Seniors – Why You Need to Make the Most Out of 2nd Semester
Senioritis: it’s an affliction that befalls nearly every 12th grader (or 11th or 10th grader, depending on your high school experience). We’ve all heard the term before, and that’s probably because it’s extremely common. After all, you’ve been working hard and waking up early every morning for 4 years now—it’s no wonder you’d be chomping at the bit to get out of there!
With graduation, college, and an entirely new future on the horizon, it can be easy to daydream and slack off of instead of focusing on your classes. While it’s definitely ok to be psyched about your future, high school isn’t over just yet for you second semester seniors—and there’s still a lot that you can get out of these last few months. Read this post for tips and tricks on staying in the moment during your last (!!) semester of high school.
Maximize these last few months of senior year
Obviously, you’re going to be excited about your future — and why wouldn’t you be? In just a few short months you’ll be at college, living on your own, starting a new life. If you’ve made it to second semester of your senior year, chances are there are barely any applications, tests, or essays to worry about. Maybe you’re feeling burnt out from all the work you did throughout high school, or maybe you’re focused on other things: prom, graduation, the last summer before you go to college, what types of dorm decorations to buy…
These are all wonderful things to be thinking about! Just make sure you’re also taking the time to think about high school. After all, these are last few months where you get to see your teachers and classmates, and you can gain a lot by doing your best and making connections during this valuable time period that you’ll never get again.
Keep yourself challenged
Senior spring is a great time to keep yourself sharp so that by the time college rolls around, you’ll be ready to go! You don’t want to start your first semester of college having slacked off for several months beforehand.
Try focusing on subjects that you didn’t like so much before — since you’re likely done applying for college, the stakes are much lower and you can begin to let your curiosity guide you. You really don’t have all that much to lose (unless, of course, your GPA drops sharply, in which case your acceptances could be rescinded, so be sure to keep your grades up).
Let your curiosity guide you in these last few months. Try to use this time to think about what academic subjects you’re good at, what subjects you’d like to improve in, and what course of study you might like to pursue in college.
You can also use your senior spring to apply for scholarships, many of which have deadlines in February, March, April and May! Check out these CollegeVine posts on scholarships for more information about the application process:
Getting a Head Start on Your Scholarship Search
Foster connections with your teachers
The end of senior year is a great time to reflect on your high school experience and think about which teachers have influenced you the most. Think about which teachers you’ve learned the most from in high school. Make time to visit them, catch up, tell them about your plans for the future!
If there is someone you particularly admire, you might want to try forging a deeper connection with them — ask them about their time at college, and ask them for advice about the future. It’s always a good think to have an adult other than your parents that you can come to for academic and professional advice. Ask your teachers how you can take advantage of your school’s resources in your last few months as a student.
These connections can also help you later in life in terms of applying for jobs, internships, and securing letters of recommendation. If anything, it’s just good practice to learn how to forge a deeper connection with an adult and how to advocate for yourself!
Lay out a plan
If you simply can’t stop thinking about college, then so be it: use the extra time during your final semester of college to make a plan and be proactive!
Take this time to think about housing: which dorm do you want to live in? Do you want to live with a roommate? Do you get to choose your roommate? If so, who will you live with?
You could also think about the courses for your first semester of college. Which courses do you want to take? How many classes do you plan to take? Which majors and minors are you considering? Which extracurriculars and student groups do you want to join? Do you plan to study abroad eventually? Which study abroad programs will you consider?
You don’t have to have all the answers right now, but thinking about these questions early on will help you become accustomed to planning for the future and taking concrete steps towards real long-term goals. With a sufficient amount of planning, the sky is the limit!
You should also take a moment to think about your time management skills and your current strengths and weaknesses as a student. If you happen to have anything that you want to change about yourself, college can be a great time for you to turn over a new leaf and break those bad habits like procrastinating (or even just chewing on the end of your pen).
Before you graduate from high school, make a list of goals and aspirations for your adult self (similar to a New Year’s Resolution, but for your college years) and resolve to stick to them!
Finally, don’t forget that this is your time to celebrate yourself and all that you’ve achieved in high school. Be sure to leave time for your family, your friends, and other social obligations like prom, senior night, field day, and whatever other traditions your high school might have.
Before you know it you’ll be looking through old yearbooks or attending your first high school reunion—so whether you’ve enjoyed your high school experience or not, try to make the very best of these last few months!
Your Senior Spring is a good time to celebrate your accomplishments, but it’s also a good time to be smart about the future. Be wise about time management and how you want the culmination of your high school years to play out.
Your final semester of high school is not the time to slack off —instead, you have the opportunity to seek guidance from your teachers and mentors on college life. More than anything, be sure to take advantage of your school’s resources in these final months. After all, before you know it, that diploma will (finally!) be in your hand and you’ll be moving on to your college campus.
For more advice on senior year, take a look at these blog posts:
The Optimal Allocation of the High School Senior Year
Handling Senioritis: The Value of Second Semester Grades
Handling Senior Year: Making a Schedule
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