re already thinking of how you want to end it – attending prom, partying on grad night, celebrating eighteenth birthdays, and, of course, walking down the stage at graduation. However, while those things are exciting and an essential part of your senior experience, it’s the work you put in the months prior that will be most important. So, I came up with four focal points to help you not only maximize your senior year but also enjoy it to its fullest:
- Scholarships are not a waste of time. I know that a lot of other students apply, which can be discouraging, but you owe it to yourself to take advantage of the opportunity. Submitting a quality application is more important than just putting one in. Put Your best foot forth. There is no reason to go into debt with so much free money available.
- Your grades still matter. I know that when you see the finish line, it’s easy to want to drop from a run to a slow jog, but it’s best to go into turbo. It’s best to remain in active pursuit of your goals regardless of how far you’ve come. I know it’s often said that colleges don’t look at senior year, but your final GPA can matter for scholarships and other college opportunities.
- Building up your self-autonomy and acting on it is key. Figure out your goals and GET IT DONE. Do not procrastinate. I know that’s something that’s easier said than done, but it’s possible if you figure out what works for you. Something that helped me a lot in terms of self-autonomy was to write a letter to my future self and work backwards. Once I had a clear end goal, it was easier to put in place steps that can help me achieve it. If you need help creating the steps, ask a friend or someone you trust. In regards to procrastination, I used a similar strategy. I would write down my assignments in order of which required the most time to the least – this helped me prioritize. Write those scholarship prompts, call the school of your choice often, do your FAFSA, research your major, etc. You have to take charge this year. If you want for everything to go as planned, you have to work with the plan. Make checking your email and student account second nature. You want to be as proactive as possible.
- LIVE! Go to the pep rallies, games, theater shows, and other school events. Go to homecoming, even if it’s not your thing. Participate in roll calls and embrace every moment. Remember, there is no rush. Prom is coming so enjoy the planning experience, enjoy your classmates, and enjoy the teachers you have grown to love. One thing you can’t do is go back, but you can make sure you are appreciating the moment while you’re in it – Every. Single. Moment.
From one alumnus to a soon-to-be another, CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you!