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From Senior to Senior: 5 Must-Know Tips for Your Senior Year

Written by USC senior Kaya Clavier

Senior year can feel like a strange in-between of things ending and things beginning, but that's part of what makes it such an exciting time! I'm experiencing a very similar feeling  as I start my senior year of college. As I was reflecting on all of the years of school that led me to this one final year, I thought it would be helpful to share some things I wish I learned before starting my final year of high school.

It’s okay to not have a complete plan.

It feels like there’s always someone who has every part of their life planned out from childhood. From where they want to go to college to where they’ll be working in 20 years. While that’s great for some people, you shouldn’t panic if you’re not in the same boat! I’m a college senior and I still don’t have a step-by step plan. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, around 80% of college students will change their major at least once. So, if you don’t have everything planned for the next two decades, don’t panic! Sometimes it’s fun to be a little surprised.

Make your goals realistic.

Your high school senior to-do list probably feels endless. Whether it’s planning college tours, prepping for AP Exams or filling out all your college applications, it can feel almost impossible to finish it all. When you make your plans, make sure you give yourself a reasonable amount of time for each task. When I was a senior, I tried to finish all eight of my college applications during a week off from classes. But with babysitting, other projects and spending time with friends, that definitely didn’t happen! You will finish everything eventually, so try to make sure you schedule realistic amounts of time to complete everything.

Your dream school can change.

I always find it surprising when things work out unexpectedly, especially when the result is so much better than you pictured! Early on in my high school years, I assumed I would go to a small college that was close to home. However, when the acceptances rolled in senior year, those acceptances weren’t the ones I found myself jumping for joy over. Now I’m loving every minute of being an out-of-state student at a large SEC school! That being said, keep an open mind when considering all the options you have available to you.

Your worth is not measured by your productivity.

This is, admittedly, something that took me going to college to figure out. During senior year, and pretty much all high school, it feels like you must be involved in everything and do the absolute most to be successful. Remember, you are talented, unique and have incredible value, regardless of how quickly you check off everything on your to-do list. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a breath, you’ve got this!

Make time for fun (and friends)!

Not to be tacky, but you only experience high school once! Senior year is an exciting time for celebrating your accomplishments and the future. So, take the time to go to Homecoming, eat at your favorite hometown restaurants and hug your loved ones often! You’ll thank yourself later.

I hope you take the time this year to live in the moment and get excited for college. Ask questions when needed and remember that you’ve got this!

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.