Senior year is full of many things, but one thing it lacks is… free time. I’ve met countless juniors and seniors who come into their senior shoot breathing a sigh of relief…sometimes it’s one of the only times they have been able to relax and be pampered in a little while. I really empathize with the craziness of junior and senior year, and the numerous pressures that are put on students (even subconsciously) because there is simply so many things to take care of. As a mom myself, I totally know how those schedules really look and how high schoolers can easily be overwhelmed. I’ve compiled some helpful tips I’ve heard from other students, or that have worked well for my sons:
-Have a centralized spot for paperwork: Even though we live in a digital age, there is so much paperwork that needs to be kept, documented, turned in or retained during the years leading up to graduation. It’s important to have a designated spot for papers, like a plastic file holder like this one. As far as emails, be sure to make little folders within your inbox, so that you are not searching through tons of emails to find the right ones. Create categories like: college applications, college visits, SAT’s, college admissions, graduation, etc.
-Use Alexa or Google to set verbal timers: Using these little devices is actually so helpful! It can really create little pockets of time that you may normally use to scroll on your phone or scroll social media. Ask Alexa or Google to set a timer by saying “set a 15 minute timer” and choose one small task that you can do in that time frame, like responding to emails, putting away laundry, or laying out sports equipment and outfits for a busy week. It’s also important to use timers to create moments of space for yourself, to do things like taking short walks, meditating or praying, or catching up with a friend on FaceTime or the phone. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done in little 15-20 minute increments. (Pro tip: you can also set a timer for 15 minutes before you need to leave the house, which is an awesome way to stay on track and never be late!).
-Loop in your team: ask your friends and family to help keep you accountable to your goals. If you are someone who typically struggles with procrastination, ask your friends to keep you on track by asking every once in awhile about projects you need to get done. Of course, they don’t need to babysit you, but it can be helpful to say things like “Hey, can you check in with me in a few weeks to see if I’ve finished my senior boards?” Knowing you will need to have made some progress within a certain time frame can help if you are notorious for putting things off!
Remember that college is a learning opportunity: Even if you’ve not perfected the art of time management, you will have lots of opportunity in college. In college, many of the classes are not as structured as high school, and you’ll need to manage your own timelines for assignments and finals. It’ll be up to you to figure out how to space out your time, so that you can adjust to the newer schedules! Give yourself grace and time.