Preparing for Senior Year


The last year of high school is approaching for the class of 2024 at Poland Seminary High School. For many, planning ahead for their next big step has been a crucial part of their junior year experience. So far I’ve learned taking advantage of small yet effective tasks early into the year can help me feel less anxious moving forward.

In all honesty, a large portion of my junior year was spent stressing about what I wanted to do with my life after I left high school. A common misconception I recognized within my class was scrambling to have a life plan. While I find it beneficial to have a general idea of what I am aiming for, I did not make a blueprint of my future. Though, I applaud anyone who has. Here are a few personal measures I plan to take leading up to graduation.

  • Speaking to a counselor/ trusted adult. I find communicating with someone who specializes in education or who’s already been through the college process can provide the dos and don’ts. If you’re looking to go somewhere specific, whether that be a college, trade school, military, and so on, they can help steer you in that direction.

  •  Visiting schools. Personally, nothing compares to an in-person tour when finding a school that suits you. I believe an environment can play an important role in a person’s experience. You may like what a school has to offer through a screen, but if you’re not comfortable with your surroundings it may cause personal or academic stress.

  • Taking advantage of exams/ practice tests. If you’re planning on attending college, some schools may ask you to provide your SAT and ACT scores. Having an idea for what to expect has helped me prepare in advance. Days for practice exams are provided by the school, but if you are unaware you can ask a school counselor.

  • Thinking ahead. Making sure I am acknowledging my strengths, achievements, and other personal aspects for my admissions essay months prior to the due date gives me time to think about what I want to write. Ideally, having your thoughts organized early can prevent stress when it comes time to write it.

  • Letters of recommendation. I can only assume teachers are asked to write a lot of letters between August and the beginning of the following year. Clearly, these take time when there are multiple students. It can’t hurt to ask months in advance, right?

After breaking down the process, it feels less daunting. So when you feel ready, try and get a head start.