How to Survive Senior Fall

Hello, everyone! I know I haven’t posted in a while, and I can explain in two words: college applications, the most dreaded words for a high school senior. Now that I’m done, I can finally start posting again! Since college applications prevented me from posting for so long, I only thought it would be appropriate for me to share my advice.

As a disclaimer, I can’t provide solutions to everything; this is only what I did to help alleviate my stress.

This may be how you feel right now, but just now that you’ll get through it.

Talk to your teachers if you need an extension. Your teachers will be understanding. They know that college applications can be stressful, so they should give you an occasional extension on an assignment if you need it. If not, then just try to get the assignment done the best you can without worsening your mental health. Even turning it in late or getting a bad grade is more favorable than feeling panicked or anxious. 

Get enough sleep! I cannot emphasize this enough. Sleep is essential to emotional and physical wellbeing. When we are sleep deprived, our neurological functioning impaired, making us groggy, anxious, and irritable. On top of that, we also overeat and crave carbs because our brains are looking for extra energy to keep us awake. 

Try to get ahead on work. I know this isn’t always possible, but it makes a huge difference. My tactic was to get ahead on homework on the weekends so that I wasn’t staying up late during the week.

Designate time to spend with your family. Whether this means your given family or your chosen family, spend time with the people you love the most. Spending time with my family helped me unwind and destress. I would designate 30 minutes for dinner every weeknight to sit, eat, and talk with my mom, twin, and younger brothers. I also kept every Friday night open for my friends. This helped reduce my stress greatly.

Prioritize college applications. Submitting an amazing college application is more important than doing well on that chemistry test or that history essay. Where you go to college will shape your future. Your undergraduate education will be a key aspect of your résumé to future employers. You will most likely meet your lifelong best friends and maybe even your future spouse at college! High school may seem important, but college will transform you into the adult you will one day become.

Remember that it’s okay if you don’t get in. If your top-choice school defers or rejects you, it’s probably the universe telling you that you belong somewhere else. Maybe your soulmate is at a different school! Maybe you’ll take a class only offered at another school that will make you follow a different career path! There are so many things that could happen at college, and maybe what you’re destined to experience can only happen at your second or third choice school.

Keep in mind that the spring is coming! Senior spring is said to be the most relaxed time of high school. Take advantage of your classmates because you won’t see most of them for another five years at least after graduation. In the spring, you can take more chill classes, or you can take more interesting yet challenging classes if you want! You don’t have nearly as much to worry about because colleges won’t see your grades until you’ve already gotten in!

Enjoy the last year of high school before you’re off on your own in the real world. Be excited for college, but still enjoy the present moment. You only get to be a high school senior once. And I promise that everything will be okay.

If you’re in high school, what are you most excited to experience in college? If you are in college or have already graduated, what is/was your favorite part about college?

Sara ❤

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