Whether you’re currently in, are about to start, or are coming to the end of your senior schooling, this article will help you figure out how to maximise the rest of your experience.
Regardless of whether you’re studying to get into medicine, engineering, theatre production or just to graduate, it’s important to remember that this time in your life is very short and only comes around once. Despite what you may tell yourself, there are only a couple years left until you’re an adult and out into the world. Your senior years are a crucial point to set yourself up for your future.
As important as it is, I’m not going to be telling you to go and study as hard as you can and all the best tricks to ace your exams (if that is something you’re interested in, you can check out our high school tutors or our other articles once you’ve finished here). No, what I’m going to discuss is how to make the most of your time outside of class and transform your senior years into a truly invaluable experience.
So, without further ado, here are the top things to keep in mind throughout your senior years:
This is a piece of advice that I’ve really learned the value of during uni: get involved and engage. It’s a piece of advice that you can take beyond just your high school years. One of the best things to ensure that you do is to make the most of the opportunities that you are presented with.
You may be wondering WHY this is so useful. Well, there are countless benefits. Straight off the bat, connections – you never know who you might meet when you engage with the chances presented to you. Whether it be your new best friend or a link to your dream career, the people that you meet are so important in shaping both who you are and what you do in life, so why not take the steps now to optimise that? While you’re at it, maybe set yourself up with LinkedIn to keep up to date with these new connections. Another reason, inspiration – until you really have the chance to engage with different fields, you can’t be sure that the path you’ve chosen is the best one for you. It may well be that you haven’t even heard of your dream career, so get involved and broaden your horizons. The last reason that I’ll mention, your resume – the more you do and the more responsibilities that you take on, the more that people will have proof of your dedication and commitment to what you’re involved in.
How Can I Get Involved?
Now that you know the benefit of engaging with opportunities, what can you pick? There are some more traditional options which are tried and true: leadership / captaincy roles, the chess club, your local soccer team. Perhaps none of these are within your interests and that’s why you haven’t done a whole lot to get engaged before. You might be able to find something that gets you that edge on the career you’re studying for; for example, if you’re looking to engage with healthcare, volunteer at a nursing home or if you’re interested in politics, join a youth roundtable. There are a wealth of opportunities out there waiting to be found, they just might not be at your school, so be prepared to do some research.
Teach Yourself Something New
You might not be all that comfortable throwing yourself into extra responsibilities while you’re dedicated to your studies and that’s okay too. If you decide against external engagements, you can always try new things on your own in moderation when you know that you have the time. There are many ways to better yourself and discover your true passions without having to go to a lot of extra effort. You can try to learn a second language, mess around with video production or dabble with a programming language. There are many things that you can do to discover your interests without having to take a whole lot of time away from your schooling.
Get Familiar with ‘Adulting’
As scary as it is, your adult years aren’t far away, so maybe you could decide to set yourself up for when you’re out in the world. Some of those ‘adulting’ skills like cooking, managing finances and cleaning the house are crucial to being able to survive. And yet, it’s pretty common to be moving out of home without knowing how to do at least one of these. As an added benefit, it might put your parents in an unusually good mood to come home to find a pristine bathroom or a nice warm dinner.
Go Out, Be Social
Something you may not have expected to find in the list, is to simply spend time with your loved ones. High school may be the last time you see some of your friends, so don’t forget to take the time now to enjoy their company. You’re still young, so cherish it. Go out and get a bit crazy once in a while, make the memories that you can look back on down the line.
Hopefully this article has given you something to think about when it comes to making the most of your final years of high school. Just remember, as much as these points are great to keep in mind, your studies should still be a priority, so don’t let yourself get too carried away.
Written by KIS Academics Tutor, Quinn Horton. Quinn is currently pursuing a Bachelor (Honours) and Master of Engineering [Mechatronics] at the University of Queensland. You can view his profile here if you would like to find out more about him or request him as a tutor, or check out our other high school tutors here.