For most people going into your senior year, this time is exciting. It is the last year of high-school where you will experience college admissions, graduation, a long summer, and the list goes on. However, as much as there is the excitement, senior year can be pretty daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!
I believe that you can make the best of your senior year, but the key to this...start preparing from junior year (grade 12/ lower 6th form) . Here are some tips and advice that I hope will help give your high school years the best ending possible!
2. GET THOSE LEADERSHIP POSITIONS !!!
It is a big responsibility and tons of work, but leadership positions are some of the best opportunities you can get in junior year/ lower 6. Not only does it look great on your transcript but this is also where you learn more about your interests and it allows for personal growth. DO NOT get scared by the competition. Just do your best, and present yourself in the most confident way and convince them as to why you are the best candidate.
Having a leadership position forces you to come out of your comfort zone, and it trains you to face challenges head on. The more you have the better, but do not take on more than you can manage because you have to make sure you have enough time to do your other work and activities. Even if you don't get an academic leadership position, be a leader in other aspects. Take lead of projects, take responsibility in your various clubs. All of this can come in handy when you need those recommendations from your teachers. The more active you are in your school community, the more diverse your recommendations and transcripts will be.
3. TIME MANAGEMENT
THIS IS CRUCIAL!!!! As students our biggest enemy is procrastination and we tend to leave everything for the last minute. But from personal experience, with the million other responsibilities you may have, you do not want your school work to pile up. You want to make sure that you put your best work and efforts into everything, so make sure you have ample time to do what is necessary. Something that worked for me was to write down everything that I had to be done, and when it was due, and order them in order of priority and urgency. Not that one was less important than the other, but this method ensured that I was on top of my workload without having to rush to get things done. But make sure you take your breaks in between your work, because as large as the workload may be you do not want to burn out.
Your senior year is filled with deadlines: research papers, tests, college applications, projects, scholarship applications etc. My advice is to start them as soon as they are assigned, which will leave you with ample time to communicate with your supervisors and fix your work before the deadline. For IB students, do your IAs and EEs over the summer, or try to get most of it covered during the summer, because once IB year 2 starts its a never ending line of deadlines up ahead. This is not to scare you, but it is the reality of senior year. But make sure to take it one at a time and give your best!
6. EXAM PREPARATION
Exams…. sound pretty daunting right? Well with the proper preparation and discipline I believe we are all more than capable to be top achievers in our final exams. Whether it be End of term/End of Year exams, the IB exams, or CAPE, your level of preparation makes a difference in your performance. Everyone has their own style of preparation which will help them retain the knowledge. Find what suits you best as early as grade 12, whether it is writing notes, watching videos, reading power-points or textbooks, and make sure you stick with this method of preparation. For me writing notes worked the best, after which I would read over my textbook which would help me concretize what I just studied. It helped me in the long run, as I had my notes ready to be reviewed from by the time my final exams came. When you are studying, make sure you are free of distractions, turn off your phone, find a quiet place in your house where you can study, listen to calming music ( I recommend instrumentals or classical music) and keep a goal of how much you want to cover in 1 hour. My advice would be to start studying from the beginning of senior year, that way you can get the old content covered and have time to complete the new content and review in time for the exam.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST...
There is so much more to your senior year than just work,deadlines and exams. It is your year to make the most memorable memories, the year that you will forever remember as the best year of high school. Just because you are a Senior does not mean you can’t have fun. Make the most of your senior year, strengthen your friendships and relationships. You want to end your high school years with a big bang, a reward you have worked for and deserve. These tips and advice are just the tip of the iceberg, however I really do hope it works as a guide for you as you either enter your junior or senior year. Good Luck!