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Jul 25 2017
by Gauri Mangala

7 Tips to Keep in Mind for Your Senior Year of High School

By Gauri Mangala - Jul 25 2017

Firstly, congrats on the beginning of the end: The end of school bells, the end of 6 a.m. wake-up alarms and the (almost) end of high school. Being a senior will be rewarding and terrifying. Everything is new and confusing, but hopefully I can lessen your stress with a few tips I have picked up on my own journey.

1. Apply early to college.  

If continuing your education is your path, start your college applications before the summer ends. While the task may seem daunting, it gets easier after you start planning and writing out your application essays — I promise. Try to get your essays planned out or completed in the summer, and leave the more menial tasks for the first month of school. There are always those kids who wait until the day of the deadline to apply. My advice? Don't be that kid.

2. Take it easy.  

Only the first two marking periods will likely count towards your GPA. This means that your senior year grades, while important, are not going to dramatically raise your 3.0 to a 4.2. So go easy. Don't take that sixth AP class in hopes of boosting your grades. Senioritis is real, and it will sneak up on you. Take classes that will be a good transition into life after high school. Take subjects that genuinely interest you, rather than ones that you think colleges want you to take.

3. Show some school spirit.

I didn't start doing this until my junior year of high school. I thought that football games and spirit weeks were corny, but boy was I wrong. There is nothing more exhilarating than making the bleachers quake and breaking the sound barrier with your peers. Going to football games (while freezing your butt off) is a great bonding experience, especially if you are like me and do not understand anything about football. You will meet some people who are willing to explain it to you. Do spirit night. Yes, it is a time commitment. Yes, you are going to want to miss practices and go to bed. But you will be so grateful one day when you can look back at all of the memories you created with your friends.

4. Get used to letting go.

While I would like to promise that you will always be in touch with your high school sweetheart and your best friend since the third grade, it is just not realistic. As senior year goes on, some relationships will unravel. There will be drama. It is important that you understand that this is all a part of life and that the friends that are meant to be in your life will continue to be there. Some relationships are meant to stay in high school and some will have a life beyond the hallways. Don't let the drama get you down. You will meet new people. Life goes on after high school and so do friendships. 

5. Go to prom.

Now, hear me out. I didn't get the magical promposal and all that. I wasn't even asked to prom. Heck, my so-called friends didn't even invite me to go with them. Prom was the last thing I wanted to do. But then my best friend who had graduated a year earlier told me that it was my senior prom and that I would regret it if I didn't go. And she was right. So I bought a beautiful dress, took my best friend and had a ball dancing the night away with someone that I truly loved spending time with, rather than some random people who barely cared about what I had to say. So you may not get your perfect prom, but you might still have fun. And even if worst comes to worst, you definitely will not have any regrets.

6. Be safe and be smart.

High school is a place of opportunities, both good and bad. And while I could tell you that the only way to go is to say no to all the bad and be the model student that your parents want you to be, I'm not going to tell you that. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to try things that you probably shouldn't. That's what high school is. No one is perfect and we all are just trying to figure out who we are. All I ask is that you stay safe. Do NOT under ANY circumstances drink and drive. It is stupid and reckless, and it can potentially change your life and someone else's life forever. 

7. Enjoy your last year.

Like I said, life goes on after high school. It may not be all peaches and cream, and you may trip and stumble along the way. However, high school only comes around once and it is important to enjoy it while it lasts. 

And don't worry, everything is temporary and you will get through it.

I sure did:

Grace Marion

All the best.

Lead Image Credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash

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Gauri Mangala - Gettysburg College

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