My Senior Year – The First Steps to the Future

Each year, Bear Facts follows a senior throughout the year, focusing on his or her feelings and reactions to being launched into the real world, checking in with him or her in each edition. This year, we present, Kayla.

The summer before senior year, I thought it would be a breeze. We’d be applying to college, taking classes (and our grades don’t even count for colleges); how hard could it really be?
I was wrong.

This first quarter has been one of the most stressful quarters of my high school career. The college essay process can be long and you WILL be writing multiple revisions of it. Most colleges do want your half-year grades, so senior year grades do matter.

Outside of academics, the finality of it will really hit you. When you participate in your last Spirit Week, when you go to your last football game… If you play a fall sport, going to your senior night will be emotional. As a cheerleader, all these events felt surreal. I have been cheering for ten years, and a few weeks ago, I experienced my last time cheering on the Brewster High School field.

When that reality hits you, it hits hard. Being under those lights at homecoming and realizing I wouldn’t get to be a part of the celebration in this way again, broke me.

In the first quarter of senior year, a lot of things will start to feel like they are slipping. Your friends may be signing with colleges or getting into their dream schools, but don’t let the future worries ruin the present. Be there for the time you have left with everyone. Senior year is only as memorable as you make it. If you worry about leaving each other as soon as everyone starts applying to college, you won’t enjoy the ride to the end.

Starting senior year is going to be more overwhelming than you would have expected. Take control, stay organized, apply to the schools you love but also listen to your mom when she says apply to SUNYS. Add some safety schools so you don’t have to stress about not getting in anywhere. I got accepted to Elmira College and for me, having one school under my belt has changed my senior year and made it so much less stressful. It’s not one of my top choices, but it’s a school I could see myself at – it’s somewhere I could start my future. Don’t apply to a school you can’t imagine yourself spending at least two years at.

The first quarter of senior year made me realize that nothing lasts forever, so we must enjoy it while we can. Go to those football games, go to the fundraisers, go all out for Spirit Week, take all the pictures you can. The grades you get senior year will have an affect on your future, so don’t let “senioritis” keep you from finishing strong.

At the end of the day, high school will be a bunch of memories. Do what you can to make the memories last and make them great. It isn’t over ‘til it is…Enjoy Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays with your friends and families and get those college applications in!