Tips for High School Seniors

Posted on March 21 2024

Tips for High School Seniors


Senior year. The home stretch. The final lap. The endgame. 

Your last year of high school is one of the most exciting, stressful, and rewarding years of your life. You can get a vague sense of what to expect in your senior year of high school, but it’s going to be different for every student. 

Most students deal with senioritis or burnout, and we hope these tips for high school seniors will help you slow down and enjoy the school year. We also have some tips to help you quell your anxiety over college admission and the future.


Tips for Making the Most of Senior Year


  1. Spend time with family and friends — Life changes after high school graduation. Whether or not you plan to move away from your hometown for college or a career, there are bound to be changes. Things won’t be the same as they are right now, and you’ll meet new people and build new relationships that will change your life. Senior year can be a sweet time with your family and high school friends, but anticipating changes in relationships is also a reason why senior year is so hard. Cherish your relationships and make sure to spend time with family and friends so you have wonderful memories to carry with you into the next chapter of your life. 

  2. Reflect on the past and set goals for the future — This should be at the top of your senior year of high school checklist. Your last year of high school closes out one chapter of your life and foreshadows the next, and it’s a great time to reflect on the journey you’ve taken over the past few years and plan for a bright future. Take a few minutes to write down the highs and lows of your high school years. Include things you’re grateful for and proud of as well as things you wish you could have done differently. Then jot down some of the things you want to accomplish or experience during the next few. This exercise will help foster gratitude for the chapter you’re finishing and excitement for the next one.

  3. Focus on school — It can be tempting to coast through your senior year, but colleges do consider your 12th-grade performance for admission. Make sure you continue to focus on your grades and stay engaged with your education. Many of the courses you take your senior year of high school are also foundational to your college courses, so the more you learn in high school and the better habits you build during your secondary education, the better you’ll perform in college. 

  4. Build new relationships — Even if you’re planning to leave your hometown for college, senior year is a great time to build new relationships. Make friends, find mentors, and build a network that you can rely on as you prepare to embark on your new adventure. 

  5. Prep for college or a career — We’ll get more into this in the next section, but senior year is the time to prepare for college or a career. 

  6. Celebrate achievements — Graduating from high school is a huge accomplishment, so you should celebrate it! Participate in all of the activities offered by your school. If your school doesn’t offer formal activities for seniors, create your own senior celebration to commemorate your accomplishments. You deserve it. 

Tips for Preparing for College Senior Year


  1. Use online tools to explore colleges — There are a variety of great tools out there to help you explore colleges, right from the palm of your hand. If you aren’t sure where you want to apply, check out resources like, which will help you filter through colleges by college type, available programs, location, net cost, and more. Once you find a few colleges that you may be interested in, do a deeper dive into the institutions' websites. Most colleges even have some type of virtual tour that lets you explore campus online!

  2. Look for scholarships and grants — There are a variety of ways to obtain grants and scholarships, funds you don’t have to repay, to help cover the cost of college. Most colleges offer institutional scholarships and grants, and you may be eligible for federal funds through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. There are also external scholarships and grant programs that you can apply for. Tools like can help you explore scholarships that you may be eligible to apply for. 

  3. Start working on your admission essays early — You don’t have to wait until application season to start working on your application essay. Do some research on the colleges’ websites to see if you can find the essay prompts and work on them the summer before senior year. That way, you already have most of the legwork done by the time you’re ready to apply. 

  4. Build your resume over the summer and during breaks — Don’t overfill your schedule, but having some experiences outside of school to showcase can be beneficial for your college applications. Consider volunteering, picking up some part-time work, or completing a short internship at a local business. These are all ways to build your resume, gain some life experience, and maybe even have fun. 

  5. Develop healthy habits now — Build healthy habits now that you can carry into college. High school and college are much different experiences, and you may be living away from home for the first time. Plus, college classes don’t follow the same schedule as high school courses, so you’ll need to be at the top of your time-management game. Think about what kind of habits could be helpful for you as you step into college. Are you going to exercise? Wake up at the same time every day? Eat a healthy diet? Start developing these things now so they are second nature by the time you’re in college. 

Senior Year at The American Academy

The American Academy offers a full high school diploma program as well as supplemental courses. 

If you’re interested in taking a few extra courses or electives to help you prepare for college or explore your interests, our individual courses provide you with a catalog of options to supplement what you’re taking at your other high school. 

The full high school diploma program allows you to earn your high school diploma 100% online from start to finish or from wherever you left off to finish. You’ll receive support from an Academic Coach who can help you build a personalized plan to make it to graduation that considers your goals and interests. Plus, courses take less than a month to complete, so if you’re interested in graduating early, The American Academy could be a good option to help you accelerate your education so you can move on to college or career faster than you would in a traditional in-person high school.

We hope these tips for senior year of high school will help you enter your final year of high school confidently! Enjoy the journey.