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10 Things Every Senior Should Do Before Graduation

For my English 101 Redux Project, I have decided to compile a list of all the things high school seniors should know or do, based on my personal experience.

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1. Get Plenty of Sleep

I realize that the end of your senior year can be quite stressful, but the week preceding graduation, you're going to be constantly on the go. Between studying for finals, class meetings, and graduation parties, you're probably going to be pretty tuckered out. If not earlier, try going to bed at least an hour earlier than normal.

2. Don't Take This Day For Granted

As sad as it is, your graduation day is most likely the last day you may see any of your friends - especially if you are graduating from high school. It's a known fact that you are more likely to lose touch with your high school friends than college, so take some time to just reminisce with some close friends and wish them luck for the future. Who knows, you might just run across them years from now.

3. Prepare Answers

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You can almost bet money that during your entire senior year, you are going to be asked the same questions over and over. Questions that all have to do with your future plans. Most of these questions should come from people that care about you, so you know they mean well, but hearing the same thing can get pretty tiring after a while, so go ahead and prepare a few answers, that way nothing is set in stone, yet you can still appease those distant relatives that want to know what you want to do.

4. Try Something New

For me, being the boring person that I am, my "new experience" was drinking a mug of coffee for the first time. If you are a more daring or extroverted person, your new experience will differ greatly from mine. But either way, I highly recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone at least once before your big day, if for no other reason than to say you did.

5. Thank Your Teachers

Maybe not all of them, but we all have those one or two teachers or professors that were there for us when we needed them. For me, it was my band directors. I once "skipped class" (I had prior permission) and spent almost the entire day at the band hall with them. Even if you don't plan on using their respective subjects, they did, in one way or another, help you get to this point in your life.

6. Spend Quality Time With Your Parents

Your parents have, hopefully, been there for your entire life thus far. They are your number one supporters, and are probably taking your graduation a lot harder than you are, they're just not showing it. As somebody who grew up with only one parent, I learned to appreciate all that my father did for me from a very young age. They may be embarrassing, but in a short time, you will be leaving, so a nice way to console them would be to let them know they are loved and appreciated. You will miss them more than you think you will.

7. Reflect

As corny as it sounds, I would suggest spending some time by yourself to just think about how much you have grown as a person. Thinking about your past, and all the struggles and circumstances you have overcome to get here. Also, the people that have helped you along the way, which ties into thanking your teachers, friends, and parents. You'd be surprised at how much you find out about yourself.

8. Don't Hold Anything Back

Face it, no matter how emotional or sensitive you usually are, your graduation is going to be a heavy night emotionally. Don't be afraid to express what you're really feeling, whether that is pride, sadness, eagerness, or a combination of several emotions. Even if you hated these past four years, it is still a huge moment when you finally walk across that stage, turn your tassel, and toss your cap in the air. Hug your friends and family, and don't hold your emotions back, especially for the sake of other people.

9. Have A Plan

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I know this one may seem obvious, but it is very true. It is never to soon to plan for your future. Whether you leave for college, or stay home and get a job, have a basic idea for what you want to do - even if you're not sure exactly what you want to study. I would also recommend having a back-up plan as well, just in case.

10. Don't Panic

Now that you are officially about to go into the adult world, it is very easy to be overwhelmed by it all. If you are anything like me, you may have panic attacks when thinking about your future. As long as you have some sort of plan for the following year(s), and take it one day at a time, you should be fine. Don't worry too much about the next twenty years, just focus on the next four. No matter what, life is going to happen. All you can do is go along for the ride.

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