How to Spend the Summer Before Senior Year
When I was teaching, my goal was to only have 2 crying kids per semester. I’m a sympathetic crier, so it gets awkward real quick. 😭 But when I started teaching seniors, the number of cryers increased. I needed more tissues.
The stakes were high for my seniors and so was their stress level. Between their demanding courses, studying for the SAT, the college search, extra-curricular activities, and just being a teen, my seniors were on edge.
I don’t want to scare anyone, but senior year, especially the fall semester, is intense. (And this is true for the senior year of college, too!)
But you can lessen some of that stress by using the summer before senior year to prepare. There are a number of ways to get yourself organized and complete some tasks ahead of time.
Seriously, do yourself a favor. Spend time this summer prepping for senior year.
How to Spend the Summer Before Senior Year
Set up your planner
Seniors tend to be super busy. The best way to help yourself to get through this year is to keep track of your assignments and commitments. If you haven’t used a planner before, this is the time to bust one out. Try out a paper planner or download an app. Just set one up and start using it. In July, if possible.Don't lose track of due dates by setting up a planner now.Click To Tweet
Reflection + Goal Setting
Think back on the last year and decide what went well and what were your challenges. How can you improve for senior year? Do you need to use a planner more regularly, learn to study, or start focusing on particular classes? You can find more reflection questions here.
Whatever you need to do, write it down and set some goals for next year. Place those goals someplace you will see them every day – I like the bathroom mirror or the fridge door.
On top of all your schoolwork in the fall, you will also need to figure out what you’re doing after school – work, military, college, etc. You can get ahead of that process in the summer with some research and planning.
Study for SAT or ACT
This is prime time to prepare for standardized exams. Use this extra time to study and get it over with. You will thank yourself in September.
If you haven’t already, do some research and create a short list of schools to apply to in the fall. If you can, go and visit colleges. Does the campus feel different in the summer without most students? Sure. But sometimes, just setting foot on the campus can help you decide whether to apply. (That happened to me!)
Create a list of teachers to ask for a recommendation
Get this done as soon as possible. Think about teachers that fit the following conditions:
- You two have a good relationship – don’t bother asking a teacher who doesn’t like you
- You finished their class with a good grade
- The teacher watched you improve over time
- The teacher is accepting recommendations
Work on your resume
It’s time to write a resume for job and college applications and teacher recommendations. (When I wrote recommendations, I kept the resume right net to my computer and included information from it.)
You can find a bazillion templates on the internet. (I like these ones!) You need to include volunteering, work experience, and extracurricular activities. Need more ideas – check out this post from Julia Does. If you don’t have ANY of those, it’s time to get started on those, pronto.
Complete your Summer Assignments
If you have summer assignments, please don’t wait to the last second! Turning in an amazing or even just decent, summer assignment starts the year off strong and makes a good impression on your new teacher.
Let’s not forget that this is still summer! Don’t spend the entire time in your room, stressing over your senior year. Set aside time for family and friends! Make a bucket list of things you want to do during senior year and then actually do a few of them!
Let’s not spend the entire summer bingeing Netflix. Get out in the real world and do something with your time. Volunteer or get a job. Both have positive effects, not only for the community, but for you as well.
Getting some work done time over the summer will help you keep the stress level down in the fall. But if necessary, you can cry on my shoulder. Don’t worry, I’ll cry with you.