It’s the final stretch of high school – and while it may seem like the perfect time to sit back and relax, it’s also a great time to take advantage of your final days at high school. From participating in events to talking things out with your S.O., here are the essential do’s and don’ts of your senior year!
1. Do get involved
After four years at the same school, you might be a little tired of the same old activities. But keep in mind that this is your last chance to get involved with everyone at your school! Take advantage of your last year and amp up the school spirit.
Toni Martini, a senior at Molloy College, really encourages getting involved with clubs and extracurricular activities. “Even if you’ve never been involved, this is a good year to meet new people and have new experiences,” she says. Just because you’ve been in the same place for the past few years doesn’t mean there are no opportunities to experience new things!
Even if you feel content with the friends you have and the amount you participate, consider attending another football game or go to the next school dance! While you might feel like you’re over the whole high school thing, remember that this is your last chance to contribute to the school spirit. Take advantage of the events and activities during your senior year and make the most of your last high school experiences.
2. Don’t slack off
A little senioritis is understandable, but just because it’s your final year doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put in any effort! Senior year is definitely a time for friends and fun, but keep in mind that academics still apply.
“A definite don’t is being completely unserious about schoolwork,” says Rachel Petty, a junior at James Madison University. “I didn’t try very hard in my classes senior year and I didn’t end up getting into a college that I wanted to. Grades are still important!”
While being a senior might mean you’re exempt from a couple things, it doesn’t mean you’re exempt from schoolwork! You can take time to make memories with your friends, but make sure that it’s not hindering your academics. Use a reward system when completing homework assignments (no Netflix until you’ve finished that essay!), make sure your work is done before heading out with friends and keep in mind that your report card still matters.
3. Do connect with teachers
The last thing you probably want to do with your final months of high school is spend time with your teachers – but trust us when we say it pays off! In college, you’ll learn that it’s important to foster relationships with teachers that are important to you – they’ll be there when you need guidance, a recommendation or even a job! Start the habit early by staying in touch with your high school teachers.
You don’t have to force a relationship with every teacher you have – but if you have a good connection with a favorite teacher, make sure you keep it going throughout the year so you can stay in touch after graduation. Hang back after class to chat, ask for advice when it comes to your future or write them a thank you note for their guidance over the years. Even the smallest steps now can help you immensely in the future!
4. Don’t wish yourself away to college
You’re probably dying to pack up the car with your Target haul and head off to college right away, but we recommend slowing it down. You’ll have years to make memories at college, so take the last time you have to cherish high school.
We understand that the transition from high school to college is an exciting one, but you’ll have plenty of time to focus on it once you’ve graduated. Stay in the present and make the most of the final stretch of your high school career. Ace your classes, connect with classmates and spend time with your high school friends while you have the chance. Stay focused on the present by attending local events, spending time with family and doing your favorite hometown pastimes.
5. Do be honest with your S.O.
With graduation (and possibly college) coming up within the next year, your senior year of high school can be a time of many changes – including changes in your relationship. No matter what you’re thinking of doing when it comes to your significant other, whether it’s stay together or take a break, you need to be honest with yourself and with him or her.
“My major regret of my high school senior year was staying with my boyfriend through senior year when I knew it was super toxic and had no chance of survival once we both entered freshman year of college,” says Donna Amore, a senior at the University of Scranton. “Don’t be scared of being super honest with your partner and your relationship status. If you think this isn’t going to last in college then it is most likely not going to.”
No matter what your thoughts on the future of your relationship are, you need to communicate with your S.O. In order to make the next year a smooth one, make sure you’re being honest with your partner!
6. Do spend time with friends
Since you might have a slight case of senioritis, it can be tempting to sit out when it comes to social activities. You may be looking forward to meeting the new friends you’ll be making at college, but that doesn’t mean you should completely forget about your high school pals!
Take this time to make memories with your high school friends. It’s hard to say when you’ll be seeing them again, so be sure to spend some quality time together before you part ways. Hit up your favorite hometown restaurants, take a road trip or even make a bucket list and check off all the activities you’ve been wanting to do over the years.
It’s the last year of your high school career, so make sure you make the best of it. You don’t want to graduate with regrets, so take advantage of the opportunities around you while you have the chance!