August 3, 2021
Everyone wants their senior year in high school to be a magical picture.
*queue record playing nostalgic music*
A special time where you say goodbye to your school, friends, and essentially move into adulthood. Filled with final football games, school dances, getting into college with no problems, and senior pranks. Where senioritis hits at just the right time in the second semester and your teachers are kind enough to let it slide.
*Your record gets scratched with reality setting in*
However, this is usually a dream too good to be true. For many, senior year is a stressful time, filled with the unknowns of the future. Burnout plagues because seniors are trying to apply to colleges, keep up with their grades, take college-level classes, be involved in extracurriculars, and study for exams. This begs the question, can seniors have all of this responsibility and still enjoy their senior year?
The answer is yes!
First things first, throw that ridiculous fantasy of a movie like a senior year away. That’s overrated. Living in the moment in real life – whether it is stressful or happy is a wonderful tool to have. Remember, comparison (especially to an unrealistic dream) is the thief of joy.
Next, Write out goals. Break them up into two categories: Academic and Personal. This will help you stay on top of your schoolwork while also having some fun planned too.
These are just some ideas, but make four or five goals for each of these categories and write them down. This will give you direction for the year.
To reduce the stress that senior year may bring, try getting ahead in one area. If you have a ton of AP exams ~ have a consistent study plan going during the first semester. If you are stressed about college applications, start planning out what you will need for them right now. If you have a crush, try saying ‘hi’ to them right when you get back to school. If you want your Friday nights off for fun, see if you make a plan to get your work done before then. Getting ahead can allow a bit of senioritis to set in, without it turning into complete burnout.
There is a lot of pressure on your shoulders! It is okay to get overwhelmed; especially because you’re living through a global pandemic. Please do not try to keep it all to yourself and suffer alone. This will have negative effects on your mental and physical health (even if you can’t see it now, it will show up in the future). Find someone to talk to: a friend, parent, teacher, therapist, youth group leader, a coach, a mentor, etc… It makes all the difference to allow yourself to be supported.
Finally, this is the only high school senior year that you will have. Build on your connections with the friends that you have. Go all out during Spirit week. Cheer as loud as you can at sporting events. Let the team that you are on become your family. Try to find a positive outlook as you go to class every day. Do something kind for a classmate. Be proud of all that you have accomplished.
Remember that your happiness should not be dependent on a test score, GPA, or even a college acceptance letter. Find it from within. If you can do this you will be ahead of a lot of adults in this world.
Have a wonderful school year!!!
~ Victorie Norman | WTA Communications Director