3 Tips to Avoid Senior Year College Prep Stress

Maximize Your Senior Year

It’s almost your senior year and you’re ready to enjoy your summer break before reality kicks in next fall. Should you have fun this summer? Emphatically yes! There’s adventures to take and friends to hang with. But to set yourself up for the best senior year ever and to avoid any college prep stress, create a plan that allows you to enjoy your summer break and prepare for college without feeling overwhelmed. 

Make a list of what you want to accomplish in your last year of high school. (This one gets you started.) Maybe you want to take a fun class to make the academic load easier. Or visit a few colleges, get a part-time job, volunteer, or letter in a sport. Now think about what you need to accomplish each item on your list. Map out your success path and put everything on your calendar. (Learn how to set and keep SMART goals here.)

Now make one more list. This one will help you avoid difficulties. It’s likely you’ll get stressed a time or two this upcoming year. There’s a LOT to figure out, grades to keep, financial forms to complete, and decisions to make. How can you be mindful of your stress levels? What are some tools available to you to counter that stress and keep you from feeling overwhelmed? How do you best relax? Listing out these resources makes handling stress much easier and lessens the time you have to deal with your stress.

Now dive into summer, knowing you’ve laid out a plan.

SAT/ACT Preparation

Most high school seniors take the SAT or ACT test in the fall of their senior year. Put the registration and test dates on your calendar and pull together a plan for how you’re going to prepare for the tests. You may want to take a class, grab a book, hire a tutor, or study on your own. Whatever path you take, you need to be deliberate and intentional with your time so you show up on test day confident, prepared, and ready to knock it out of the park.

Academic Planning

Your senior year will be busy. And senioritis will probably hit by spring semester. You’ll be tempted to slack off on homework, maybe even skip a class or two. All the more reason you need to set your academic goals early and have the fortitude to stick with them. If you need extra help to stay on track, consider finding a mentor. (We provide that here at TDC for academic and athletic goals. If you’re interested, reach out. We’d love to chat!) 

Will you be taking a heavy academic load? Are you playing sports that will make it difficult to complete your class work and projects? Think through each class and academic goal and determine whether you’ll need a tutor, and mentor, or other type of motivation. 

By taking time at the beginning of summer break to plan out next year, strategize your test prep, and academic planning, you’ll avoid college prep stress and set yourself up for smashing success.