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Tips for a Successful Senior Year

Senior year is quite the paradox..

It’s one of the most stressful years of your life thus far, while simultaneously being one of the most exciting. Needless to stay, most students have mixed emotions going into their final year of high school and wonder how they can manage to leave the year both satisfied with how they spent their long series of “lasts” and feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the years ahead.

This is a seemingly-overwhelming task, but never fear – I have a few tips gathered from my recent experiences as a senior in high school that will hopefully help you navigate the process.

1. Set some goals before you head into the year

As I mentioned before, people tend to have high expectations heading into their senior year in terms of what the year itself will bring. If I could do my senior year over, I would definitely go back and make a short list of goals I wanted to accomplish during my last moments as a high schooler.

Things like being intentional with my friendships and participating in all the fun events my school hosts for students. Whatever you’re wanting from your final year, put it into writing and keep that list in mind as you go through those final months.

Ideally, your goals will be things that you can do to get the most out of your year because, truthfully, it’s the attitude you have and the experiences you choose to partake in that make senior year as fun as it is.

2. Make use of the Chanel rule

Basically, the Chanel rule instructs people to remove one accessory or element of their outfit before they head out the door for the day. This fashion tip is built on the foundation that less is more, and the same is true for senior year.

Many people say that junior year is the hardest year of high school, but I found that my senior year was the most challenging for me in terms of time management. This is due to a couple of different reasons: for one, you have to apply to college, which involves lots of writing and thinking about your future.

Second, if you’ve  been investing in extracurricular activities school in the hopes of eventually taking on a leadership position, then senior year is typically the year that all your hard work comes to fruition. 

Clearly, senior year tends to put quite a few extra burdens on students shoulders, so it’s a good idea to carve out time for any additional responsibilities you’re taking on. Before you head into the year, make use of the Chanel rule and remove one thing from your schedule.

Maybe you take fewer academically-challenging classes, or maybe you drop an extracurricular activity that isn’t serving you anymore. Doing so allows you to invest more time in the things that really matter and will help keep your mental health in check.

3. Keep your eyes on the road

It’s always tempting to compare yourself to others no matter what stage of life you’re in, but it’s especially tempting to do during your senior year. I found myself constantly thinking about what colleges my friends were applying to and comparing my resume to theirs.

Not only did this type of thinking put me in a negative headspace, but it turned my friends into competitors in a game that, in reality, we were all just trying to get through. Don’t stress yourself out by comparing your successes, failures, and everything in-between to those of your classmates. Just keep your eyes focused on the road ahead of you, and you will be just fine.

4. Remember that this is the end

I know, I know, this is all anyone seems to be telling you as you approach your last first day of school. But once you get going in the day-to-day life of the school year and take on that all-too-familiar feeling of being overwhelmed with homework, you tend to forget that each day is bringing you closer to graduation.

At times, this will be a happy truth that you cling to in order to get through those long nights of studying, and other times, you’ll find yourself saddened at the thought of never getting to share another prom night with your best friends.

So try to soak up every moment and give this final year your all; go to that school event that you’ve never been to before, or scream and shout at that pep rally. However, don’t stress yourself out with trying to live out every last moment to the fullest, simply focus on enjoying yourself, and the best will follow.

5. Invest in your friendships now

It is a widely-accepted truth that the friendships tend to last the longest are not high school friendships, but college friendships. I think a large reason as to why this truth is true is because, as we grow older and mature, we learn how to better invest in relationships to preserve their lifespan.

However, in the present moment, you might not be able to imagine a future where you don’t send TikToks to your group chat of besties. Instead, take the time in high school to soak in these final moments with your friends, and as you do, have some real conversations with them.

Open up to your most trusted friends, laugh together, cry together, and check in on the health of your friendship frequently to ensure that it lasts long into the future. If you don’t do so now, your relationships won’t be around for very long after you graduate.

Have a successful senior year

Those were a few of my tips on how to make the most of your senior year, so now you can toss your cap feeling both satisfied with how you spent your lasts and secure in what’s to come. Congratulations on making it to your final year of high school.

Take a deep breath, smile, and soak in this year-long celebration of your hard work.


If you thought this was helpful, click here to see my post on junior year preparation as well.

Or if you’re about to head to college, click this link to check out some college application tips by Girl Spring contributor Anna McCormack!


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