Well, seniors, high school is finally coming to an end.
It may have only been four years, but sometimes it felt like it would last a lifetime. By now, you’ve probably got your graduation goggles on and you’re starting to reflect on everything you’ll miss about the sometimes fun and definitely messy world of high school.
So how do you know if you made the most of your last year? Keep scrolling for 10 critical things you have to do during your senior year.
The end of high school is so scary because it’s your first opportunity to really start planning for your future. Whether you’re aiming to head to college or not, the best way to decide where you want to end up is to actually visit the place you might be living for the next four years.
Online pictures, testimonials and stats are all great college research, but nothing compares to actually stepping foot on campus and getting a feel for the school. You might decide college isn’t for you or you might want to delay attending for a little while, but visiting college campuses is all part of the process of making an informed decision about your future.
This one’s almost a no-brainer, but we still had to include it on our list. Whatever your future plans might be, it’s likely that at least a few members of your squad will be moving on after graduation. Your senior year is really your last chance to soak in time with all your BFFs in the same place, so you have to take advantage of it. Try not to turn down plans unless you have a really good reason, and push yourself to make your friends a priority. A few nights of missed sleep won’t mean that much in comparison to all the new memories you’ll make with your squad.
Let’s be real: Senioritis is going to hit, and it’s going to hit hard. You can try to avoid it as much as you want, but there will definitely come a time when your schoolwork just doesn’t seem as important as everything else that’s going on in your life.
Senior year is not the time to ruin your GPA, so the best way to get around the senioritis is to plan ahead and pack your schedule with easy classes. You’ll free-up time to enjoy more senior year activities and your future self will definitely thank you.
Don’t chuckle—caring about your teachers is not lame. Plus, your senior year is going to be one of your last chances to learn from them… or annoy them if that’s more your style. Whatever your reasons might be, make sure you take a minute out of your school year to thank the teachers you care about. It might even be a good idea to take down their email and keep them in mind for future networking opportunities. Either way, it’s sure to make both you and your teachers feel good to acknowledge the positive impact they’ve had on your life for the past four years.
Four years of high school can be draining, and by the time senior year rolls around it might be tempting to totally check out of planned school activities. But skipping every dance or refusing to attend every football game is sure to make you sad in the long run.
This is your last chance to fully participate in everything your school has to offer, so make sure you take advantage of it. You might feel like you’re totally over school activities, but you’ll definitely miss them once they aren’t an option anymore.
Sometimes your family can get lost in the hustle and bustle of your senior year. You’re trying to balance schoolwork with applying to colleges with spending time with friends—it’s easy to see how your family might get pushed to the bottom of your “To Do List.” We get it—you live with them so planning out time to spend with them might not seem as important.
However, you also have to remember that you’ll be moving on after this year. Whether you head off to college or enter the working world, you’ll definitely notice a decline in the time spent with your family following senior year. Of course you’ll still be around your fam, but try to soak up the last few months of your current dynamic because things are bound to change after graduation.
Senior year is such an exciting time in your life, so why not capitalize on that spirit of adventure? Planning a trip with your BFFs is the perfect way to spend a little time bonding together and engaging in one last hurrah before you all explore the new things life has to offer. Even if it’s just taking a short road trip for the day, planning a new adventure with your friends will allow you to celebrate the end of an era and appreciate the gals in your squad. Plus, who doesn’t like a little adventure?
There’s no better time to fully embrace a spirit of total honesty than your senior year of high school. Why? Because you’re going to leave those halls and never get a chance to state everything you left unsaid. We’re not saying you should be needlessly rude or mean, but saying how you feel about things that scare you will help you leave high school with no regrets.
Tell your crush you like them, let your friends know that you’re worried about growing apart, start a conversation with that cool potential friend you’ve totally been obsessing over—there’s really nothing to lose when you’re going to leave in a few weeks, and getting everything off your chest will help you to enter the new phase of your life with nothing holding you back.
Chances are you’ll be embracing a whole new level of independence after your senior year. Whether you’re moving out for college or just realizing that you should be a little more self-sufficient, practicing some basic life skills during your senior year will make your transition to independence that much easier. Make sure you know how to do laundry, that you can cook some basic dishes and that you have at least a fundamental knowledge of how to handle your money. Making time for these activities while you still have your parents around to guide you ensures that you won’t totally mess it up when you’re completely on your own.
If there’s one perfect time to let go of all your old grudges, it’s senior year. No matter what might have happened in the past, it honestly doesn’t matter that much in the future. You don’t have to befriend people who hurt you or make sure you’re on the best terms with everyone in your grade, but definitely try to forgive and forget—even if it’s only for yourself.
Holding on to the past will only have negative impacts on your future, so it’s better to just let the bad stuff go and open yourself up to new experiences with as few of your previous biases and frustrations as you can manage.
Trying to embrace your high school nostalgia before graduation? Click HERE for nine graduation episodes to watch before you say goodbye to high school.