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After College Decisions: What 12th Graders Need to Do Now
After May 1st, graduating college-bound seniors don’t have a whole lot to worry about. May 1st is the deadline for most accepted students to make a final decision about which college they are planning to attend and submit their Intent To Register with one college. After that, college application season is officially over, and second-semester seniors truly don’t have a lot to do.
If you’re a second semester senior in this situation, congratulations! You’re college bound! Just because you are about to graduate and you’ve already been accepted into a college, however, doesn’t mean that you get to slack off in your academics and extracurriculars. During this last month of school, it’s important to stay focused and finish high school strong. For a complete list of things that you still need to do after college decisions, read on.
Set New Personal & Academic Goals
Once you’ve accepted a college offer, it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of your academic and college admissions goals have been achieved. While this is a great achievement and definitely a cause for celebration, you should still keep striving towards some achievable goals until you graduate. If you don’t set new goals for yourself after college application season has ended, your risk catching a severe case of Senioritis and possibly slacking off so much that you don’t pass your classes.
These new goals that you set for yourself don’t have to be ambitious or elaborate. All you need to make sure to include is keeping your grades up, leaving your extracurricular activities on a good note, and making sure that you are in good academic standing as you graduate. While these goals are very broad, they are the very minimum things that you should be striving for as a second-semester senior. Feel free to be more ambitious and maybe even take on one last project in high school if you are so motivated.
Keep Your Grades Up
Believe it or not, one month of slacking off can in fact tank your grades and really hurt your overall GPA. While we at CollegeVine realize that once you’ve accepted a college, your high school GPA and your grades aren’t as important, we also stress that you should still try to keep your grades up as you graduate.
The main reason why you should still care about your classes and keep your grades up is that colleges require you to submit your final GPA and class rank before you can be officially admitted to the college. If you don’t keep your grades up and your GPA falls low enough, the college will be within its right to rescind your admission to the university.
Plan a Productive Summer
This is just a continuation of what you have probably been doing with all of your high school summers. The common misconception that many graduating seniors have is that the summer before college is a time to relax before they start college. While a certain amount of relaxation time is nice, you should still try to do something productive and resume-building with your last summer before college.
Why would you want to do this? For starters, once you graduate, you will suddenly be qualified for college-level internships and other jobs that require a high school diploma. This could open doors for you in terms of work experience and even in terms of payment.
Secondly, once you enter college, you’re going to need to leverage every resume-worthy achievement or work experience that you have in order to land your first internship. That freshman year internship is often the hardest one to get, but it’ll be infinitely easier to earn if you have some productive summer achievement under your belt.
Study for AP/IB Exams
Once you’ve accepted a college, you’re not quite through with your preparation for college. If the college you’re attending accepts AP or IB credit, your big goal for the next few weeks should be to focus on studying for the AP/IB exams you have coming up. The better you do on those exams, the more college credit you will earn.
You really want to try and get as much AP or IB credit as possible during high school because it could really set you ahead in college. In fact, it is possible to earn so much college credit through AP/IB exams that you can enter college with sophomore standing. Also, you can also use AP and IB exam scores to test-out of certain pre-requisite courses in college so that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars re-taking those classes in college.
Enjoy the Rest of the School Year
When all is said and done, at this point in the school year, you can truly walk away from high school holding your head up high. You’ve worked hard for almost four years, have a bright future in college ahead of you, and thus you deserve to enjoy a little bit.
The great thing about being a second semester senior is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sit back and enjoy high school. You have the prom, graduation, senior pictures, etc. While you’re finishing strong, make sure to stop and enjoy these fun activities so that you can leave high school with some happy memories.
While you’re at it, be sure to stop and smell the proverbial roses before you graduate. While the lockers, cafeteria, bell schedule, and everything else related to high school may seem routine and almost boring right now, you have to realize that this is the last month that you will ever be around those things in your life. So take a few moments during the next few weeks to really appreciate where you are and enjoy being in high school. You probably won’t experience anything like it again.
For More Information
Want some more tips for your senior year? Check out these previous blog posts from CollegeVine:
Feeling like you need a little boost in high school? Check out CollegeVine’s Neer Peer Mentorship Program, where you will be matched with a successful college student who is on the same path you are when it comes to your academic, career, and college goals. This mentor will meet with you and your parents to provide helpful advice on all topics from college admissions to career goals, and they’ll make sure that you are poised to succeed throughout high school.