Senior year is almost over, and graduation will be here before you know it! To help our graduating seniors prepare for life after high school, our staff members have shared both their advice and the advice they wish they had been given!

General Advice for Seniors Going to College…

“You deserve to be there as much as the person next to you! Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise! You may feel out of place for a while and that’s okay, give it time and you’ll soon find your tribe.”

Janelly, Academic Advisor

From our Academic Advisor Brendan:

  • Go to your professor’s office hours if possible. It’s a great way to talk to your professor and ask questions. This is also a great way to build relationships and get letters of recommendation.
  • Schedule tutoring and make it a habit as early as possible. Even if you don’t need it the first week or two, block the time out in your schedule for it and go anyway.
  • Don’t be afraid/ashamed about going to student health services if you need support. They can either help you out there at the center for free or refer you to someone in the community right away.

From our Lead Advisor Sarah:

  • Set up direct deposit for your financial aid refund.
  • Open a bank account for yourself.
  • Apply early to a work-study job to get the best ones.
  • Say yes to opportunities that fill you with joy.

Advice for Trying New Things…

“Take a class in an unexpected subject. For example, I took a theater class and one semester-long assignment required that I attend one theater show each month. I ended up learning the bus system around my town and saw multiple plays, stand-up nights, and improv troupes perform.”

Sarah, Lead Advisor

“Take a course outside of your major. I studied English and communications and decided to take courses in two completely unrelated fields: HTML/CSS coding and genetics. There were both incredibly interesting and beneficial to other subjects I covered later on.”

Brianna, Administrative Assistant

For Seniors Going to College Away from Home…

There are some things to keep in mind in your transition between where you grew up and the college you’re moving to.

From our Lead Advisor Sarah:

  • Learn how to do laundry.
  • Learn how to make one meal in the microwave that’s not Top Ramen.
  • Try all the cafeterias on campus to find out who makes the best sandwiches/burgers/desserts/breakfasts.
  • Get a bus pass if your college town has a public transportation system! Most are free or inexpensive with a student ID.
  • Don’t bring your car to campus if possible.
  • Learn the names of the janitor or cleaning staff in your dorms and be kind to them.

From our Administrative Assistant Brianna:

  • Go to events! Don’t be afraid of attending events that are catered to freshmen your first year. That’s how I met some of my closest friends!
  • If you’re going to college in a different state, do some research on local stores and restaurants. Reading reviews and hearing feedback from locals can help you steer away from the staple fast food restaurants and big grocery stores to find cheaper prices and better food!
  • Before you move in, make sure you know what your commutes to and from your classes, job, dorm, and shopping trips will look like. How close are they do each other? Can you walk or ride you bike?
  • It’s okay to feel homesick. You’re adjusting to a new normal, and while it can be scary, it can be really beautiful, too.

For Seniors NOT Going to College…

From our Academic Advisor Janelly:

  • Just because you didn’t go straight to college does not mean you’re a failure! Use this time to explore different options until you find the career path that’s best suited for you! No matter what, I’m proud of you!
  • For a graduating senior going into the military: You’re so brave! You’re going to go on to do some amazing things that only those serving with you will ever fully understand and that’s okay. Still share your stories! Thank you for choosing a path that not only benefits you, but makes our country proud!

For When it Seems Overwhelming:

From our Lead Advisor Sarah

  • You don’t have everything figured out right now and that’s okay. You won’t actually have everything figured out ever.
  • When people ask you what you’re doing next/what you’re studying/what you want to be, they are genuinely excited to hear whatever answer you give. It may seem repetitive, but everyone asking you this is in your corner and rooting for you.
  • Take care of yourself, especially when you’re stressed or worried about this big change coming up. Go for a walk, take a bath, play music, talk to friends, do something healthy that makes you happy.

Seniors, don’t forget that you’re now part of the Alumni Program! Your Dream Team support doesn’t end when you get your high school diploma! For more information on the Alumni Program, check out the program page here!