So, your child just started their senior year of high school. Now what? Preparing your teen for the next phase of life (which you may or may not have been looking forward to) can be stressful — but it doesn’t have to be.
The main question on their — er, your — mind might be, “how do I navigate this year to prepare for what’s to come after graduation?” Of course, no two experiences are the same, but here are 8 questions for all parents to answer to feel ready for graduation:
Is your senior going to college?
For some, this has been the expectation all along. For others, this is now the most important question to consider. Lakeland Christian School’s Guidance Department is tasked with helping students apply and decide on colleges, but they can also help those ready to learn a trade or join the workforce.
Where do they want to live?
Whether your student is deciding on a college or a career, location is an important component. How far from home should they go? What are things they do in their daily life now that they picture long-term? Consider family visits to campuses and cities to help your senior decide where they picture themselves.
How do you tackle college applications?
The first step is making a list of all the schools they want to apply to. There are three options colleges may use to receive applications: institution-specific applications, the Common Application, and the Coalition. The Common App and Coalition are platforms where one application is used to apply to multiple schools at the same time (read: time-efficient).
#ProTip: Pay attention to deadlines — most of them will be between November 2021 and January 2022. Other requirements for college applications are transcripts or self-reported grades, resumes, letters of recommendation, or short answer responses.
What do they write their college essay about?
Your senior’s essay should be about them. The point of the essay is for the university to get a glimpse of your student’s personality and understand how they would fit into their college campus + student atmosphere.
From discussing why they like their favorite comedian so much to the Starbucks order they make each Friday or the kid at soccer camp they mentor, there are plenty of out-of-the-box topics that will make their essay stand out.
Do you need ACT or SAT scores?
Due to COVID-19, more and more colleges are going test-optional or test-preferred, but LCS’ recommendation is to always take the test, so your student knows their scores before they make any decisions.
What if they’re unsure about their major?
At 17 or 18 years old, it is 100% okay for them not to know what they want to do with their life. Have them review available majors online, but know it’s okay if they change their mind later.
Application complete. Now what?
You wait. Each college will work on their own timeline. If a college has “rolling admissions,” then they are constantly notifying applicants of their decisions as they review them. Other schools will have one decision day where all applicants find out together.
With everything lined up, what happens now?
Your senior’s year will end faster than you think. #ProTip: Encourage your senior (and yourself) to enjoy each day and live in the moment. Ⓟ
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