Time Management Tips for Senior Year
Staying motivated and organized during your final year of high school is an important part of preparing for college.
Senioritis (n): an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.
It may be hard to keep up the momentum senior year, especially if you’ve already received that gorgeous college acceptance letter – but it’s important to resist the urge to slack off. Instead, use senior year as a segue into college. Here are a few tips for using those last few months of high school time wisely.
Keep your grades up. “Colleges often have admissions requirements and scholarships that require a certain GPA, standardized test score, educator recommendation, et cetera. Maintaining high performance as a student draws closer to graduation could impact their ability to make it to the college of their choice,” explains Assistant Director of Campus Admissions Brandon Gibbs. Translation: A college can take their admittance offer back if a student performs poorly in his or her senior year. So, don’t stop studying now. You’ve come this far already, right?
Get a head start. Going to college is a big deal, and preparing your mindset is half the battle. “Committing to good work ethic habits is key, as effort is the driving force of all success,” says Brandon.
“Another good way to prepare for college is to research your course curriculum. Not all content [you find online] may be as reliable as what you will learn from educators at your college, but it will undoubtedly give you a bit of a head start.”
Your research could be as simple as looking up course keywords you don’t understand on Google or YouTube. That way, you’re starting your new chapter a little more prepared – and excited to learn.
Find a summer internship. Getting a summer internship is a great way to gain some work experience, explore your passions, and stay busy over the summer. The key is to find the right opportunity that aligns with your goals and interests.
“You first think about which industry you best see yourself in, and from there identify which companies within that field might seem like a good fit,” recommends Brandon.
Stay organized. Senior year is busy, from tests and final projects to deadlines for college, scholarships, financial aid applications, and more. Keeping a virtual calendar or daily planner that you can take everywhere you go will ensure you never miss a deadline or important appointment. But you shouldn’t just use a calendar to keep track of your daily schedule.
“Write out your goals for your senior year,” suggests Brandon. “It will be a fun but chaotic year, where things might get hectic and cause you to lose sight of your path. With your goals written out somewhere you can see them every day, it will serve as a reminder when things get challenging, or when you feel like slowing down.”
Dedicate time for studying (and breaks). Studying and staying prepared for upcoming tests and assignments is important – but you should also block out time for breaks. If you start feeling burnt out, it may be time to have a look at your planner and ensure you’re studying efficiently. That includes taking study breaks when needed.
Have some fun. While the above tips are important, it’s okay to remember that it is your last year of high school. Don’t skip out on the experiences that make you happy – be it football games, after-school clubs, or prom – just make sure that you’re leaving plenty of time for schoolwork, too.
The key is to find the right balance between school and socializing. This might mean occasionally saying no to hanging out or to a party to prioritize studying. Other times, the balance could look like taking a day off studying to kick back, relax, and simply enjoy being a high schooler.