How to prepare for senior year and college

Staff writer Meghan Dulay provides tips on how to maximize your high school experience.

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‘Tis the season of scheduling and programming for juniors and seniors. For many, this is among the most stressful part of the year; we are expected to know what classes we want, need and have to take. We are expected to plan out a whole school year of classes, and be prepared for the work load that comes along with that. Some know exactly what they are doing, which is great; it makes scheduling and planning a lot easier. Many, however, have no idea what they’re doing, which is okay too. Being a junior myself, I myself am experiencing all the same worries and fears everyone else might be too.

I’m sure the phrases “What’s the plan for college,” “What do you plan on majoring in,” “How are your grades,” “In order to even be considered by colleges you must have at least a 5000 SAT score,” and a plethora of others have been the topic of conversation of many family dinners and with guidance counselors. It’s scary and stressful, I know. Here is a little “how-to” guide with information and tips that may help you get through this stressful season, and help answer any lingering questions that may be hard to find answers to.


1. Continue to try your best in school.

As hard as it might be to stay focused and motivated to do well, try. School seems to get in the way of everything. Work, sports, hobbies, and of course our social lives are a huge part of our daily lives; often we put these things before trying to get an A on that pre-calculus test. If there’s one thing going to school has taught me most, is to develop self-discipline and the willing to persevere. Yes, it may seem pointless to learn about the Pythagorean Theorem, or “10-Steps to Tackling the Text,” or memorizing the periodic table of elements, or why the French and Indian war is important to American history, especially if you know you won’t be pursuing any career that involves those listed. However, it is important to learn as much as you can while education is FREE! Plus by taking as many classes as you can, you can figure out what you like and what you don’t. Just as someone once said: “Knowledge is power.”


2. Get involved in extracurricular activities at school.

I’m not just talking sports. There are about a hundred different clubs to get involved in, some you’ve probably never heard of. Juniors, before turning in programming sheets, look over all the clubs and electives available at Durant; you may be surprised at what you find. It’s also a good way to figure out where your interests lie.


3. Focus on self-care.

For many, this is among the most stressful season of the year. 8:30am-3:25pm is school, 3:45pm-5:30pm is soccer practice, 6pm-10pm, 10:30pm-1:00am is homework. Sound familiar? Whether or not you follow a routine similar to this or not, we all live busy lives; everything is go go GO! Remember that there a bigger purpose to everything you are doing. Remember your morals and what is important to you. On your way to school, listen to your favorite song. During lunch, eat a cookie. Before you go to bed, drink a glass of water. Live your best life, and never forget to take care of yourself.


4. College and scholarships.

For many, college is the next step- whether that’s next semester, or next year, or even years from now. College isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, and you could see it as a possibility for the future, the sky’s the limit. Starting in high school, there are many different things that can be done to get to college. Athletic scholarships aren’t the only scholarships out for grabs; there are many different academic scholarships available that you may consider looking into. The most popular of these is the Bright Future’s Scholarship. There are three categories that a student can achieve through the Bright Future’s scholarship: the 100 percent scholarship, the 75 percent scholarship, and the 50 percent scholarship. Each scholarship has different requirements, and depending on the requirements met depends on which scholarship a student qualifies for. Even if a student qualifies for only the 50 percent coverage of the scholarship, that would still make a big impact in the cost of college classes, covering a big portion of college tuition. For more information about the scholarship and requirements that need to be met to earn the scholarship, visit


5. Make the best of your situation.

Everyone has their fair share of problems, mistakes, and flaws. However, these things do not define who you are as a person. A little bit ago, I was at my brother’s basketball game, and after losing their championship game, his coach brought the team together for a talk to review the game they just played. The most impactful thing I heard him say to the team was: “Always put 100 percent in everything you’re doing. Not 60 percent, not 90 percent, but 100 percent.” Make 100 percent a habit, and never settle for less.


I sincerely hope everyone makes the best of their final years as a high school student. Eventually we will walk down the halls for the last time, close our lockers for the last time, have our last pep rally, and attend our last Friday night Football game. Everything is what you make it, so make it count!