How to Not Go Crazy at the End of Senior Year of High School

Student, Morehead State University

Jun   2016



When you get close to the end of your senior year of high school, a lot of things start to happen really fast.

It feels like one minute you’re talking about plans for Christmas break and the next you’re putting away your prom dress or returning your tux. Staying on top of your regular class assignments and homework is hard enough—so it can get really stressful when you start adding in finals, AP tests, graduation parties, scholarship applications, getting ready for college, and of course high school graduation itself.

So here’s some advice from someone who’s been there for staying afloat as your hectic senior year comes to a close.

Write everything down

Start by making a list of all the things you have to take care of, inside and outside of school. I still do this when I have a lot going on outside of my daily routine.) Make a list, or use a calendar if your prefer, tracking all the things you need to do as graduation approaches. Include deadlines for various paperwork, graduation parties and rehearsals, AP tests if you’re taking them, college orientation events, end-of-year activities for your high school extracurriculars, and even your finals if you need to. I always found it really satisfying when I could look at my list and mark things off as I got them done—even though it can be a little bittersweet at this time of year!

Get things done early

Once you figure out all the things you have to do before you walk across that stage and get your diploma, you’ll probably realize that, after a certain point (for me it was spring break), a lot of things are going on all at once. To keep from going crazy with everything you have to get done, take care of things like paperwork, projects, and studying as early as you can so things don’t start to pile up.

Keep your grades up

When the end of senior year comes around, it’s really easy to hop on the “I’ll do this later” and “I already got into college, so what’s the point?” bandwagon. But don’t!

Even if you’ve already been accepted and decided where you’re going to college, your final high school transcript will still be sent to your college or university when you graduate. If you read any of the fine print on all the college paperwork you filled out, you might’ve seen that it says you’re admitted contingent on your high school graduation. And if your grades drop significantly, many colleges reserve the right to reduce your scholarship money if they’re giving you any or even “un-accept” you in extreme cases.


This is the one I was most likely to forget! As crazy and hectic as the end of senior year can be, it’s also a unique time of beginnings and endings. These days are usually full of fun (if a little bittersweet) moments and activities you don’t want to miss.

Related: 12 Ways to Reduce Junior and Senior Year Stress 

As you prepare to move from high school to college, the workforce, or whatever it is you want to do, be sure to take a moment every day to slow down, stop stressing for a minute (I know, it’s hard!), and take in everything surrounding you. Even though everything seems crazy right now, it’ll seem like it all went by in the blink of an eye when you’re about to move into a dorm for the first time and wondering where your entire high school career went.

How are you handling the end of your senior year if high school? (Or how did you handle it?) Let us know in the comments.

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About Emily Rogan

Emily is a college freshman at Morehead State University, where she is studying communications and theater. When she is not in school, she is an actor, musician, singer, and writer.