5 Must-Do’s During Your Senior Year in High School

in General

Get your senior year off to a great start by creating a to-do list that gets you where you want to be in life, even if you’re still deciding where that is.

Here are five things to do during your senior year in high school that will help you succeed in “the real world.”

1. Cruise into your school’s career center or guidance office.

The career center offers valuable go-to resources to start planning your post-high school life. You can typically access information regarding everything from career exploration to summer internships to community service. In addition, your school’s center may provide practical guidance on filling out job and college applications. Also, consider consulting your guidance counselor for advice.

2. Get to know your financial aid options.

More than 80 percent of first-time, fulltime undergrads receive financial aid. If aid is in your future, now is the time to get a handle on how the system works. After all, if you borrow money, you’ll be responsible for paying it back after you graduate or withdraw from college.  Learn more about all your options, including grants, scholarships, and loans. Start by checking out What’s the Difference Between Scholarships, Loans, and Grants?

When you’re considering student loans, it’s important to understand that not all loans are created equal. Interest-free student loans can reduce the cost of your education by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Learn how Lancaster Dollars for Higher Learning’s no-interest loans for eligible Lancaster County residents help lower overall debt.

3. Avoid senioritis.

You’ve spent three years working hard so you can earn quality post-secondary opportunities. Now isn’t the time to kick back and relax when it comes to academics. Colleges can reserve the right to deny admission after acceptance if senior year grades drop below acceptable levels. In some cases, poor senior year grades can place you on academic probation as a college freshman. So, get to class, take assignments seriously, and continue to put in your best effort.

4. Master your own schedule.

For years, parents or caregivers have likely controlled your calendar, usually by necessity. Senior year is the perfect opportunity to start taking responsibility for your personal schedule. For example, if possible, start making your own appointments, like dental cleanings or orthodontics check-ups. Plan it out using whatever method works for you, whether it’s an online calendar, bullet journal, or whiteboard. Taking control now will make it easier to transition into post-high school life, when a parent or caregiver may not be around to manage the schedule for you.

5. Take care of yourself.

A high school senior’s life can be stressful. Maybe you feel pressured by family to follow a certain career path. Perhaps you’re worried because you’re not quite sure what you want to do with your life. Regardless of what’s causing your stress, find ways to regularly decompress. Spend time with friends. Volunteer with a nonprofit. Reread your favorite book. Do what’s necessary to take care of yourself in a healthy way.

Make the most of your last year of high school with these ideas for things to do during your senior year. Get ready—your future is coming.