So, You’re About to be a Senior: Here’s How to Get Ready

Priya Kommu, Editor

Senior may seem far over the horizon, a speck in the distance that you can quite see over the wide expanse of summer vacation, but it’s coming and it’s coming fast. Don’t fret, there are still some things you can do to prepare. Here are five tips to follow the summer leading up to and during your senior year. These tips will help you stress less and feel on top of things. 

#1 Research colleges you’re interested in

One great thing that you can do is to start taking college tours (if you haven’t already) and figuring out what kind of college you want to attend. Of course, everyone is different, so if going to a college isn’t your path, this doesn’t have to apply to you. Once you make a short(ish) list of colleges you’re interested in, you can start researching what majors they have and what requirements they have for undergraduate applications. Some things you will need to know are if they require ACT or SAT scores, whether or not they accept the Common Application (which is surprise, the most common application format), and an application checklist. You can also figure out what their middle 50% of SAT or ACT scores are. Middle 50% just means what the bulk of the students at that school scored on that exam. This can give you a score to shoot for if you haven’t taken the exams yet, or if you want to submit your score if you have. Having this information can help you figure out what steps you’ll need to take to start filling out an application. 

#2 Pick a Common App Essay Prompt

Not everyone will use the Common App, but once you research your colleges you should have a better idea of whether or not you will need an account. Some colleges, like Virginia Tech, don’t accept the Common App, but most do. Once you find out if you need to use Common App, it may be beneficial to go ahead and set up your account. This way you can fill out all of your personal information without having to decide exactly where you’re applying yet. It’s also beneficial to pick one of the 7 or 8 prompts that Common App provides for your personal essay. This essay primarily functions to let colleges get to know your character and who you are. Finishing a rough draft before you start your senior year can help reduce stress and save you time. Remember, you’ll have to juggle your regular school homework with finishing your applications. 

#3 Don’t Let Senioritis Get You Too Fast

No matter what your teachers say, senioritis is real and it is not fun. However, try not to succumb to senioritis until at least the second semester (ideally the middle of your second semester). It’s difficult, but remember, colleges still see your midyear grades. 

#4 Stay Organized

You’ll have a lot of things on your plate your senior year so make sure you stay organized. Write down due dates for applications, whether you do early action or decision, or even if you do regular decision. Make sure that while you keep track of those application dates, you also keep track of your other school assignments. 

#5 Make Sure You Enjoy Your Year

This is your last year of high school, make sure you take a second to enjoy it! Just take a deep breath and take it slow. Lastly, remember, everyone is different. Whether or not you follow these tips will not determine the success of your future. Everything will work out just the way it’s supposed to so don’t stress out too much. Just enjoy your last year of high school.