Spring vacation has come and gone and Easter just past, which brings that time of the year when Seniors are looking at the final haul to the end of an era – High School! There is so much to do and so many emotions that it is important to keep some things in mind in the last stretch to the finish line.
For most students final exams are coming – whether AP, A Level or IB. Dedicating the time to focus, when the finish is so close, is a challenge. Granted! But this is the time when students should be preparing to seal the deal with their best efforts. There is a fair amount at stake:
1. The schools that have accepted you are expecting you to finish strongly. Any deviation from what your predicted grades suggested could end up being a problem.
2. Earning advanced credit – based on the subject, the exam and the level of the course (AP (4.5), A2 (A*,A), IB HL (6, 7) or the IDP) you could potentially earn advanced credit for your results. Certainly that was on factor in choosing to take those courses – right? Do not lose sight in the final stretch.
So… while your enthusiasm for school wanes in the dog days of the final stretch, do yourself a favor – knock those exams out of the park!
Exams are not the only thing coming. Once you have made your deposit to a university you will have lots of other things to plan. Some schools will ask you to choose your courses for next year. You will have a roommate survey to complete, documents to sign and send back, visa applications, and much more. Keep organized, plan ahead and finish those items before they come due.
Perhaps that hardest part of school is the ending. You’re at the end of a stage in your life. You’re leaving school, leaving friends and leaving home. On all these fronts it can be both exhilarating and scary. These feelings can leave you in an emotional quandary – at time elated and others depressed. You may even feel blasé about the whole thing.
Take some time to reflect on the end of this period of your life. Take time to take stock in what you have achieved and perhaps what you did not achieve; what did you do well and what needs focus. You may have some regrets, but you cannot go back in time. Still, as this year is coming to an end in a flurry, make sure you take the time to say “Thank You” to those important people in your life who helped get you where you are today: parents, teachers and friends.
Be careful not to close any doors by being out of touch or too blasé. Yes, you’re leaving and high school is ending. But this is not the time to make mistakes – careless or otherwise. Remember people will think back not on all that you have done over time, but how you finished – that last memory of how you behaved and presented yourself. While you cannot undo a lot of your past, set the tone for how you will be remembered.
University is coming before you know it. As you are preparing to go off this new adventure, start planning now how you will take advantage of all these opportunities. Be realistic, set goals and write them down. I always encourage students to take part in at least three different activities when they arrive: 1. Academic, 2. Social, and 3. Personal.
An Academic activity might be a club or organization that is connected in some way to your academics or have an academic underpinning – Debate Club, Model United Nations or something of the like. A Social activity might be a Fraternity or Sorority or community service club or organization. It could even be an international club or student government. And finally, one that is personal or physical – a sport of some sort, Yoga, outing club etc…
School is not just about the classroom; it is also about building relationships and experiences. By having three activities of different classifications, you spread out your relationship building, while at the same time developing new skills or building on ones that exist.
As this term comes to an end, look forward, but also pay attention to what is right in front of you. Work hard and achieve the results for a rockstar ending to the long trudge of high school.