How to Get Through Senior Year

November 15, 2016

Congrats! You are almost there. After three years, the day finally comes. You are a high school senior, eager to step out of this prison walls. All summer long you’ve told yourself that this is your year. You have goals and this year is the last year of your youth. But right now you're just looking forward to your last high school homecoming, senior prom, senior trip, senior picture, senior yearbook and most importantly college. Exciting right? Yes, that's what I thought.

Senior year is an important year. Make sure you have fun and enjoy yourself. But do not forget to stress over your low SAT scores, and to pass all of your AP classes because you want to make sure colleges see you're a student that takes on challenges. Oh! also make sure you have a nice long list of activities in your resume since colleges want to see your involvement in the community, so run and join the basketball team, or cheerleading squad. Your teachers will recommend you sleep at least 8 hours a night because it can boost your performance  and that is all you want. After 8 hours of school, you need to put in at least 4 hours in homework, work your 8 hours shift (it's your commitment) and don't forget your 2 hours basketball practice. Believe me, senior year is the best year yet.

Now school started and you come in ready for the the fun. In your first class, math, you get a 30 page packet along with the end of term project. Welcome to the AP world. You officially have 2 months and a few weeks to teach yourself 3 units and complete a project. Next week you have a test on what you were supposed to teach yourself. You are screwed. Already overwhelmed, your boyfriend or girlfriend is putting pressure on you because between school, homework and work, you have not seen them in a month. Yup, that’s right, a month. That is when the college applications come in. On top of your 25 hours of work a day you must do, you must add to the task working on college material. But still everyone will tell you that this is your best year yet: “You will miss it when it's over!” If there is something you can do to get through it sane that would be quitting your job.

You will have a lot of things to pay: senior trip, senior picture, senior ring, senior sweater and senior dues. You might also spend a couple of bucks in AP test fees and let's keep in mind the college application fees, if college is your plan after high school. While everyone eagerly announce that senior year is awesome, they seem to fail to mention that it is also expensive and stressful.

There are a few reasons why you should consider quitting your job. Mainly at the start of cold weathers, you will start to feel this itch on your back that only goes away when you lay in bed,  maybe using facebook or instagram. Then you will start to use hunger as an excuse to take a break from homework only to realize that you get drowsy after eating. Now you give yourself a 30 minutes nap but those minutes will expand to 5:30 am when that irritating sound that makes you flinch every time you hear it in public goes off. That's your alarm. At this point, you have caught senioritis. With this type disability, your will to study, or pretty much do anything, is  low, so I encourage you to not waste the little dose of energy on a part time job.

Having a little extra money is absolutely an advantage. You will be able to catch some lunch after school or go to the theaters on a friday night. But since you do not have the money, you might have to go home and see if your parents will lend you some. It will be awful if you have gotten used to feeling independent from your parents when it comes to money. For Halloween you will not have enough money for a new costume to go to the Halloween party so you will  probably be at home plotting how to pay for the college applications that your school will not cover. I can only wish you luck with that. And for every weekend your friends go out you might go every other weekend. Those retro Jordans that come out every December, you probably will not buy them.
Life as a senior with no money will immediately set you up for a less awesome year. But it will be necessary in order to have the grades to contain a great financial aid packet. Hey, it's better to not have money today than to be in a couple thousand of dollars of debt after college.

However, do not get discouraged. You will actually be glad that you get to go home while most of your class head to their after school jobs. Accept that nothing matters more than your commitment to the community and your GPA. Think of it as if you're sacrificing  $10/hour this year to make over $25/hour after the next 4 years. Believe it. It will be worth it.

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