Dear high school senior,
YOU MADE IT! Congratulations. This truly is the beginning of the end. For me, senior year was the end of an era, the end of 13 years at the same school, and the end of my goals and dreams I always had for high school. It is so tempting to waste away each class and moment in just wanting to graduate. But senior year is such a unique time in one’s high school experience. EMBRACE IT! To have a “successful” senior year, push yourself outside of your comfort zone, say yes to things you would normally say no to, make new friends, talk to underclassmen, engage in class, enjoy one another instead of wasting away moments that you could have with people you may never see again in a year. Each aspect is so important in looking back once you have graduated. But how does one have the BEST senior year in my opinion? Here are some things to think about before going into senior year. In my experience, these were all choices that I made that I do not regret one bit, or choices that I wish I had made to make my year even better.
So without further ado,
Be Present-step up and be a leader, organize fun events with authentic and real friends, don’t waste away this time wishing it was over, because it is so fun!!
Be friends with your teachers – since you are now a senior, your teachers see you as the 18 year old that you are. This is the bridge between college and high school, so go hang out with them occasionally, they are great people with wisdom and stories to tell.
Document– take pictures!! I am so glad I made the effort to take pictures at most events during my senior year. Being intentional about documenting my senior year events makes me so happy and nostalgic looking back at them now.
Don’t stress about college stuff (too much)– you have plenty of time to figure everything out, just do not procrastinate applying for scholarships and visiting different schools. Start your research early, but don’t stress about it. Everything will work out.
Pick a life word for the year and stick with it– my word for 2015 is brave. Because it is my year of bravery, I have pushed myself more this year than I ever have before, and I would not have it any other way. Maybe be a little more present this year, or challenge yourself to be bold, or maybe think about how you can incorporate integrity into your life. Choose a word that acts like a goal and in the end will help you grow.
Find someone younger than you to pour into, the same age as you to mutually pour into each other, and someone older than you who pours into you– underclassmen are some of my favorite people. Aim to be intentional about having one on one time with a couple of them and offer any wisdom that you have gained from high school. Again, make new friends who are in your grade. Choose people who you can pour into and who pour into you. Finally, find a mentor who can guide you along the college process, big changes that are coming up, and just senior year in general.
Go see concerts– some of my favorite memories from high school are being in the front row of concerts watching my favorite bands and artists. Get some friends together, spend the extra money, and see your favorite artists. So. Worth. It.
Set a goal and work hard for it– for me, this was All State Honor Choir. I put aside time everyday for my audition, and because I worked hard for it, I got in. Not to say that this happens with every single thing, but in most cases, if you work hard for something, you will achieve it. Put more effort into memorizing lines for a musical, if you want an A on your huge paper, do not procrastinate it. Find something that you want to achieve and put aside time daily to get closer to your goal.
Go all out for spirit week– it is your last chance to really go all out each day during homecoming week. (Plus you will never see most of these people again in less than a year, so who cares!)
Go to events and actually have school spirit– dances, sporting events, lock-ins, campaigns. I am so glad I made the effort to go to lots of events my senior year. I am beyond thankful for all of the memories from each of them.
Push yourself to learn about and understand what you believe and why you believe it (politically and spiritually)– these are two both important aspects to know going into college. I encourage you to challenge your other classmates in discussion over these matters so you can discover where you stand
Be single!– senior year is not a great time to date anyway, enjoy this time in your life to be single and independent from anyone. You will have plenty of time in the future to date, have a boyfriend/girlfriend, and be married. Enjoy this season of your life without the extra time spent on a relationship.
Engage in your classes– senior year is full of so much learning to do in each class, and you will grow if you allow yourself to. Do your reading and come to class with notes and ideas you want to talk about, ask questions, get some good learning done!
Hang out with your family– In just 12 short months, you will most likely not live with them anymore. Hang out with them occasionally, especially your parents.
Cling onto the knowledge that God has your future and that you do not need to worry or stress too much, He will grow you in immeasurable ways this year if you let Him. Just say YES to Him and He will guide your steps.
Good luck! Great things are in store for you this year.
~High School Graduate