High School Seniors

Tips (from a recent grad) for Surviving Senior Year

August 7, 2019

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By: Sydney McCoy

Senior year is often described as your best year of High School.

Although it is not a year to slack off and diagnose yourself with “senioritis.”  Going into my last year of high school I thought I would be floating through as if nothing mattered anymore with no homework. Now that I’ve graduated, I can say I was very wrong. 

My first and biggest tip is start college applications early. Applications open at the beginning of August with the average Early Admissions deadline ending in mid October, which seems like a lot of time- but flies by. Start filling out the basic questions as soon as possible such as where you live, your name, what school you go to and more personal information. After you’ve filled out everything you can and before you need items like transcripts and schedules, start brainstorming your college essays and creating a first rough draft.

If you are applying to multiple schools, try to use Common App or CFNC, which makes you type in all your basic information once, and then branches into the different schools you are applying to. For instance, say you apply to three schools, you might have an average of 9 essays you have to write. One to two essays will go to all colleges and then each school may have two or three personalized questions related to qualities they want to see at their school. For teacher recommendations, ask for them early and in person, if they agree, give them a due date for the letter and let them into the portal quickly to submit their work. 

senior portrait red brick wall

Once you submit your applications, it becomes a long few months before you hear your results. Although, now that the work is no longer in your hands, you can have more fun since there is nothing more for you to do, except keep up your grades. Some big and exciting events are coming up as the end of the year draws closer. Senior Prom rolls around, Senior Picnic day and most importantly, graduation. At graduation you have the opportunity to wear cords when you cross the stage, based on clubs, academic excellence and special programs. As the year goes on, try to get involved with clubs as they look great on applications, you can make new friends, help your community and snag a cord. 

Senior year can also get quite expensive pretty quickly; some expenses are optional, while others are required. At the end of the first quarter, I had already paid for our Senior shirt, SAT, ACT, application fee for every college I applied to, cap and gown, yearbook, yearbook picture session, senior pictures session and a class ring. Later in the year I knew I would have to pay for a prom dress, prom ticket, club dues, Senior picnic, cords and field trips. Some of these things are optional which will lower expenses, but get ready to have a checkbook on hand. 

Overall, Senior year is a fun and sad time, as you are at the top of the food chain; this year is portrayed as the best in movies and TV shows and you get to start the next chapter of your life and possibly leave home. Even though seniors rule the school, don’t bully underclassmen, you were once a freshman so there is no reason to make fun of them for being the newbies. Senior year is a fun time but also a stressful time, but it has already flown by and will only go faster. 

senior portrait downtown streets

This is part four of a series of guest blog posts from Sydney McCoy, who is a recent grad, about life as a high school senior.  Click here to read her thoughts on the senior portrait experience,  here to read what she wishes she knew as a junior   or here to read about picking a college.   Sydney will be starting at Meredith College in the fall. 🙂

If you’d like information about scheduling your own high school or college senior portrait session, get in touch!

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