How to Make the Most Out of Your Remaining Senior Year of High School

Graduation season is approaching for high school seniors. With your time at high school coming to an end, this can be an emotional and overwhelming time. Many are anxiously anticipating acceptances from colleges and universities, planning what to wear for prom, and balancing extracurriculars, all while studying for upcoming AP, IB and diploma exams. It can be easy to get caught up in the mountain of remaining tasks and forget to carpe diem.

Here are some tips to make the most of your remaining senior year:

  1. Work Hard and Finish Strong

Senior year can be wild and eventful with many parties going on, which may distract you from your studies. Go out and have fun with your friends, but don’t lose grip of your grades, as your university acceptances are on the line! You’ve worked so hard to get to this point, so push hard until the very end of the year. Many universities may revoke acceptance offers if they see a significant and concerning drop in final term marks. Additionally, scholarship committees may take your final grades into account, so don’t let your hard work throughout the year go to waste.

  1. Live with No Regrets

Are you debating about going to prom or asking out your crush? Or are you contemplating going on that senior trip? Want to be valedictorian? If you are thinking about any of these questions, just do it! These opportunities will never come back to you. Once it’s over, you’ll never have the chance to change your mind. The worst feeling would be to graduate high school with regrets like “I wish I had gone to prom” or “It would have been awesome to be valedictorian”.

  1. Enjoy Free Time with Friends and Family

Although you may feel  tired from having so much to study, your high school course load will feel light, compared to your college course load. Enjoy all the free time you have right now; hang out with your friends after school, or go have a family night on the weekend. Once you get to college, spending time with loved ones will be more difficult because of time constraints and a heavier course load. Also, you may be living on the opposite coast in a dorm! So make sure you capture these special moments with loved ones through photos. When you miss your friends and family, take out those photos, relive great moments and beat homesickness.

  1. Find Money for the Future

Wave goodbye to your last year of free public education and say hello to your first year of high tuition fees, and ridiculously priced textbooks and online access codes! The summer after high school is a great time to save up money and plan ahead to cover the expensive costs of post-secondary education. You can find bolster your finances through scholarships, bursaries, student loans, and saving up money from working.

Scholarships: Even though the school year is coming to an end, there are plenty of scholarships with application deadlines in the summer. Sift through our opportunities database to find some scholarships to apply to!

Bursaries: Many universities offer financial aid to students from low/medium income families, so research some bursaries to see if you qualify.

Student loans: Start applying for student loans immediately after you decide on the post-secondary institution you are attending. These applications can take several weeks to approve. So the earlier you apply, the earlier you will secure funding.

  1. Plan Ahead

Do some self-reflection: find out where your interests lie, figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, and think about the things that matter the most to you. Now is the time to start thinking about your future plans and goals. Having figured out a direction you are interested in, you can create an action plan to make your ambitions a reality.

Whether you are pursuing post-secondary, taking a gap year, or going straight into the job market, plan ahead to better handle the unexpected stress and challenges that lie ahead. Get one step closer to your goals every day. A good place to start may be to volunteer, job shadow, find a job, or travel.

With this chapter of your lives coming to an end, new and exciting times are on the horizon.  At UBC, our motto is “Tuum est”, which translates to “It’s yours” or “It’s up to you”. You create the life you wish to have  and you can achieve anything you dream of.

Congratulations and best of luck to the grads of 2015!

Photo Credit: MinJae Kim via photopin CC

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