5 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Your Second Semester of Senior Year

As a second semester senior in high school, there is no word you love to hear more than “graduation.” After four years of the same teachers, same friends and same daily routines, you’re ready to escape your small town and embark on the adventure that is college.

While your excitement is expected and definitely encouraged, it is important to make sure that you’re not constantly dreaming about next fall. After all, the last few months of senior year have the potential to hold some of your favorite high school memories. To help you make the most of your senior year, we’ve talked to some real collegiettes about the ways you can live in the present during your second semester:

1. Stop thinking about the “lasts”

For many pre-collegiettes, this can be a hard habit to break. After all, senior year is centered around lasts—your last home game with your team, your last spring break with the girls, and your last prom dress. However, if you spend all your time getting caught up in these ideas, you might miss out on the memories that are unfolding right in front of you.

“My advice would be to stop thinking about the ‘lasts’,” says Kayla Lewkowicz, a recent graduate of Colby College. “I remember being in tears at my senior night and one of my teammates said ‘don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.’ While it [may sound] super cheesy, college is so much more fun than high school—so don't focus on the ‘lasts’ and just enjoy it for what it is.”

Focus on making each moment with your friends, teammates, and family as special as you can. That way, when college comes around, you’ll have plenty of fun memories to reflect on as you prepare for a new chapter in your life.

2. Make time for your friends

One of the hardest parts of transitioning from high school to college is parting ways with your BFFs. After all, many of them have been by your side for as long as you can remember and the thought of starting a new school year without them seems crazy. In between final exams and planning for graduation, it can be hard to make time exclusively for each other. However, doing so can be a great way to clear your mind during this busy time.

“I'd recommend spending a lot of time with friends and doing something fun like going to the beach for a long weekend,” says Rachel Petty, a junior at James Madison University. “The memories you create will be awesome before you head off to college.”

Making extra time for your friends is especially important, especially if one of you is moving to an out-of-state school this fall, as it will be harder to visit each other or meet up on the weekends. However, putting in the extra effort now and having a solid foundation will make things even easier when you become long-distance BFFs.

Related: 4 Tips For Surviving Second Semester of Senior Year

3. Make time for your peers

With college on the horizon, it can be easy to get caught up in your group of BFFs. However, it's important to remember to make time for the other people that you know you may not be seeing after you leave your hometown.

"I recommend high school students enjoy people they might not see after [graduation]," says Alaina Leary, a graduate student at Emerson College. "It's common to stay in touch with close friends, for example, but [you] likely won't see teachers or classmates who were more like acquaintances. Those are the people you want to make sure to say goodbye to and talk to while you have time."

Your favorite coach that's mentored you since middle school? Your lab partners that tutored you through chemistry? Be sure to make the most of your time with them before you say goodbye, too.

4. Celebrate being a senior

After three long years of suffering as an underclassman, you're finally at the top during your senior year. To make the most out of your last few months in high school, embrace as many of the senior privileges as you can—even if it just means having a better parking spot or getting to leave one period early.

"I think it’s really important to try to remain present during your last semester of high school," says Jamie Kravitz, a junior at Emerson College. "Take advantage of the special activities your high school has for seniors, like spirit days and senior prom. You’re only a high school senior once, so make the most of it!"

After all, it's only a few more months until you're known as a freshman all over again.

5. Take time to appreciate home

While many of us have a love-hate relationship with our hometown, it can become one of the first things you miss after you leave for school. Whether it’s your favorite pizza place, hiking trail, or road to drive on, take the time to appreciate the little things that make your home special.

“[I did] everything I could to appreciate that town while it lasted,” says Chelsea Schroeder, a freshman at Bowling Green State University. “I pushed graduation and all of those impending deadlines to the side, and did things like took an unforgettable night drive with my friends, held a dance party, traveled on small road trips and stayed up all night really bonding, laughing, and crying with the ones I loved most.”

While the idea of a brand new school and friend group is exciting, it’s normal to feel at least a little homesick once you arrive on campus. Make the most of the little moments with your friends, family, and hometown now, that way you’ll have plenty of memories to reflect on when you leave in the fall.

While senioritis is inevitable, keeping your mind focused on the present is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your last semester in high school. Not to mention, the days will go a lot faster when you’re living in the moment rather than staring at the clock. Carpe diem, pre-collegiettes, and best of luck this fall!