Senior year has a tendency to turn even the most dedicated student into a temporary slacker. With senior parties, prom, skip days and free periods on the brain, it can be hard to turn your last year of high school into a dedicated academic effort. However, with college just around the corner, it may be worth a high school senior’s while to practice making free time productive now as a path to preparing for the future. Here are nine things every high school senior should be doing to prepare for their college life in waiting.
College applications are of the utmost importance at this point in time, and deadlines have a tendency to sneak up on students who procrastinate. Make sure you double check each deadline, and send out as many applications as you can. The more you send, the better your chances of receiving an acceptance letter.
2. Seek out scholarships
The cost of attending college is on the rise, and the earlier you begin applying for scholarships, the more money you may save down the road. Take time to look into scholarships large and small and don’t be afraid to apply for scholarships that seem out of reach—the results just may surprise you!
3. Check out federal funding
The government offers a significant amount of funding to students who meet financial guidelines, and these federal grants and loans can make the monetary difference for many families. Begin looking into what’s available now, and how much you are willing to take out in loans before you receive an acceptance letter you can’t refuse.
4. Research housing options
It’s never too early to start thinking about your college living arrangements. If you are considering attending an out-of-state school, make plans to take a weekend trip and review neighborhoods, apartments or dorms that are in the area. This will help ease you mind in the future, and give you an idea of how much time you need to arrange safe and convenient quarters.
5. Get a head start on your major
If you know what your intended major will be, it’s never too early to get a head start on the freshman year reading list. Many colleges post first year required material, and taking time to review that now could give you the academic edge you need when facing your first semester courses.
6. Know where to save on books
Many college freshman are thrown off track by the sheer cost of buying first semester books. Take time your senior year of high school to research where and how to buy used or second-hand books through local stores or the school itself. This cuts out time, stress and money that can otherwise be dedicated to getting yourself adjusted to a new environment at the beginning of the school year!
7. Save now!
While the majority of your finances will most likely go towards tuition, saving up some pocket money your senior year of high school can help tremendously when it comes to getting started at college. A financial cushion to start with will make your transition more stress free and hopefully, give you more freedom to explore a new city and life.
8. Get letters of recommendation lined up
Secure these letters early on with teachers who understand your goals for the next four years. Beat the rush of other senior requests by approaching teachers and counselors early on in the year.
9. Consider a summer internship
While there will inevitably be a lot of preparation happening throughout your senior year and pre-college summer, taking part in a short internship could give you a boost of confidence and experience before taking on the collegiate world. Talk to your guidance counselor about internships that are available for seniors or recent graduates in your area.