Advice for the Class of 2021


From college applications to senioritis, a current senior’s advice for next year’s graduating class

  Senior year is a time filled with excitement, anticipation, and anxiety, with college application deadlines looming, senioritis setting in even early in the year, and your entire future ahead of you. My entire class’ experiences as high school seniors were certainly altered by the coronavirus outbreak, but while I was attending school, I did have to figure out ways to deal with the struggles of senior year.

  First and foremost, college application deadlines are the very front of every senior’s consciousness for at least the first few months, if not the entire year. I have always been fairly likely to procrastinate on large projects, and college applications were no exception for me. 

  My deadline was earlier than most due to the program I was applying for, so I had to get everything in by mid-November, and this was a time of extreme stress and anxiety for me. If I have to give one piece of advice when it comes to college applications, I would say that procrastination is absolutely not an option, despite how monumental of a task college applications may be. They are completely doable if you take your time and start early. 

  I would suggest writing a draft of your college essay over the summer; you might end up scrapping it, but it’s always nice to feel like you’re getting ahead on something important, and it will lessen the stress later in the year when you’re working on completing your applications. Plus, a finished personal essay can be a useful thing to keep handy when you’re applying to scholarships. 

  A month or two may seem like a long time, but it is important to remember that you’ll be juggling your school work and maybe a part-time job on top of college applications, so if you start your applications a month before they’re due, you’ll feel rushed and overwhelmed. Start at least three or four months in advance so you’ll feel less anxiety about your deadline. This will also give you time to alert the teachers you plan to ask for recommendation letters – they don’t want to feel rushed either. 

  When it comes to high school itself, every senior’s biggest struggle is senioritis, especially once you’ve been accepted into college or you’ve figured out what you’re doing next year. It can be hard not to fall into the bad habit of procrastination when school feels so pointless, but it is important to keep going no matter how difficult it is. My only advice is to keep yourself motivated. I personally like to set a timer for two hours and promise myself I’ll get a break at the end, even if it means stopping in the middle of something.  

  Senior year is a lot of work, especially in the first semester, but just remember that at the end of it all, your hard work will pay off when you graduate. The first few months of senior year are a stressful time for everyone, so commiserate with your friends over coffee, turn on your favorite song while you fill out your college applications, and remember that we’re all in this together.