With back to school time officially here for thousands of high school students across the country I thought I would share some tips for getting through your senior year alive and accepted to college. For some reason there's been a rumor going around since the beginning of modern day high school as we know it that senior year is the easiest year of your life. Well whoever said that was wrong. It sucks. I'm sorry if I completely ruined your hopes for the year, but the sooner you realize that senior year is not a walk in the park, the easier it will get.
I'm going to break up these tips by quarter of the year: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th. The same way most report cards are broken up.
Surviving First Quarter
This is arguably the busiest time of senior year, with college tours, applications, getting to know new teachers that all want to "prepare you for a harder course load", on top of all your usual activities (work, sports, friends, volunteering) you're going to need a planner. This is my tip for almost any situation if you don't already know, but i'll get into why it's extremely important soon. Here is a list of everything you should do in your first quarter:
- The second you get back to school, if you didn't do it junior year, you need to ask at least two teachers or one teacher and an authority figure to write you recommendations. These are make or break for college apps and it's important that you ask early so it can be done by the deadlines.
- Start working on your admissions essay as soon as you can and have someone revise it ASAP.
- Visit any colleges that you are thinking about applying to so that you can meet earlier deadline requirements.
- USE (or get and use) a planner! Schedule everything: your homework, work hours, when you want to visit colleges, when your going to have time to work on essays, due dates for assignments, tests, blah blah blah you get my point.
- P.S ***Definitely just decided to do a separate post on using a planner.
If you want more tips on the college application process click here
Surviving Second Quarter
Second quarter is pretty mundane, and seems to go on forever. If you apply early action or early decision than you'll be hearing from schools starting in second quarter. It can be pretty nerve wracking and exciting when you're anticipating a decision (I was glued to my mailbox for months) My only tip for surviving this quarter is to stay calm letters will come eventually, but instead of focusing on your next acceptance (I'm being optimistic), try to enjoy your time as a senior!
If you didn't apply early action or decision then your applications are due this quarter. TIP: if you can, finish the application early on. Just because a school only accepts regular decision application doesn't mean you can't send it in early. Get them done as soon as possible so you can have some down time.
Surviving Third Quarter
If they haven't already your application decisions will be pouring in. The trick to getting through this time without going completely mad is to not anticipate when you'll be hearing from a school. If you get a difference or a rejection, don't worry! You may end up being accepted if you were deffered (it happened to me), and if you were denied, like I was by my dream school, then you'll end up where you belong. I couldn't imagine myself going anywhere else than where I am now, and it's all thanks to my rejection letter.
Surviving Fourth Quarter
So you've decided where you're going in the fall, all the excitement of acceptance letters has worn off and you trek through the days with mounds of homework waiting for graduation. The only thing thats going to get you throughout the time is by taking time off from school and anticipating graduation, and just enjoy hanging out with your friends. This should be a no-drama time. Your all leaving soon and you'll never have to see them again so why not just have fun? Go get burgers after school, take a trip to the city, or do something together as a group. My group of friends decided that we wanted to be like the sisterhood of the traveling pants, but not with pants. We made a scrapbook off all our super embarrassing, hilarious and nice pictures from high school, funny memories and our hopes for the summer. Spend this time building memories and the time will fly by.
Senior year can be a blast if you make it that way!
Good Luck Seniors