Senior Year Advice

Sean Etter, Editor-in-Chief

This is it, Class of 2018. Six years of elementary school. Three years of middle school. Now, as we enter our fourth year of high school, the end of our public school journey is in sight, like being able to see the finish line as you crest a large hill.

We’ve all heard of senior-itis, the disease that seems to infect every student during senior year. It saps us of our will to care, filling us with thoughts of “I’ll just take it easy since I’m practically already done school,” causing us to slack in our work. I know, it can be tempting to want to slow from a run to a slow walk and just take it easy this year, but the race isn’t over yet. We’ve still got a ways to go, which is why I wanted to offer you, my fellow seniors, some sound advice that will help you survive our final year at Shawnee High School.

1. Get working on college applications right now. I know, I know, you’ve probably heard this about a million times from your parents, teachers, and counselors. However, that doesn’t make it any less valid as good advice. The college application process is very, very long and time consuming: you have to fill out the common application’s general info questions, answer the common app’s essay question, and you have to answer questions and write essays for each and every individual school that you are applying to. There are also scholarship applications, teacher recommendations, and those certain colleges that insist on using their own application and ditch the common app altogether. Because of this, people can feel intimidated and want to put off doing all of that work until later. That, however, is the wrong choice. If you get started now and devote at least an hour a day to working on your application, it will be finished in no time! This will give you plenty of time to look over your essay, get feedback from a teacher or counselor, and make sure your application is perfect and submitted before deadlines are due.

2. Don’t get caught with senior-itis. We’ve all thought the same thing: it’s senior year, so my grades won’t matter. The only problem is that this thinking couldn’t be more wrong. This year is incredibly important when it comes to grades. Let’s say you decide to take a gap year or want to transfer schools in a year or two. When you apply to colleges then, this year’s grades will be taken into account. Here’s another little known fact: colleges can rescind your admission. If you get accepted to your dream school and decide to slack off for the rest of senior year, your college can change its mind and deny you acceptance if it sees a significant drop in your grades. Don’t stress yourself out this year; senior year is supposed to be fun. Just don’t forget that your grades are still important when you get your acceptance letter.

3. Get involved with the school, and show some school spirit (it won’t kill you). It’s still hard to believe that it’s been four years since we first walked through the doors of Shawnee as timid young freshman. Now, we’re the top dogs, and the new freshman will look to us to see what high school is like. Keeping in mind that you’ll be setting an example, I advise that you get involved around school. Wear Shawnee apparel on game days. Go to sporting events. See the drama shows and the musical. Show these freshman that they don’t have to spend the next years wishing that they can just get out of here. Show them that their time here in Shawnee can be an exciting time, a time for them to make unforgettable memories. If you couldn’t care less about what the freshman do, then do it for yourself. Make memories for yourself so that when you look back on your days in high school you can smile. We only get to be in high school once, and our days here are numbered. Why not go out in style?

Well, there you have it. That’s my advice for senior year. I won’t say that I am the expert; this is my first time doing this whole “senior year” thing, but this is how I’m going to spend my last year of high school. It’s how I plan to survive, and I hope that it’ll help you guys get through the year as well. With the Disney trip, Prom, and Mr. Shawnee among the many things to look forward to this year, I’m confident it’ll be a good one. Good luck, Class of 2018. Go ‘Gades!