How to Prepare for College Your Senior Year of High School

Two Beautiful Young Ethnic Twin Sisters With Backpacks Walking Outdoors.

As a senior, you are just a few short months away from being done with high school. Congratulations! This is such an exciting time in your life. But this last year of high school can also be filled with a lot of stress and uncertainty about the future. With your freshman year of college coming up, there are a few things you need to get done before your first day of college classes. Here is a comprehensive list of everything you need to accomplish this year!

Fall Semester 

Your fall semester should be filled with college prepping. Whether it’s taking standardized tests or applying for scholarships, you will be getting most, if not all, of the hardest work out of the way. Once you get through your fall semester it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there. Here’s what you need to do this fall: 

  1. Continue taking the ACT or SAT, and keep taking it until you get a score that you are happy with. 
  2. Start applying to schools if you haven’t already. Sometimes there are more scholarship opportunities if you get in with early decision. 
  3. Start filling out the FAFSA and talk to your parents about how you are going to be paying for school. It’s important to know how much you will be paying for school so you and your parents can plan accordingly and there are no surprises. 
  4. Start thinking about what you might want to major in or do after college. At this point you have plenty of time to figure this out, and you might even change your mind down the road, but it’s always good to be thinking about this. 
  5. Apply for scholarships. A lot of scholarship applications are due in the fall and these are a great way to get money for your education. There are so many scholarships available and many of them only require filling out a short application. 

Spring Semester 

Now it’s time to have fun and get excited for college! Now that you have gotten all of the grunt work done, it’s time to make your final decision if you haven’t already and figure out all of the details. You also need to remember to have fun with your high school friends while you are all still together! Here’s what you need to do this spring:

  1. Finish up your college applications and start watching those admission letters roll in. This is going to be the most rewarding part of the whole process, so make sure you are celebrating those victories!  
  2. If you’ve made up your mind about where you want to go, then start thinking about your living situation. Are you going to be getting a random roommate in a dorm? Are you getting an off-campus apartment? 
  3. If you haven’t made up your mind about which school to attend yet, then start making a classic pros and cons list. This might help you narrow down your best choice. 
  4. Don’t forget to soak up your last few months of high school! While it’s important to be diligent in planning for your future, you should also make sure that you are making the most of your senior year. 


Now that you’ve made your final decision, you’re ready to go to college! There are a few more things you should do before heading off to campus in the fall: 

  1. Go to your summer orientation! It may not sound like a lot of fun, but it’ll be very beneficial to meet the other freshmen and get to know the campus a little bit more. 
  2. Connect with your roommate online or in person. Especially if you get a random roommate, you should definitely try getting to know them before you move into the same tiny room together.  
  3. Earn some money by getting a job, because college is expensive. Even if you think you’ll be good about spending money, it never hurts to have a little extra on hand. 
  4. Get school and dorm supplies. This is the most exciting part! Back to school shopping is usually filled with excitement especially when that includes looking for room decor. Look on your school website at the dorm you will be living in and see if they provide a dorm packing list.  

Getting ready for college can be really exciting but also really stressful at the same time. Hopefully this blog helped you get your thoughts organized about what you need to accomplish this year so you can focus on having fun with your friends for one more year! 

Maggie is an editorial intern at Potential magazine and a senior English major at Birmingham Southern College. She enjoys reading and writing articles and blogs and is excited to share some of her college experiences with Potential readers.

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