Grace’s Declassified Guide to Senior Year


Photo by Victor O'Neill Studios

Stay engaged and have FUN at school activities like the fall pep rally!

Calling all rising seniors, Class of 2020! There’s so much I wish I’d known before I started my senior year. There are so many important things happening: college applications, senior project, prom, graduation, and more. It can definitely all seem overwhelming at first, but with this advice from the Class of 2019, you can avoid the stress and focus on making your last year of high school the best one!

Here is what graduating seniors want you to know before you start your final year of high school:

Put yourself out there! It’s your last year of high school, so try playing a sport, go to sporting events in full Wakefield spirit gear, take a class outside of your comfort zone, or join that club you’ve always wanted to join. Senior Hannah Jones said, “Getting involved in leadership with Equal Club actually changed so much for me. Because of Equal Club, I got scholarships, met so many people in the community, and found an area of social justice I will continue to be involved in for the rest of my life.” Balance out the stress of application season and that first semester grind with clubs and activities you really enjoy doing while making yourself a well-rounded student!

Just go to class! Senior Haley Kerby said, “Stay on top of your attendance, especially in the beginning of the year.” It can be tempting to skip, but if you tally up too many unexcused absences or tardies, you could be prevented from the best end-of-year activities like prom or Senior Picnic. You’ll definitely want to use some unexcused absences for things like Senior Skip Day, so don’t be skipping in the beginning of the year when you’re actually doing lots of work in your classes.

Write your personal essay for colleges over the summer! This essay is the most important piece of writing of your high school career, and the last thing you want to do is feel rushed while writing it. If you plan to apply to some colleges early, some deadlines come up as quickly as the beginning of October, so having this essay done by the time schools starts really helps you avoid a lot of stress in the beginning of the year. Senior Parker Michos said, “I wish I started my college applications in the summer because it would’ve prevented a lot of stress around the deadlines and I would’ve felt a lot more confident about my writing.” With the personal essay behind you, you’ll have more time for fun things like your last Wakefield Homecoming, football games, and other fall activities!

Don’t take college decisions personally. There’s a million and one factors that go into the choices that colleges make. There’s tons of great colleges out there, and even if one doesn’t work out the way that you’d hoped, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still another great place for you. Senior Coury Gaffney said, “You shouldn’t validate your entire life based on the college you go to.” Don’t let stress, pressure, or disappointment ruin the end of your senior year! Everything will work out as it’s meant to, and at the end of the day, it’s what you do in college that determines your success, not the exact school you go to.

Fight senioritis! The last thing you want to do is slack off in the classes you need to graduate. Senioritis is beyond real; I could barely make myself even write this article. Honestly, after you get into college or have made your post-high school plans, it’s hard to motivate yourself. It’s okay to put in less effort than before, but just make sure you’re not ruining your ability to be exempt from finals or graduate. Definitely don’t let yourself slack off in English, Government, or Senior Project! Senior and Student Body President Eli Sampson said, “I thought senior year would be a lot easier than junior year, but it wasn’t. I didn’t have more homework, but there was more to do like applying to colleges or getting a job.”

Get your prom plans squared away in advance. Wakefield prom is pretty late compared to other schools, so dresses from popular sites can get sold out quickly! Remember, there’s no need to spend a crazy amount of money on a prom dress. Plenty of places sell great dresses for low prices, like Lulus or PromGirl. Many people get dinner with friends then head down to the Reflecting Pool in D.C. to take pictures. If this is what you want to do, be sure to make a dinner reservation far in advance! Also, if you can get together a large enough group, it can be fun to rent a limo or party bus for the night (depending on the size of your group, rentals can cost anywhere between $20-$50 a person).

Most importantly, just make the most of it! The year goes by so quickly, and before you know it, you’ll be walking across the stage at Constitution Hall. While it may seem overwhelming or stressful now, there’s so much to look forward to.

From our class to yours, good luck and congratulations; you have one year left!