Ask a Senior: Are You Ready for Senior Year?


The Class of 2019 is celebrating the end of their high school years. Are you ready for your senior year?

Anna Goellner, Literary Magazine Editor

Graduation is something all students wait for restlessly as they look forward to college, independence and adulthood. Senior year may seem like it is taking forever to come, but it will be rolling around the corner before you know it. Are you ready for senior year? What are your questions about what to expect regarding college applications, scholarships and the truckload of new experiences that come with the end of high school? North students asked, and I am here to answer!

“Should I take an easy senior year or continue on rigorous courses?”

This is entirely based on personal opinion. If you are aiming to attend a college that is very competitive, you may want to stay with the rigorous courses. Emory University, University of Georgia and Georgia Tech like to see those AP and honor courses. Additionally, AP courses are an awesome way to familiarize yourself with the college workload, so they come highly recommended. However, it is totally okay to give yourself some slack. Do not push yourself too hard–you are only one person! Taking care of your mental health is very important. With a healthier, happier mind, you are able to work more successfully. If you feel like you need a break, by all means, give yourself that break.

“How do you know what colleges are best to apply for?”

Start picking some schools that interest you. Look for specific majors you may want, because some schools have better programs than others. It is very important to look for what you want: Small or big? Exciting student life or more studious? Private or public? Go on college tours because you will not get an official feel for the school until you walk it yourself. Lastly and most importantly, have patience–it is a fun exploration!

“How many colleges should I apply to?”

As many as you can! Before senior year, try to visit as many schools as you are familiar with the school. I highly recommend applying to more than one, even if you have one dream school. It is very important to have a back-up plan. However, college applications do cost a lot of money to send in, so apply wisely. Do not feel like you have to go above and beyond with applying to several schools unless you want to! There is no wrong number or way to approach applying to college. It is your future, so do what is best for you.

“Where can you find scholarships and how do you apply for scholarships?”

There are so many scholarship search engines out there, but you will probably have to do a lot of digging to find scholarships. and Fastweb Scholarships are two good platforms. Additionally, the North Forsyth counselors post a scholarship masterlist later in the year with several links and deadlines. also has many links in addition to the Hope and Zell Miller applications! Complete FAFSA as soon as possible after it opens in October. Lastly, when you apply to colleges, they can offer scholarships, too, so research the university’s scholarships!

“When do I need to start taking the ACT/SAT?”

Junior year, definitely, if not earlier. If you have not taken one yet, do it as soon as you can! Give yourself as much time as possible to take (and potentially retake) these tests and get higher scores.

“How do I motivate myself to use IE2 wisely and not just for much needed naps?”

IE2 is a wonderful opportunity that comes with senior year. You get to either come in late or leave school early, using that spare time to work at a job, dual enroll or do some extra studying. However, it is totally okay to use that time for naps. Sometimes you just need to rest, and that is okay! Senior year is exhausting, so taking a second just to breathe is very important. If you want to motivate yourself, try setting some goals to accomplish for the day, and try to utilize that spare time to complete them! IE2 is the perfect time to work on college applications and homework, and after you work on those, you can reward yourself with more free time in the future.

“Is senioritis real?”

YES! Senioritis is very real, especially after you are accepted and committed to a college. You are ready to move on to the exciting future as soon as possible. However, you still need to stay motivated in your high school work, and that is hard! Try to think about what you are doing now as a necessary part of getting into college, even if that two-hour block economics class seems pointless. You have to pass senior year to graduate, and colleges can rescind an acceptance offer if you do not do well your senior well. Take everything one day at a time, and enjoy your last year of high school.

“How do I have fun senior year while applying for colleges/getting ready to leave?”

This is a very good question. Thinking about leaving is the hardest part of senior year. However, senior year can also be the best year of high school. Live in the moment, and try to focus on the people around you right now. Pay attention to even the smallest details, and learn to love relentlessly. Also, if you learn to manage your time between college applications and schoolwork, you will definitely be able to spend time with friends! Do all the social activities you can or are comfortable doing, and try to care for your friends as much as possible. Homecoming week, footballs game, senior activities and group hangouts are some of the best ways to enjoy your last year of high school. Next thing you know, you will be walking across the stage at graduation, so hold on tight to the people you love.

Senior year is coming soon, and it arrives faster than you may think. All of those cliché slogans that adults use about time moving in the blink of an eye seem a little lame, right? Well, they are very true, and soon your future will be right outside your door. So slow down, take a deep breath, and get ready to step out into the wild ride that is your senior year.