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How To Make Your Senior Year Work For You

It’s the start of your senior year and that means it’s time for thesis papers, grad school applications, job applications and so much more. To put it more simply, that means stress. 

The class before you preached about headaches and sleepless nights, crying and panicking; essentially, if what your “big” said was true, you’re completely and inevitably doomed for you senior year. Luckily for you, however, we have a layout of some senior year stressors and how you can maximize your resources in order to have a successful school year. 

Time Management 

During senior year, you will have people pulling you every which way. By now you’ve probably secured part-time internships and e-board positions in your favorite clubs. You’ve also reached your 400 level courses; to sum it all up, your life is just busy. The sad truth about senior year is, there is nothing you can do about the amount of work you have thrown at you. You should, however, learn how to manage that workload.

When looking to manage your time, we suggest three organizational keys: 

  1. A planner (essential)

  2. A thorough Google Calendar 

  3. A to-do list ranking tasks from most important to least important. 

Your planner will serve as your academic bible for this school year. Every deadline, event and task should be written down immediately in order to ensure that you never miss a beat. If done thoroughly, this should give you a step-by-step breakdown of when, where and how you need to complete the many demands you’ll face this year.

So grab your favorite planner and your cute colored pens and get to work!

A Google Calendar will serve as your map for the day. You should fill out each day from morning to sunset on where you need to be and what you need to get done during every hour of the day. Whether that’s wake-up, eating, club meetings, homework, conference calls, etc.

Put it all up there so your phone can tell you exactly where you need to be in order to never miss an important task or event. 

Prioritization is easily the most important part of senior year. People are going to try to overwhelm you with their stuff. It is your responsibility to know what is for you and what is not for you. Think about your goals upon graduation. The time for joining random organizations and having no direction has came and went. Now, you should  establish a definitive direction for your life. Think of your passions, what feeds your soul, and only pour your time and energy into those things. 

Make a list of everything you’re doing this year, as well as things you hope to do and be intentional about making clear what extracurricular you value most. 

Self- Care 

Senior year will be a failure if your physical and mental health is not A1. As college students, we often get into the habit of putting ourselves last and our tasks first. We want to succeed so bad and that is lovely. But you cannot pour out successful products if what your pour into yourself is not adequate. 

Exercise will be your best friend if internal soundness is what you seek. Exercise has been proven to alleviate stress and promote productivity. Once your year starts getting chaotic and your stress and frustration increases, working out can be an excellent way to let out some of that stress. 

A balanced diet is also very important. We’re all guilty of skipping a few meals a day in order to complete all our tasks in a day. This is a counterproductive mentality; without a sufficient amount of nutrients in your body, you will die out before the school year comes to an end and you will not be able to keep up with your daily demands. Packing a few snacks for class and meals for meetings will help you to work and fuel at the same time. 

Again, planning is absolutely fundamental. 

These are only a few tools that will help you, but collectively they will make your senior year more doable. Senior year is meant to be a beautiful time of transitions, success, achievements and FUN. 

Most importantly enjoy your last year in college! Don’t be the alumnus that regrets the things they didn’t do. 


Work hard and play just as hard!


Nia Saunders

Hampton U '20

Nia Saunders is a third year political science major on the pre-law track at Hampton University. Nia is from Niskayuna, NY and aspires to be a political writer following her matriculation at HU.
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