As a high school senior, you’re anticipating leaving your childhood behind and joining the adult world as soon as possible. You plan on starting university; you are definitely ready to move on. That is completely normal. You’re a year away from starting a new chapter in your life, and you’d rather explore all the new things life has to offer than spend another day with the same classmates, teachers and curriculum.
But not so fast! Remember, it’s not over until you have that diploma in your hand, and if you’re a prospective student, these last few months of high school may make or break you. Here’s a list of things you should avoid during your last year of high school:
1. Slacking Off
You’ve spent the first semester working super hard to achieve the grades you needed to get early acceptance. You deserve some rest now, right? Wrong! It is not over until you graduate with those marks. Don’t start skipping your classes, ignoring your assignments and adopting an “I don’t care” attitude toward your teachers. You do not want anything negative written about you in your academic records. Now that you’ve come halfway, you need to stick through the rest of the year and maintain your grades. You may have gotten early acceptance, but all universities have the right to withdraw their acceptances upon reviewing your second term marks. Keeping that in mind. You should also consider the fact that most of the material you learn in your senior year will come up again during your first year at university. This is a great opportunity for you to prepare and pick up a few topics and learning tools that may help you during your transition. Don’t take it for granted.
2. Adopting a Pessimistic Attitude
Knowing it’s your last year at high school may very well leave you with a very annoyed and pessimistic attitude since you’re counting the days before you can leave and move on. By now you’ve spent three years getting to know your peers, teachers and school, but you’re tired of seeing the same faces all the time. You want to meet new people and try new things. Be careful not to create your own hell! Try to enjoy your last year. There are so many things to look forward to, but if you look too far, you’ll miss all the passing moments that can easily turn into lifelong memories.
3. Missing School Events
Remember, you’re only a high school senior once. As much as you may be over your friends and all that high school drama, you should still enjoy your senior events. You have to celebrate all your accomplishments, and who better to do that with than your peers? These are the same people you’ve relied on for academic help, confided in during personal troubles and who have simply accompanied you along the long journey that is high school. Now that it’s celebration time, join them at the prom, the after-prom, the semi-formal, the graduation and all the other fun events designated for the senior class.
4. Obsessing over What Others Think of You!
As much as you’d like to believe you haven’t done so over the past few years, it’s an inevitable obstacle that all teenagers face. Every action is accompanied by the thought of what your peers will think of you. Let’s face it, high school is hard at times, and all the overwhelming social pressures transform us into self-conscious people. This is not the case for seniors! By now, you’ve been around long enough to learn how things work and, frankly, you just don’t care anymore. Remember that chess club you really wanted to join since grade nine but didn’t because you didn’t want to seem uncool? Join it now. After all, it’s never too late! You may have refrained from joining certain clubs, making certain friends and pursuing certain subjects up until now, but this is your last year to really discover yourself before you graduate and move on. Allow yourself to grow with no boundaries, and explore all your interests without any concern for what others may think of you.
5. Being Mean to Your Peers
This is a given. You should never be mean in general, but, sometimes, certain frenemies decide to show their true colours during their senior year under the false assumption that they’ll never see their classmates again. The people you may not necessarily like have a way of following similar paths in life, which explains why you will definitely cross paths with each other in the future. Whether you see them in a lecture hall, at your workplace, or simply at a downtown intersection, the inevitable will happen. As much as you may count on Toronto being a big city, everyone knows everyone. Who knows, you may make some new friends and acquaintances who are friends with your frenemies. It’s just too complicated to foresee, and it’s just better to always be kind and positive as a general motto for your life. Don’t get caught up in immature drama, and don’t hold grudges!
6. Getting Overwhelmed
All the pressure from meeting assignment deadlines and getting good grades can be quite stressful. Make sure to manage your time wisely to avoid getting overly stressed. But, also allow yourself to rest every once in a while. You don’t want to reach the point where you are so rundown that you no longer feel motivated enough to keep up with your academic work.
During your senior year, procrastination can be your worst enemy. The worst thing you can do is to react to all the overwhelming stress by not doing any work at all. Don’t wait until the night before the due date to work on your assignment or study for your test. Your best bet is to start working on the assignments as soon your teachers assign them. Avoid letting all your projects pile up to the point where you can’t complete any of them as well as you normally do. Try to prioritize your courses and manage your time well enough to allow for some downtime to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
8. Neglecting to Take Advantage of Your Connections and Resources
This is a crucial year and you need as much advice and guidance as possible. Talk to your parents, your siblings, your peers, your peers’ siblings, your guidance counsellor and your teachers! You’re surrounded by such a diverse group of people, all knowledgeable in different fields. Talk to everyone about everything, ask questions and listen to other people’s questions as they may think of things that have crossed your mind! You’ll be surprised to learn that people are quite friendly and happy to help you with your questions. Go on university campus tours, learn about your needs as a student, search multiple university websites and look through all the programs, even if you’re already determined to enrol in a completely different program. As you speak to different people and research courses, programs and experiences, you are likely to change your mind more than once. But after you’ve explored the many different opportunities, you’ll be 100% certain of your final decision.
While you may be inclined to forget your childhood and rush into your future plans, try to enjoy the moment. You’re supposed to be excited by your future, but don’t be too hasty! You still have a long way to go to reach all your big goals. Consider this last year your last chance to do everything you haven’t done, like taking the courses you’ve always been curious about, getting involved in extracurricular activities and making some new friends.