As it has been 18 years since I was age 18, I can tell you how to make your senior year fun, and how to look ahead to life after graduation day. Of course, I will not blame you for not listening. I thought most people in their thirties were “old” and out-of-touch, when I was your age.
Beyond Required Courses, Take What You Like
There is no question you will take the courses necessary to “walk” on graduation day. When deciding what else to take, I say follow your heart.
Your heart may tell you the stage is the place it feels full of life. Follow it!
If your heart says, “Take AP English for a head start on college,” then that can be as much fun as other courses. You – not others – define what is fun for you.
Alternatively, if you are inclined to take an automotive repair class, do so! Perhaps, your class could modify an SUV to run on biodiesel.
Get out! Spend Time with Your Friends
Obviously, you will never again experience your final year of high school. I found the time bittersweet, and so worth experiencing! Keeping in touch after high school becomes more difficult by the year, so now is the time to make all the memories you can with your “BFF”, and others.
Go to movies, the beach, on class trips, the big game, and – especially – the big dance. No matter who you are – whatever your “clique” – I say dances like the prom and homecoming are a must to attend because they will not come around in life again. You need no date really – just self-confidence and your favorite dressy clothes.
Take Time to Consider the Future
Part of the fun of senior year is anticipating what may follow. When doing so, the most important question for every young adult to ask is, “What do I want?”
Your life is yours alone. If you want to be a doctor, pursue that goal! If you dream of making pottery, chase that dream! If your parents want you to be a lawyer, but you want to follow another path, you must today say, “I choose my way!” (even if that means supporting yourself). No other solution will work.
Participate in Extracurricular Activities
Senior year should be all about making memories. As much as colleges like to see “extracurrics” – as my senior year girlfriend referred to activities outside of class – on your application, the most important reason to participate in such activities is self-fulfillment.
If you can act – or if you have simply wondered what putting on a play would be like – audition for your school’s musical production. Even if you do not make the cast, you can work backstage, at such vital jobs as building sets or designing costumes. At my high school, we put on Oklahoma, and I got to play the villain! To this day, that is the highlight of my senior year.
Your highlight will likely be much different. Extracurricular activities I hope you will consider include volunteering (for organizations like Habitat for Humanity, or food banks), ski club, or the chess team, just for starters.
Get Over the Idea of “Serious” Relationships
Yes, I know I just told you I had a girlfriend during my senior year. At the time, I thought it was “TLF – True Love Forever”. I want to share with you that high school is way too early to decide with whom to spend the rest of your life. Heck! Even 25 may be too early!
Love relationships are always a mixed bag of fulfillment and heartache. I encourage you to enjoy being single as long as you can.
And if you have never been on a date, don’t worry, and don’t hurry. Dating – along with other mature activities – seems like a big deal when you are young and inexperienced. Once you are on the other side of the equation, you may – like others – ask yourself, “Why the rush?” and long for more innocent times.
Be Courageous in Social Settings
Part of fun and fulfillment is being yourself. Courage in social settings might come through as wearing an offbeat outfit to a party just because you like it, or standing up for a less-than-popular classmate. You will take pride in this as an adult.
Keep Going to Class
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you have to stay in school to receive your cap, gown, and diploma. A peer of mine – a girl – whom I had known since seventh grade, dropped out in April – April! – of our senior year. I can only imagine what led to her decision, and it may have been quite trying. The “icky” part of the whole situation was she kept showing up for extracurricular activities. She even insisted upon joining our school chorus’s May trip to Florida!
Do you see the conflict? By dropping out of school, she had dropped out of the school chorus, yet she still wanted to try to get in on the fun of the trip. In the end, her actions detracted from the fun – for herself and others. Surely today, my classmate looks back and wishes she had done things differently.
How will you do things? How will you have a fun, memorable senior year? Only you can answer. I hope my article helps you decide.