Money Mentor



Three things I wish I had done before Senior Year


By Samantha Bruno-Tello, High School Student

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Slowly but surely, I was definitely feeling the senioritis creep up on me towards the end of junior year. I was one hundred and ten percent ready to finally have a short schedule and spend most of my last year in high school fooling around, just waiting for the day I received my diploma. While senior year did bring the short schedule I dreamed of, it also came with considerable responsibilities-ones that required much more effort than I’d initially thought. I am only two months in for senior year,  and I already realize that I should not have underestimated the load of work that’s currently being thrown at my face. There are so many times where I sit and think, “I should’ve prepared for this. I should’ve done that. I shouldn’t have been so lazy”. Learn from my mistakes and do not let that be you.

1. Writing your college essay takes a LONG time. Start working on it now.

If you’re like me and motivation and effort are two very hard things to come by, I am telling you now: don’t put off starting your essay. Putting together your essay requires a lot more than just actually writing it. If you want a good essay, you’re going to have to brainstorm a lot, then plan, then write, have other people (maybe your teachers and friends) look at it and make comments, then you edit and revise it. Trying to find that essay that conveys exactly what you want colleges to know about you while also answering the prompt will definitely take you more than just a month.

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2. Don’t wait until the last minute to take your SATs/ACTs

Right now, it’s November, and so many of my friends are rushing to take the SATs and ACTs because they didn’t start taking them until September and have yet to be satisfied with their scores. You are probably going to want to take the SAT/ACTs more than once, for some people, more than twice. Seats to take these tests fill up fairly quickly, especially as college application deadlines approach, so don’t be left behind!

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3. Make sure you have at least one teacher who you’re close with.

A lot of the time, you don’t really think, “Hey, I wanna be friends with a teacher!” but trust me, when it comes to applying for colleges, you’re going to need it. Find at least one teacher whose subject you like, or who knows a bit about you beyond just a classroom setting. This is going to make it a lot easier for you to find someone to write you college recommendations, and it’s definitely going to make their letter a lot more appealing as opposed to one from a teacher who barely knows you. Visit them after class, frequently email them, actively participate in discussions!

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Samantha Bruno-Tello is a high school student at Bayside High School.

Samantha Bruno-Tello is a high school student at Bayside High School.

Kelly Peeler