SENIOR LESSONS

Well, it has been far, far too long since I have written and published a blog post!  I'll be sure to update you on a few major events that have occurred since we last spoke, but for now I would like to focus on one of my favorite types of posts to write and read.

Since my freshman year, I have been writing these "lesson" posts to teach upcoming high school students about what I have learned during each year of high school.  Now that I am a graduated senior (thank goodness), I would like to share a little about my experiences during senior year and what I took away from my last year in high school.  Without further ado:

Prep For A Day

1. Give yourself permission to rest.
Senior year can be very stressful, and it's easy to allow yourself to become overwhelmed and overworked.  However, you will be ten times more productive and alert if you give yourself time to relax each day--trust me, it works!

2. Realize the importance of what you are doing.
If you are a college-bound senior, you will quickly learn that most colleges ask for a senior class schedule and a mid-year grade report during the application process;  in fact, many universities highly value these items as tools to evaluate applicants.  Keep this in mind when you are registering for your classes and throughout the first semester of your senior year.

3. Keep track of important dates.
One of the trickiest parts of the college application process is determining specific deadlines for applications, scholarships, and financial aid information.  Use a calendar or some sort of planner to keep these dates organized (this makes the actual application process run much more smoothly!).

4. Don't play the comparison game.
Especially on occasions like Senior Awards Day and National Decision Day, it can be tempting to compare your own progress with that of your friends and other peers, but rest assured that the path you have chosen is the path meant for you.  It may not be the path that you initially envisioned, but it will ultimately be the best for you and your goals, and that is all that matters.

5. Do things that make you happy.
Life is short and time is fleeting--you might as well spend your time doing what makes you happy, regardless of others' opinions.  Each individual has a right to experience joy.

6. Don't take anything for granted.
As a senior, you are finally preparing to enter the "real world" (to a certain extent) by going to college, entering the workforce full time, or embracing another opportunity.  To do so, you will most likely leave parts of your current life behind, so be grateful for those people and things in the present.

7. When in doubt, do it early.
Especially in regards to college, scholarship, and employment applications, if it is feasible for you to finish something early, then do so--but please don't overwhelm yourself in the process!

8. Always show your appreciation.
Throughout my senior year, I was lucky to have so many wonderful teachers and mentors who guided me on the right path, and hopefully you will have a similar experience.  Be sure to thank each one of these people for their guidance, whether it be with spoken words, a card, or a kind gesture.  It never hurts to show a little kindness (and even the smallest of gestures will be remembered)!

9. Remain determined to finish.
"Senioritis" is (unfortunately) a real phenomenon, and every senior experiences it on a unique level.  Take heart because time flies, so you'll be out of high school and on to the next phase of your life sooner than you think.  As for your academic performance, remember this:  colleges ask for a final grade report, so don't be tempted to let your grades drop during the second semester.

10. Remember that everything happens for a reason.
It's a somewhat cliche saying, but it's very true.  Your present and future paths are your unique paths for a reason, so don't be afraid or discouraged when those paths seem daunting or disheartening.  This parallels the quote that helped me get through my senior year:  "That which is meant for you will not pass you by."

To all rising seniors and other high school students:  I wish you the best of luck!

To read about my other high school experiences, check out my Freshman Lessons, Sophomore Lessons, and Junior Lessons.

What did you learn during your senior year?

Love,
Tori

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