One Year a Senior

Designed by West Johnston Senior SGA

Twenty Eight August, 2017 — seniors begin the final 36 weeks of their high school career. What lies ahead is a heap of anticipation and the unknown.

I have been a senior for a little over a month. Going into my senior year, I knew my grades would have to remain high, and that I would be thrust into a world of college applications. Little did I know the true depth of college applications.

Applying for college is simultaneously a simplicity and complexity. Filling out information on the Common App, which is the platform used for most applications, namely in-state, is a rather simple process which can be done on one’s own, save for when one may require information they do not know about a parent’s education. When applying to a college which does not use the Common App, an online application is usually available on the university’s web-page. On the complex end, deciding what college one wants to go to can be very difficult. I myself am battling this dilemma, currently between two universities on different sides of the state, among other universities, such as Berea in Kentucky, which offers free tuition.  College applicants must also take into account their GPA and scores on the standardized tests, ACT and SAT.

College application season can be a very busy time for seniors, especially those working jobs or invested in extra curricular activities. To help combat the stress, I personally recommend setting aside a weekend or two — whatever is needed — to work on college applications. When one does this may vary, but for schools with November deadlines for early action, it is best to have this completed no later than the end of October — Those applying to schools with October deadlines must be quick, if they have yet to apply. For binding decision students, I would recommend having their applications completed no later than the last week of October, save those applying for schools with deadlines on October 15. I highly advise against early decision for those unsure which university they wish to attend. Instead, I feel all applicants should aim for early action, which will grant them the best odds of a nonbinding acceptance. Results for both early decision and early action are generally expected in December, with early action occasionally going through early January.

With only one class required school wide for seniors, English IV, the year is filled with opportunities. These consist of early release, late arrival, peer tutoring, and teacher assisting. Prospective students may graduate early if they have all the credit requirements, giving them extra time to prepare for college outside of high school. However, for those who wish to fill their transcripts with the maximum amount of credits they can acquire, senior year offers time to take plenty of subject electives and courses of interest without the stress of many core classes. I myself enjoy this very much, being able to express freedom across my course list. Having Late Arrival on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I use that time to work on applications, catch up or get ahead in other classes, or relax and enjoy the extra eighty-some minutes before class.

Senior year, for me at least, has not been too rough thus far. Able to manage my time and assignments well between classes, late arrival, and life activities, I am not too stressed by work load — though the application stress is at times present. For others, it may be different. Currently enrolled in two community college courses, I, along with many of my peers, am gaining preparatory knowledge of college rigor and how to handle it.

Senior year is a very influential time, not just in one’s high school career, but in life. It is the last step before college, and beyond that, the real world. Trying to balance, classes, applications, extracurricular activities, jobs, and more can make the time very stressful. With proper management, senior year, whether it be the special privileges, sense of freedom, or excitement of college, senior year can a great time spent with friends made over the years.