Maureen O'Shay Photography » Katy's Family Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

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Tips for Starting Your Senior Year Successfully

It’s probably hard to believe, but senior year is finally here! It might feel like a blur of excitement and nerves, but I couldn’t be more thrilled for you to be embarking on this incredible journey. Although you spent many months anticipating this year (maybe you even dreamed about it when you set foot on campus as a freshman!), it can pass by in what feels like a blink of an eye. Here are our best tips for making the most of your senior year, and how to soak up every amazing moment:

Enjoy your senior year!

-Get organized: Although school is already in session here in Texas, you still have time to get things in order for a streamlined and simplified year. We recommend starting with a color-coded calendar, either in your phone or on paper or a whiteboard. If you need to coordinate schedules with your siblings or parents, a family whiteboard might work well so everyone can see deadlines, trips, or days off. If you are only keeping track of your personal calendar, try color-coding each subject or area of your life (such as: work, scholarships, college applications, senior project, and so forth). You can find great items for organization at discount stores like Home Goods and TJ Maxx if you need planners, notebooks, or mail holders. 

-Input your major deadlines to your calendar ahead of time: Most schools release a master schedule of important dates for senior students, with the dates for graduation, yearbook deadlines, and college application timelines. These are your most crucial dates, and the ones you definitely do not want to miss. Another important one is your senior photography shoot, if you’ve not already completed it. We strongly recommend booking very early, since our dates fill up quickly, and you want the optimal days available so you can focus on your college visits and your scholarship deadlines as the months progress. 

-Find a mentor: Having someone to go to with questions, concerns, or when you’re having a hard day, is really crucial to senior year. Your mentor could be your parents or guardian, a school counselor, or someone you may know from church or other social places in your life.  Be sure to ask them if they’d be willing to be a sounding board and support system for you, and consider asking an older college student who may be attending the school you’re interested in. They may have insight that will be helpful to you (as always, practice safety when meeting with an adult mentor, and make sure to get your parent’s approval if it’s someone they don’t know). You could ask them to help you as you navigate college choices, stressful situations with friends or assignments, and simply to lend a hand when needed. 

-Make time for fun: It will seem as if you don’t have a spare second during your busy weeks, but it’s also important to make a little time for relaxing. If you are heading to college in a town or state that’s far from home, you will want to savor the memories and special times with your family and friends before you leave. Set aside time each week (even if it’s just an hour or two) to disconnect from your cell phone and truly engage with your parents, siblings, or friends to do something special like a pedicure, brunch with girlfriends, or even shopping for things you might need for college. Most importantly, remember that these times with your loved ones aren’t just for you…they create memories for those special people in your life who have invested in you.

-Practice life skills: This is one of the most important things you can do during senior year! If you are setting out to “leave the nest”, now is the time to prepare for some of those adults tasks that might seem boring, but are going to benefit you when you move into your dorm or apartment. Some of these things are: learning to do your taxes, balancing a checkbook, learning to cook basic recipes like soup/sandwiches/pasta, ironing, laundry, and car maintenance. It can be humbling, but ask your parents to help you get a handle on these skills, and you will feel so much more confident when you have to do them alone later on! 

By implementing these simple steps, you can continue on in your senior year with confidence. Stay tuned to our blog for more tips, advice, and encouragement for your journey!