What Juniors Really Want to Know About Senior Year

(And what seniors said in response!)

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Senior year is the biggest year in high school. College applications, prom and keeping up with grades are some of the biggest factors that seniors have to go through. With it being the last year, they are ready to graduate and move on with their lives after graduation. The last two months of the semester are filled with excitement and anxiety about what to do and what path to take in life. For juniors who are waiting to enter their senior year, this can all seem overwhelming. It’s easy to feel lost and nervous about the work and stress that you will go through, especially since senior year is one of the most challenging. As a junior, I would have wanted to have someone ease my worries about next year and what I can expect from it. This is why I asked the Junior Class of 2020 to tell me what they wanted to know about senior year, and any advice that they’ve wanted to ask. I interviewed some seniors and asked for their input on the questions received. Here’s what they said:

What is your biggest regret this year and do you have any tips?

“My biggest regret senior year was getting lazy,” said senior Natalie Flores. “I’ve been a straight A student since I started high school, but the end of first semester I ended up with two Bs this year. It doesn’t sound that dramatic, but to me it was a serious matter because those Bs can somewhat affect my admission in applying for colleges. When second semester hit, I was already so dead from first semester, since we did the whole college application, that I just gave up and stopped trying. So senioritis is a real thing for myself. Getting lazy is my biggest regret because it’s affected my overall lifestyle; I’ve gotten too lazy to make myself breakfast, too lazy to make myself dinner when I come home, too lazy to clean my room.” Her biggest tip for people who get lazy during senior year is to “ Get yourself together because that negative behavior will hold me back from pursuing my education at college.”

What is the rawest, most honest heads up to be prepared?

“You might be thinking senior year is all just fun and games, and yeah, you should obviously have fun and spend time with friends, but at the same time…it’s not just like that,” said senior Brianna Plascencia, “There’s a lot of stuff you have to deal with. Heads up: everything is going to come at you all at once. There’s no way to be prepared for it. You just have to be ready to get through it one step at a time and hope for the best.” She also included advice on what to do when college applications roll around and how to handle them. “Speaking about insight questions, those insight questions will fudge you up [sic]. You’re going to get to them and you won’t even know what to write about. You’ll feel like you don’t even know who you are, you’re gonna feel lost. You’re not the only one, we all felt lost. Try to answer them with the best of your ability and know that there’s people to help you. Be confident in yourself. This year you’re going to be faced with the question of who am I, what’s your purpose.., and it’s okay, everything is going to be okay.”

Is senior year hard or fun?

“It’s your choice to have fun or not, like, if you leave all your work till the last minute, you’re going to have breakdowns,” said senior Diego Rivera, “But if you pace yourself and do the work on time, like turning it in, you’re going to have fun. It’s fun if you make it fun, it’s your choice.” Diego also said that knowing how to drive can make your senior year even better. “You better get your driver’s license because that’s a big factor into whether you’ll have fun or not because without a license, you can’t go out and you have to depend on someone. So get your driver’s license.”

How to have a good senior year?

“To make your life so much easier, talk to your counselors and talk to Mrs. James and Mrs. Arasante,” senior Lauren Campos advises, “They will be your biggest helps ever and they will help you and guide you through everything, so get close to them. They will help you through it all and they’re connections in a way too. Personal relationships with your teachers is really important, especially if you want letters of recommendations and you want them to be good letters, not just the template ones.” Campos also gives a heads up to juniors on how their friendships will change or fall out, which is a normal thing everyone experiences in the last year of high school. “Just know you’ll lose a lot of friends in senior year. You’re closer with some friends than you are with others. Some people aren’t meant to be in your life, it is what it is.” When speaking about college applications, Campos advice that the best thing to do is become more social in school activities. “If you haven’t already done extracurriculars, do them, whether it’s sports or clubs. Do a lot of community service.” Another piece of advice that she gives for senior year is to keep yourself accountable for your work. “I suck at managing my time and sleep a lot. I get it done, but I do it poorly done which isn’t good. Your teachers can tell when you stop caring.” Campos also touches on the other options after high school. “Your whole focus in senior year revolves around college. But also, if you aren’t going to go to college it’s okay. Its okay to go to a community college, it’s not a big deal. Acquire an education no matter what and if you don’t go to college at all and do something else, just have a goal. You want to be doing something with your life. All teachers talk about is college, college, college and don’t feel bad. Sometimes it’s not the right time financially or mentally. Don’t worry about what you want to do, you can figure it out in college And take care of yourself! I feel like that’s one of the biggest things that’s important to do. Self care is very important and make sure you’re okay. If you’re going through something talk to teachers, they will understand.”

Senior year may seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, the days until graduation will fly by. It’s the year where you decide what college and career to go into, so grades and scores play a big part. To all the juniors that will soon be seniors, enjoy your last year and take every opportunity to be social in both your school and social circle. Keep your grades up and stay on top of your work, but also remember to take care of yourself mentally. If we could survive all the homework and all- nighters staying up to do work, you guys can too. Good luck!