Senior year. It sneaks up on you when you’re least expecting it.
One minute it’s your first day of freshman year, your first day in high school, and then suddenly, it’s the end of your junior year and all you can think is whoa… when did that happen?
And so senior year comes with a whirlwind of choices and emotions.
It is so easy to become overwhelmed with all these decisions you’re supposed to make.
Any time you are stressed, the best thing you can do is take action. And there’s not a single thing that is more worth being proactive about than your future.
Senior year is a really important time in your life. Notice, I didn’t say defining time, because you never know what will happen later in life.
But this is the year that you have a ton of resources available to provide yourself with great opportunities.
The list below will help open doors to numerous opportunities, whether it be an internship, a job, a scholarship, or just a path to discovering what you truly enjoy doing in life.
I truly believe that the best project you’ll ever work on is YOU.
Do something good for you and your future, and give yourself the best chance at success by doing these things during (and even before) your senior year.
Volunteering is easily one of the best things you can do all throughout high school, and for the rest of your life. There is nothing more valuable than time, and sharing yours with others is the greatest gift you can give.
The best thing about volunteering is that it can come with little to no long-term commitment and you can help work for causes you feel passionately about.
Foster Good Relationships
As you get older, you’ll start to need letters of recommendation for things such as jobs, scholarships, and college applications. You want a person you know, trust, and someone who truly sees the value in you.
You have so much talent and potential, you want someone who really cares to write those letters for you. That’s why important to create strong relationships with teachers or other supervisors.
Getting a good word from someone high up in your field or in an important position, such as a coach or counselor, can be a huge advantage on applications and possibly even job offers.
If there’s no one that you really connect with yet, that’s okay. Don’t try to force relationships. But if you realize a mentor who shares some of the same ideals or values as you, it’s a good idea to strengthen that relationship.
You can do this by asking them/talking to them about topics they like or asking them to help you with schoolwork (if they’re a teacher). Offer to help with classroom tasks. That way, they’ll see you are sociable and hardworking, two of the most important qualities that universities and employers look for.
Apply for Scholarships
College is expensive. Everyone knows this.
And, chances are, there are some local organizations looking to help you out, because they get it, too.
If you google search “scholarships for seniors in high school” you will get a ton of results.
So, if you’re willing to take advantage, there are opportunities out there.
My top 3 Tips on scholarships:
- Pay attention to dates. Some scholarships have really weird deadlines. However, that also means that lots of scholarships are happening all the time. Always keep looking for new ones, and make sure you submit them on time.
- Be specific. You can search scholarships for seniors forever, but you’ll only find the same ones again and again. Chances are, if you do something, anything, outside of, or even in school, there is someone out there who does that also, and wants to award you money for it. Think about the unique qualities you have and use them to search for scholarships. This may include things like “scholarships for women in accounting,” “scholarships for gamers,” “scholarships for people who like ice cream.” (No joke, even the last one gets you results.)
- Apply, apply, apply! Not everyone goes online to search for scholarships. If you see a scholarship that you’re eligible for and is worth your time, do it! There’s a good chance you may be like 1 of only 5 people applying! Especially if it’s one of those specific scholarships I mentioned above. Everything is worth a shot!
Some great websites to look for scholarships are:
Take Online Courses
Online courses are an awesome way to advance yourself before college. What better time to take them than before or during your senior year?
There are so many advantages to taking online courses.
They can save you a ton of time and money in the long run, as the can help make time in your schedule when you actually get to college, but they also can provide extremely valuable knowledge and time management skills that will look great on any resume or college application.
Sign up online through one of your local community colleges!
Get a Job
This one is probably the most obvious. (That’s why I put it all the way down here haha) It may not be the most fun, but it will help you boost your resume and your experience, make some cash, and even possibly find some new friends!
You can look online, but the best and most reliable way to find a job is to look around your area in person.
See if any places have “We’re Hiring” signs in their windows. Walk in and ask for an application.
This helps you know if they really are hiring. Plus, it makes you look good before you even apply.
Start a New Hobby
This may seem a little strange at first, but I promise, there’s nothing more important than trying new activities.
Every day you don’t try something new, you may be missing out on your true calling in life, or your favorite activity that you will carry forever.
Exploring different hobbies helps develops all different kinds of skills, and can help you make new friends.
Who knows? A new hobby may lead you to your college major or the job of your dreams one day.
When I started this blog, that was me trying a new hobby.
I’m so happy I started. Ever since, my life has improved drastically.
Take the leap into whatever activity you’re currently dying to do. I promise it will be worth it.
The key to a happy life is finding yourself first.
I wouldn’t doubt that some people reading this may have just started thinking, “Ugh, Julia no, I hate reading. It drives me crazy.”
I know several people like that, and a lot of them happen to be my closest friends or family.
But, I absolutely love reading. I truly believe that reading when I was younger helped develop my vocabulary, problem solving skills, and compassion as I got older.
As (in my humble opinion) the most wonderful author in the world once said,
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling
I really, truly believe this, so my friend, if you don’t like to read, keep searching. I promise you’ll find it.
Reading books is so good for you, and senior year isn’t too late to start.
Books are humbling, insightful, inspiring, and can help you understand the world in ways you never have. These are all important qualities of real, successful, people.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” -George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones)
Believe in yourself, try your best, and be kind, and you’ll be on the right track.
Make your senior year the best! You can do it!