What to Expect When You’re Expecting (to Be in Grade 12): Tips for Your Senior Year

by Elijah Kesh Rosales || Photo Credit: Nathalia Canlas

So…, you’re going to be due in just a few months, for… graduation, that is. Right now, you might have a flurry of emotions overwhelming you one way or another. And I get it, there will be feelings of fear and anxiety as you enter your last year of school, so to help with that, here are a few tips to help you out a bit. 

Tip #1: Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

Cartoon by Kyle Ravinn Nase

Bet you didn’t expect this to be the first tip. But you’re going to be applying for colleges soon and they all want a piece of you—your gorgeous face. And I know, right now, it may seem like deadlines are far away, but trust me those numbers will creep up on you like a cockroach smelling fear, so get those ID pictures taken. 

Typically, it won’t be a one size fits all kind of deal, different universities and scholarships require varying sizing and formatting. Having to take multiple shots for an ID picture could get costly, so my advice is only to get one taken and ask for a digital copy. By having that one digital copy, you can now manipulate the dimensions to what the universities require. The most common sizes they would ask for would be 1×1, 2×2, and passport.

Tip #2: Prepare more and more (documents)!

Cartoon by Nikki Tabaranza

Just your ID pictures are not gonna cut it for your college applications, you know what? So prepare a lot of your documents in general. Note that you can’t really prepare all documents that you need as some of them, if not most, would be given in the following school year. So, for now, here are a few documents that you would be needing that you’d also be able to collate within the summer break leading to the 12th grade: your birth certificate, your parent’s income tax returns, and your Grade 11 report card (if already given by the end of the school year). 

Should you have any time to spare, it’s also a good idea to start brainstorming on what you’d like to include in your college essays and letters of request for teacher recommendations. These usually take the most time to finish and process, so start working on them as soon as you can!

Tip #3: Choose wisely.

Cartoon by Faye Rhianna Avendaño

Surprise! More college stuff. 

Think about your preferred courses now. This instant. Or else…

Just kidding, but do try to think about what courses you would like to take and sort them out on a priority list. Most universities will be giving you a myriad of choices, so think about what you really want as much as you can to avoid making hasty decisions about your future. You should think of different factors that would affect your decision. First, think about what your interests are, and what fields in STEM really excite you. Then, think about your strengths and skills and see where they intersect with your interests.

Last, but definitely not the least, is to think about those courses’ earning potential. We don’t live in an ideal world so don’t look into the future with rose-tinted glasses where we can all simply follow our dreams and become whoever we want, so try to think about how sustainable the course you’re picking is in the long run.

Tip #4: Get your head in the game. 

Cartoon by Joxyne Gravoso

Finally, something not college-related this time!

College applications aren’t the only things you’re going to do. You’re going to have to finish your STR research paper on top of all your other academic requirements. My advice is to basically just do anything as soon as you can. Procrastinating for just even one day can lead to mountains of work in the long run, so just try to do whatever you can as early as you can do it.

 Tip #5: Take a break. 

Cartoon by Ivory Dawn Castro

Hey, it is your senior year. You’ve gone through so much to get to the point where you stand today. So don’t be too hard on yourself; don’t forget to take a quick break or a breather. 

Make sure to spend as much time as you have with your friends. After all, it’s your last year before you all go on your separate ways to higher education. Cherish all the time you have with them because time goes by unbelievably fast. I literally can’t believe I’m writing this only barely a month away from our graduation; I already miss my friends, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to talk to them, albeit online, every day.

And that’s it for my tips to get you through the 12th Grade. I hope these tips help you out somehow. Nevertheless, keep going and keep fighting, cause now you know a bit on what to expect for the upcoming school year.

So, to the upcoming seniors, good luck, congratulations for making it this far, and remember: “papunta palang tayo sa exciting part.

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