Admit it, we’ve all seen the classic '80s high school movies: These high schoolers, whose lives have been completely and utterly cookie-cutter up to that point, have their lives completely changed through a magical kiss from their longtime crush, an unexpected heart-to-heart with a group of total strangers or even an elaborate makeover that makes the entire school recognize their inner and outer beauty (yeah, I’m looking at you, She’s All That). They’re classics for a reason, especially among those who are the same age as the protagonists.
We like to imagine ourselves in those characters’ shoes, finding true love and meaning before heading off into the great unknown, otherwise known as “college.” However, by developing this idealized vision of our final year of high school, we often become disappointed when we find that hardly anyone your age has the money to give you a complete makeover and Saturday detentions very rarely result in a new posse of misfit friends. Here are 10 much easier ways to ensure your senior year is one for the books.
1. Fully commit to being a crazy sports fan.
Most high schools have that one sport that the whole school goes crazy over. Even if this hasn’t been your scene up until this point and you have no idea what a running back is (I still don’t), the feeling of screaming at the top of your lungs with your friends and actually being encouraged to do so is unlike anything you will experience again. Plus, there’s definitely at least one 24-hour fast food place in your town that you can go to afterwards. Which brings me to my next point ...
2. Get milkshakes at one in the morning.
Absolutely nothing beats sharing a few sugary treats with a few of your closest friends in the middle of the night. Secrets are spilled, laughs are had and worries are forgotten. (I’m so poetic, wow.) The specific timing of this suggestion is up for interpretation, but you get the point.
3. Have a spontaneous picnic.
Be honest with yourself, when was the last time you had a proper picnic? And I’m not talking about eating a dozen donuts in a parked car while killing some time after an AP exam. (Not that I would know anything about that.) Gather a few friends, a blanket and some of your favorite snack foods and have a mini feast in one of your local parks. It’ll remind you of when you were younger and didn’t even know what a college application was.
4. Audition for a show at your school.
OK, I may be a bit biased with this one considering I’m studying theatre, but trust me when I say that I have spoken to so many adults who have told me that their biggest regret from high school was not trying out for any shows. The stakes will never be as low as they are in a high school theatre show, so there is absolutely nothing to lose. Plus, you may end up finding out that you really love it! I mean, come on, the worst that could happen at the audition is they say no.
5. Have conversations with your teachers outside of class.
Plot twist: Teachers are people too. Your teachers are often really interesting people and investing into a real conversation with them could give you a whole new prospective on the faculty at your school. Plus, getting to know them will definitely make you feel more confident going into college, where you’ll need to know how to communicate with intimidating professors.
6. Go thrift shopping with a group of people.
Shopping with a tight-knit group of friends can already be a lot of fun, but in regular department stores, it seems like there is so little variety and so many stressed-out shopping assistants. Thrift stores give you the opportunity to try on the most interesting styles of clothes in basically every size imaginable. You and your friends could even start challenging one another to find the craziest combination of clothes, which always ends in a lot of laughing and plenty of embarrassing pictures. Also, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of buying a pair of jeans for $3.
7. Go out of your way to support people at your other local high schools.
This can mean anything from plays to orchestra concerts to art shows and anything in between. It will mean the world to your fellow students and will give you a great opportunity to bond with the people in your area. If you’re in an area that only has one high school, make plans to support your classmates in projects that they take part in outside of school, like community theatre productions or even pottery shows. As the wise Troy Bolton once said, “We’re all in this together.”
8. Dye your hair a bold color.
This is something that you can very easily do on your own (but having a friend dye your hair is a whole other adventure). Although college is definitely a time to begin experimenting with your look, certain internships that you may want to pursue will find a head of neon blue hair unprofessional. High school provides the perfect opportunity to change your look with minimal consequences. Sometimes, you just have to go out with a bang (pun intended).
9. Find something new to do within your hometown.
We often get into this mindset that the place we’ve grown up in is automatically the most boring place on earth. However, this doesn’t absolutely have to be true. Try finding a new hangout for days when you want to be by yourself or take a free class at your local gym. There can be a lot to do once you open your mind to something new.
And finally ...
10. Live in every single moment.
This is super cheesy and I’m sure each of you is sick and tired of hearing this, but your senior year will absolutely fly by. Before you know it, you’ll be walking across that stage to get your diploma and heading off to the next stage of your life. You will never be this young again, so enjoy it.
Here’s to a year full of late nights, laughs and adventures! Best of luck, you beautiful stars.
Lead Image Credit: Pixabay