by Emily Caruso
1. Choose classes carefully
Fill your senior year with classes that fit your individual interests. Only take AP classes if they interest you and you know that you can do well in them all while still challenging yourself. Colleges receive a copy of your senior year schedule, and the last thing they want to see is that you’re spending tax dollars on blow off courses.
2.Yes, grades still matter
Don’t flunk out. It’s an urban legend that once you’re accepted into college that your grades don’t matter. Once you’re accepted, colleges want you to maintain your GPA until graduation. Meaning it does not need raised or lowered but kept at the same point it was when you were accepted, so basically keep doing what you’re doing. Once you’ve graduated the school sends your final transcripts to your college for them to see and to confirm your admission. So yes, grades do still matter.
3. Clear your schedule; you’re going to be busy
Between college applications, applying for housing and scholarships, and searching for a roommate, its hard to find room to breathe. Don’t expect senior year to be a walk in the park, because in reality it’s deadline after deadline–and if you miss those deadlines, colleges will not take your excuses. Keep track of everything that’s due by keeping a planner or marking your calendar!
4. The early bird catches the worm
If at all possible, do everything as soon as you can. Avoid waiting till the last minute. I sent in my applications into schools by the beginning of October and heard back in about a month, while the majority of seniors waited till late November/early December and freaked out because of how last-minute they were. Avoid the freak out and beat the rush by applying early.
5. Get involved
As cliché as it sounds, getting involved can make your senior year much better. Go to everything: basketball games, football games, the homecoming, the prom, do it all! On top of all of that, join everything that you’ve ever wanted to do throughout high school but didn’t because you were too lazy or thought you weren’t good enough. No one wants to look back through old photos 10 years down the line and realize that there was nothing memorable enough to photograph all four years of high school. So get involved because this is your last year to make it count. Take a risk.
6. Keep your friends close
Just because you think that next year holds bigger things doesn’t mean that you should neglect your friends. Cherish your time with them because before you know it, the people who you’ve know since you were in kindergarten will be gone.
7. Shake off the haters
Forget the people who don’t like you. In a year you’ll be gone and so will they. Don’t dwell on the people who don’t like you because it’s only going to hold you back. Simply ignore them because they aren’t worth your time.
8. Make amends
Remember that one girl that you used to be best friends with but haven’t spoken to in years? Give her a call. There’s nothing more rewarding than reconnecting before everyone goes their separate ways. It’s always a good idea to end high school on a positive note.
9. It’s ok to not know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life
We’re eighteen years old; we can barely decide what we want to order at a restaurant, let alone pick a career for the rest of our lives. It’s ok to be indecisive. You can always switch majors in college. Just keep in mind that you need to switch majors by your sophomore year in college to graduate in four years, so pay attention to what interests you and go from there.
10. There’s no such thing as “too much information” when looking at colleges
For some people, they visit a college and just know it’s meant to be. Others, not so much. Either way eventually you’ll know. Just remember to become well-educated on schools you’re looking into attending. You should know where they are, how much they cost, and so much more. Become an expert on your school. All of this can easily be found online, but a web page will never be the same as an actual visit to the campus. If you’re uncertain of where you want to go, take as many college visits as you can and go through the process of elimination to narrow down your choices. This will make your senior year much less stressful. To get an inside look at schools from an a student’s point of view, check out http://colleges.niche.com