Senior year can be hard, especially if your senioritis has set in. It’s difficult to focus in class, homework seems so unimportant, and all you want to do is spend time with friends. Plus, college is so close that you just want to pack up the car and get there already. But, your final year of high school is important, so it’s essential to stay focused and involved. Here are some tips to finish strong, even if you’re ~so~ over high school.
1. Keep up the hard work that got you here
You’ve worked too hard for over three years to let things go now. Keep your head up and your planner updated! Stay on top of assignments and tests to keep your grades up ––remember: your future college can still revoke your admission if you let your grades go too much.
Jessica Albano*, a collegiette who graduated from high school in 2011, says she and her classmates suffered from serious senioritis. “I was an AP/honor student in high school, which basically means I had the same 30 kids in all of my classes,” Jessica says. “Collectively, we developed senioritis and caused a bit of havoc. We switched dates of exams and papers to extend our procrastination time because if 30 kids said the date was different than the one the teacher said, how could she/he possibly think we all made a mistake? We also would decide on food party days and just have potlucks and bring in movies to class and surprise the teacher.”
Some of Jessica’s friends even stopped doing homework and taking exams. “One of my friends told me that her physics class always curved all their exams,” she says. “For the final exam, the seniors showed up, wrote their names on the papers and handed them in blank knowing they’d still pass.” This is the epitome of senioritis.
2. Make the most of your time with your family
Sure, you’ve been waiting 18 years to get out of your town, your house and away from your family. However, once you move away next fall, you’re going to miss having your family right there at all times. You’ll miss having your mom do your laundry or your dad killing spiders or your siblings bugging you to no end. Plan a family movie or game night every couple of weeks and make the most of the time you have left with your family under the same roof.
Shannon Nolan, a 2014 graduate of Tinley Park High School, missed her mom while at school and wishes she had spent more time with her when she lived at home. Now, she visits home whenever she can just to get some mother-daughter time in. “I ditched a home game one weekend to have dinner and a wine night with my mom,” she says. “As much as I’ll miss football games, I’ll miss nights in my jammies with her even more.” Sometimes, family has to come first!
3. Knock things off of your high school bucket list
Is there a club you’ve always wanted to join at your high school? Is there a store in your hometown that you’ve been dying to shop in? Is there a fancy restaurant downtown that’s gotten amazing reviews? Join the club! Go shopping at the store with your sister! Hit up the restaurant with your besties! These places won’t be within reach once you leave for school, so take advantage of the opportunities you have to try new things right now.
Shannon’s hometown is home to a major concert venue, and she never took advantage of it. “I’ve lived next to a concert venue for 21 years and have never snuck into a show,” Shannon says. “Rascal Flatts, I’m coming for you!” Now, she has plans to take control.
4. Take advantage of your comfortable bed – and time to sleep!
Dorm beds aren’t the comfiest (to say the least), and college schedules don’t always allow a lot of time for sleep. While you can, take advantage of your bed at home and sleep as much as you can ––all-nighters and lumpy dorm mattresses aren’t that far off.
Audrey Wood, a 2014 graduate of Waukee High School, remembers getting very sentimental during her last couple of weeks at home before her freshman year of college. “I just kept thinking, ‘What if this is the last time to go to THIS McDonald’s? What if this is the last time I drive my car?'” she says. “I knew I was going to miss those things when I left.” Taking advantage of homely comforts goes beyond your boxspring. While at school you’ll miss your mom’s home cooking, watching sports with your dad on the weekend and sharing clothes with your sister.
5. Spend plenty of time with your friends
Chances are, you aren’t going to the same school as all of your friends. Spend as much time with your friends as you can. You’ll miss grabbing coffee or lunch with them on weekends or breaks. In college, you’ll have to get used to relying on texting or FaceTime dates to communicate with them. Soak up all of them that you can!
Though you’ll meet new friends in college, it’s important to maintain the high school and home friendships you value. You can keep these friendships alive with effort, so be sure to talk about these things with your friends during your senior year. Whether you plan trips to visit one another, FaceTime dates or “open when” letters, enjoy your bestie time and make the most of it that you can!
6. Plan for your freshman year of college!
While it may be hard to get through the rest of high school, it only means that you’re excited for what comes next! Keep pinning to your “College Life” Pinterest board and chat with your roommate if you can. Freshman year is crazy and emotional and something totally new, but it’s also an exciting time. So, keep looking forward to it and planning it!
If you can, try reaching out to your roommate or other future classmates. Your college probably has a designated Facebook page for incoming freshman for students to use to mingle. It will be fun to talk with other high school seniors who will be attending the same college as you about your excitement and worries about the upcoming year. More than likely they share your same feelings. Plus, it will be fun to get to know other students before you actually move to campus!
You may be so totally over high school, but don’t be too quick to move on. Eighteen years of your life were spent with your family and friends by your side ––you have a lot to owe to these places and people. While college is exciting and something to definitely look forward to, don’t forget where you’re coming from and what you have right now.
*Names have been changed.