Spring in New England is eagerly awaited but can also be stressful, especially for seniors. Grades are important for prospective colleges, as are the SATs or ACT exams that students are preparing to take. Not to mention trying to keep up with a sport, a job or activities outside of classes.
It may be tempting to let things slip as you get into these last couple of months. But believe me, it will be worth it to hang in there until your finals are over – strong grades this year will give you more choices when you apply to colleges in the fall.
There are only so many hours in the day and you should not cut back on your sleep. Studies show that teens still need 8 hours of sleep each night and that your performance suffers with less. Sometimes the results are better by getting one more hour of sleep than one more hour cramming for a test.
There may be some other areas where you can cut back for a couple of months until school is out, so that you can fit everything in and still have some time to unwind each week. Work on cutting out distractions (phones, internet, TV) so you can get your school work done in less time and then have some time for you!
We all have times of day when we are most efficient as well as routines that work best for us, so we get our work done in a timely manner. This spring is a time to really zero in on being efficient, so you get the results you want without sacrificing your health or all your social time. Ask for help in setting up good routines and study habits if this is an area where you struggle. Of course, progress in this area will benefit you next year and in college as well.
Remember that you will want to ask two teachers to write your college recommendation letters this spring. They may write them over the summer, so in most cases, it is a good idea to ask in late April or early May to make sure the teacher you want does not fill up. Continue to participate in class, stay after school for extra help as needed and plan to give your teacher background information if they agree to write your letter. They do this on their own time so be very polite and thankful when asking!
In most schools, your guidance counselor will also write a letter, so make sure you keep in contact and plan out your senior classes together. It’s hard for them to write a strong letter if they don’t know you!
Try to keep family college conversations to a meeting time and just enjoy your meal times together without any talk of college preparation. Good to have everyone take some deep breaths and remind each other that this will all work out!