Making the Most of Your Senior Year of High School

While high school friendships may fade, the memories of your high school time last forever. Wondering how to make the most of your senior year before time expires?

1) Do everything you’ve wanted to do before it is too late!
Ever dream of cheerleading, running for your student government board, or auditioning for the spring musical, but feared the results? Now is the time to take your ambitions and make them a reality, because after graduation rolls around, these opportunities will be long gone. Just think, finally taking the risk at something you’ve always wanted to do can only open more doors in your life. Still worried if you fail? Don’t fret, your embarrassment will be saved by the fact that once you graduate, you won’t have to see these people ever again!

2) Take a break, you deserve it!
Four long years of homework, papers, tests, athletics, after-school clubs, the works. By senior year, you may definitely feel one thing: exhaustion. As a celebration of your high school career coming to an end and the incredible friends you’ve made along the way, take a vacation! Whether you head to a classic high school Spring break spot like the Bahamas, or choose a more local approach like the Jersey Shore (as I did), a weekend away with good friends, minus the academic commitments, helps highlight your appreciation for everything in your life. Especially when your group of friends will be separating come August, one last group trip can further solidify your bond.

3) Classes: go easy or overload?
In terms of academics, senior year can be stressful. Struggling between taking all advanced placement and honors classes or taking the easy road to graduation is a difficult decision to make. Depending on the application requirements of the colleges you are applying to, the classes you take your senior year may or may not make a difference in how your application is reviewed. However, my one suggestion is to take elective classes you find interesting (think sewing, cooking, television, or art), or take a class with a teacher you have always wanted. During my senior year, I piled on the AP courses, but made sure that the two of the four I was enrolled in were with teachers I was dying to have; this perk definitely made the workload seem less rigorous.

4) Make the most of out-of-school time!
With all this talk of senior year being IN SCHOOL, we always forget that being a senior in high school transcends outside classroom walls. Being a senior has its privileges, its perks, and its fun, and making the most of this year stems a lot from activities out of school time. Go to sports games and cheer on your friends, throw themed parties on the weekend, take a day trip to the beach or to the city, celebrate every holiday to its fullest, have sleepovers, have game nights, scavenger hunts, and all of the other facets of amusement that truly create the most memorable memories.

And finally, once May 1st comes around, cue the season of Senioritis, the time where it seems like nothing matters except having fun, bringing me to number five:

5) Don’t be afraid to take chances!
On the last day of my senior year, my friends and I wrote notes inside our locker to future students (sorry JDHS!). I started mine off by writing, “Don’t be afraid to take chances,” because I think there is no better way to sum up high school, and senior year especially. From homecoming to prom to graduation, everything ends up being “the last.” So, in honor of the beginning of your series of “lasts,” kiss the guy you’ve always had a crush on. Make amends with your frenemies. Thank a teacher for everything they have taught you, both in and out of the classroom. And look at yourself, and be proud of how far you have come, and even more proud about how far you are going. 

— By Erin Cunningham, George Washington University

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!