Junior Year Going on Senior Year - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)
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July 6, 2022

Junior Year Going on Senior Year

Senior year brings the joys of graduation, the reaping of rewards from hard work completed in the past. It also brings the excitement of a wide range of opportunities post-graduation, whether that be college or immediate employment into the workforce. Leading up to this momentous senior year, there is so much to think about. What should the last year of high school look like? How should I prepare? What should I prepare for? All good questions but in order to address them most effectively, I think it best to avoid the typical “to do list” approach. Rather, I would like to supply you with a basic “thinking list.” There is no pressure to do anything just yet, but I invite you to contemplate on some questions and consider how you may answer them. In order to do anything, one must first have had forethought to do it. High school graduation isn’t that far away so start to think, contemplating on the vast array of possibilities for your future.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When kids get asked this question they immediately are invigorated, excited with the open invitation for their imaginations to run wild without limitations. However, when you’re asked this question in high school, it is intimidating for some, especially if you have no idea what you want to do with your life. The transition from junior to senior year provides you a chance to explore and dive deeper into your interests and hobbies, allowing a space for you to determine possible occupations for your future. You may not have one specific thing you enjoy, rather you might have a handful of skills to utilize. The goal is to take those things that intrigue you and utilize them to make a logical decision about what you would like to pursue after high school. If you want to go to college, search out schools and look at degrees that will lead you to what you want to be. This is a great time to explore, discovering where you would like to spend your time once you graduate. Think about what has interested you all your life. Let your imagination run wild again, and consider what you would like to be “when you grow up.”

How will you get there?

As you consider your future, finances can be a large factor in determining next steps after graduation. Some of this takes some pre-planning. It is for this reason that it is a good idea to first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA). Each student wishing to attend a college or university must fill this application out to determine their financial aid eligibility. Consider this, take a few minutes to fill it out, and see what comes of it. Who knows, it really could make a difference in where you can afford to go for further education. To learn more about the FASFA go to: FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid

In addition to this, certain colleges utilize test scores like SATs or ACTs to help in determining financial aid. Entering senior year, you can never be too prepared when it comes to taking tests like the SAT. Now is a great time to start prepping. Consider joining a study group eventually, think about taking some online prep quizzes, or start looking into purchasing the SAT prep book for yourself. Through it all, try to keep tabs on when these tests are offered. There is nothing worse than preparing for something and not being able to participate in it because you missed registration.

As you dive deeper into the FASFA and SAT prep, it is also a good idea to acquire some type of job to gain a degree of financial security. Not only will you have more liberty to possibly purchase a car or save some money up for college but it could provide you some work experience valuable to future employers. Any job brings experience and at the same time, extra money in your wallet.

Where should you go?

With time to spare, considering what you want to do and how you will be able to financially supply for yourself in the future is important. However, this time of your life also opens opportunity for you to go and explore. Take some trips, visit some campuses, talk with some friends and become more familiar with places of interest to you. This could narrow your search down significantly as you progress to senior year and begin the application process for different colleges and universities.

When considering where you should go, it is also important to glean the input of those around you. In this time of uncertainty, talking through thoughts and plans with another person can be incredibly helpful. Contemplate things on your own but don’t keep these thoughts to yourself. By discussing concerns or possible plans for the future with a mentor, family member, friend or advisor, you will have the opportunity to sort through thoughts out loud while receiving some valuable wisdom from people you trust. Above all, asking God for guidance during this time of your life is crucial. Do not cease to be in prayer. Pray, talk with others, and think about your personal desires and motivations. In time, direction will become more clear.

What should you do now?

In your transition from junior year to senior year, there is much that can be done, but never cease to embrace the remaining time you have in high school. You have worked hard to get to this point and have much to look forward in the future so strive for excellence and finish well. Philippians 3:14 says, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). As senior year approaches upon you, recognize how far you have come but continue on, fixing your eyes toward the goal to receive that high school diploma, while never ceasing to strive for the ultimate goal found in Christ Jesus.

As you embark on your final year of high school, take this time to not only be excited for your upcoming graduation, but to start preparing for what may come next. The end of high school will come before you know it and the beginning of something new will be upon you. Before any journey, no matter the magnitude, one must prepare for what may lie ahead. You have a great adventure before you. Although you may not know what it entails completely, start mapping it out. If you begin taking small steps toward your future now, the moment you graduate from high school you’ll be able to hit the ground running, well-prepared and confident.

- Abigail Forton ’22


Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash