The second semester of your senior year of high school often feels like it’s more focused on college or your post-high school plans. Everyone is busy making final decisions on what school they want to attend. They’re looking for scholarship opportunities, financial aid, and housing. With so much going on, we often forget to enjoy what’s left of high school. It’s likely that this is the last time you will be so close to the people you grew up with because in just a few months, they will be moving away. So, in the whirlwind of college preparation, here are ten things you should do before you get your diploma.

1.PAY ANY OUTSTANDING BALANCES

At my school, we weren’t allowed to buy tickets to senior activities unless we paid our fines. Check in with your school to make sure you don’t have any outstanding dues. In some cases, you can access this information via your school’s website. So that chemistry textbook you’ve had laying around since sophomore year, make sure to turn that in ASAP! 

2. GO TO A SCHOOL DANCE!

Homecoming might be over, but there’s still other school dances you can attend. Lots of school organizations hold dances in order to fundraise. Or, you can go to prom!

3. ATTEND A SCHOOL EVENT

This can be a sporting event or even a play. What’s more fun than watching your friends take part in a soccer game or play a tree in your school’s production of Romeo and Juliet?

4. LEARN SOME HOUSE CHORES

Maybe you already do this but try to learn some house chores before you graduate. This can be doing laundry to even cooking a simple meal. It will help you a lot when you’re in college and your friends and family aren’t around to help you out!

5. MAKE A HIGH SCHOOL PLAYLIST

In lieu of a final exam, my English teacher had all the seniors complete senior projects that would commemorate their four years of high school. One of my favorite parts was making a playlist of songs that reminded me of high school. My playlist included classics like “The Harlem Shake,” “Thrift Shop,” and “Gangnam Style.”

6. WRITE A LETTER TO YOUR FUTURE SELF

Reflect on your four years by writing a letter to yourself. Write about what’s currently happening in the world, maybe we finally have flying cars? Once you finish your letter, seal it and store it somewhere safe. Then open it after you graduate college or after your first high school reunion!

7. TAKES PICTURES AND VIDEOS OF YOUR FRIENDS

Snap a picture at a school assembly – you won’t have these in college – or when you’re on a field trip – another thing that likely won’t happen in college! These memories will help you a lot when you’re feeling homesick and missing your friends.

8. VOLUNTEER

If you haven’t volunteered yet, why not start right before graduating? You can find events through your school to volunteer at. Maybe you can help sell tickets to a sporting event or you can volunteer at orientation for middle schoolers who are anxious about starting high school. Who better to show these students the ropes than someone who is almost done!

9. THANK YOUR TEACHERS…AND STAY IN CONTACT WITH THEM!

I think everyone has a teacher who really helped them survive high school. Teachers do so much that often goes unnoticed, so remember to thank the teachers that have made an impact on your life. Also, remember to get their contact information. Whether it’s their email or adding them on social media, don’t fall out of touch with your teachers.

10. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR PARENTS

You still have a whole summer together but, don’t miss out on spending time with your parents before you graduate. It will be much harder to do when you’re in college. My high school had a dinner event for families which was a great way to share one final high school memory with your family before graduating. If you’re in sports or extra-curricular activities such as orchestra, band, or theater, make sure to invite your parents to come watch you in your final high school performance.

Yes, it’s important to prepare for college, but that doesn’t mean you should lose out on making high school memories. Make these last few months worthwhile and before you know it, you’re going to be a graduate!

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