Senior Year: What You Need To Know


Senior Leilani Gibbons works on her college applications while sophomore Holley Murray looks on. Leilani hopes to attend UGA in the fall.

Noah Smith, Lit Mag Editor

Finally, after three years of pain and agony, senior year is upon you. You have put in the work and now you have to start looking at and applying to colleges, taking standardized exams and worrying about keeping good grades in the four classes you are obligated to take. Although this sounds like a lot, and it honestly is, here are some tips to help you make it out in one piece.

First of all, regarding college, start by making a list of about ten colleges that you would like to apply to. Include three or four that you think you could get into pretty easily, these are your “safety schools”; next, include another three or four that you think could be a little bit of a stretch, these are your “stretch schools”. Finally, include another three or four schools that you are not sure you would be able to get into, but would love to go to; these are your “dream schools”. Make sure that you pay attention to application and scholarship deadlines–you do not want to get caught off guard. Do all of the necessary research about each school you are planning on applying to and begin your essays and applications at least a month before your deadlines in order to finish promptly and get all of the necessary recommendations and transcripts.

Next, make sure that you are studying for and taking either the SAT or the ACT–or both. Try to take each test at least once to see which one you perform better on, and then try to take it a second time to see if you can improve your score. Unless you get a 1600 or 36, in which case you should go like end world strife, or whatever. These tests have terrible reputations and for good reason; the tests are challenging, however, they can be mastered with time and practice. Take as many practice tests as possible with the correct timing in order to avoid running out of time during the real exam. If you take the SAT or ACT a few times each and are just unable to bring your score up, do not stress–many schools superscore your results, which means that they will take the highest score you have achieved within each particular section of the tests.

Finally, make sure that you stay on top of your classes and continue to challenge yourself senior year. If you are only taking a few classes this year, make sure that you get involved in meaningful extracurriculars. The most important thing, however, is to keep your grades up. I know that senioritis is real and that you have worked hard for so long, but if you tank now there is no way colleges will accept you. Keep going, you are so close to the end. If you have taken an assortment of AP classes this year, why…For real though, you need to make sure that you are putting all of your effort into those classes and achieving the highest grades you are capable of.

In the end, senior year is an insanely fun and stressful time all at once. Senior skip days are mandatory, yet so are good grades and test scores. However, with the right amount of dedication and drive, you can make it out in at least two pieces. Good luck, seniors.