What To Remember As An Incoming Senior
Going into senior year can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for people. However, it’s important that students don’t let college decisions and plans after high school prevent them from having fun and enjoying their final year in High School.
By: Haleigh Moller
Go on a road trip with friends
Taking a weekend to get away and enjoy yourself is essential as a senior. There’s no better place to go on a road trip than Colorado. Between the variety of camping spots and the multitude of national parks, Colorado makes it easy to find a spot.
The best part about going on a road trip with friends is that it’s easy to enjoy yourself without spending a lot of money. Instead of staying in an expensive hotel, it’s cheaper to either split the cost of an AirBnb or camp. Camping is cheaper and more adventurous than staying in a house because it allows you to pick exactly where you want to stay and there will likely be less people around.
Some of the best spots for a road trip with friends are Breckenridge, Estes Park, and Aspen. Breckenridge is good for a road trip in both the summer and winter. In the winter, there’s easy access to skiing. In the summer, students can go hiking, camping, or white water rafting.
While Estes Park isn’t known for a ski resort in the winter, there’s still plenty of activities to do there during the cold months of the year. The Rocky Mountain National Park is accessible all year round, so even if it’s too cold to hike, driving around the park is always an option. In the summer, students can go on a number of different hikes or visit the Stanley Hotel.
During the winter, Aspen has some of the best slopes to ski/snowboard. In the summer, there’s a variety of activities to choose from. Students can go to the Aspen Art Museum, shop on main street, or go for a hike at Maroon Bells.
Another easy road trip for seniors is the sand dunes. This is a must-do for anyone who lives in Colorado. People travel from all over the world to see the sand dunes, so students should take advantage of it being so accessible.
It’s about a 3 and a half hour drive to get there, but the drive always goes by fast when you’re with friends. It’s best to leave in the morning and come back before it gets dark, so that there’s no need to pay for camping or lodging.
Meditate and do yoga
As cliche as it sounds, meditation and yoga are very beneficial to do as a senior, and has been proven by various studies. In one study from Upworthy.com, it was proven that meditation in schools leads to a variety of benefits, such as increased attention, better mental health, and social-emotional development.
According to Jessica Mei Gershen, a certified yoga instructor and founder of Yoga For All Needs discusses the benefits of yoga in a recent article from Harvard Medical Health.
“Yoga is really effective because it’s so tangible. Learning physical postures builds confidence and strength as well as the mind-body connection,” Gershen says. “Through yoga, kids start to realize that they are strong and then are able to take that strength, confidence, acceptance, and compassion out into the world,” notes Gershen.
With that being said, there’s nothing but positive outcomes that come from doing yoga and meditation outside of school. These practices shouldn’t focus on the advanced postures and picture-perfect poses that are popular on Instagram, but rather the mental health benefits and calming sensations they provide for people.
Get a job
Getting a job is one of the most beneficial things a high school student can do. Whether this is working in retail, at a restaurant, or having an internship, having some sort of work experience in high school helps prepare students for what is to come after high school.
Having a job in high school allows students get a head start and prepare them for when they graduate or get a job after high school.
However, this doesn’t mean students need to work 7 days a week. Students can work after school a few days Monday through Friday, and then one day on the weekend and still make a reasonable amount of money. If students set just a small amount of money aside each paycheck, they then will have money saved for after they graduate.
Spend more time outdoors
Living in Colorado makes it easy to spend time outdoors year round. There’s a variety of activities to do in Colorado all year, from skiing to hiking and camping.
Taking a small amount of time every day to get outdoors and take time for yourself is critical, even if that just means taking your dog on a walk after school. It’s important for students to realize that not all of their time needs to be dedicated to school and work, and that it’s important to dedicate time to relax every day- even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
Nature is restorative, and therefore being outside once a day can impact a person’s concentration. In fact, "doses of nature might serve as a safe, inexpensive, widely accessible new tool for managing ADHD symptoms," researchers wrote in a recent study.
In the summer, hiking is accessible almost anywhere in Colorado. If students don’t want to drive to the mountains to hike, Castlewood Canyon and Colorado Springs have plenty of great hiking spots.
However, if students are willing to drive to the mountains, the Hanging Lake hike in Glenwood Springs is worth the drive and rigorous hike. It’s 2.8 miles and all uphill, making it challenging but accessible for almost any high schooler.
Find a balance between school and other activities
One thing every high school senior has struggled with at some point in time is finding some sort of a balance between school and their life outside of school. However, finding that balance is crucial so that when students go to college or have a job they know how to balance their social life with school and/or work.
If students dedicate a certain amount of time every day to completely zone out everything regarding school, it’s guaranteed they will find themselves feeling calmer and less stressed. Finding that balance between school and social life is crucial, especially for students who are planning on going to college.
Don’t stress too much about test scores and grades
Too many students worry too much about getting a certain score on the ACT or SAT, which is unnecessary because colleges look at more than just numbers on a transcript. However, what incoming seniors need to know is that their test scores and grades aren’t the only thing that will determine their future.
In fact, many colleges will accept students with grades and test scores below their requirement if they see they participate in extracurricular activities like volunteering and sports. While it’s important to do your best on these tests, it’s not necessary to take the ACT or SAT more than two times.
Research has proven that after taking these tests more than twice, students are likely to either not improve or have their scores go down. So in other words, as long as you try your best and don’t stress too much, you’ll be fine.