The following op-ed piece was written by Cathedral Prep senior Steve Bretz. All opinions expressed are his own personal opinions.
With graduation approaching for the Class of 2014, here are my eight tips for the new class of seniors that will take their place next year.
1. Apply to college early.
The first and best piece of advice I can give you is to apply to college early. Gather up your recommendations, fill out your applications, and send your transcripts by mid-September. The sooner you apply, the better chance you have of getting into your number one school. I have had too many friends this year fail to get into the college they wanted to go to because they applied late. Plus, applying early can relieve you of a great deal of stress for the application process can be quite stressful.
2. Do not give up your freedom.
I don’t know what it is, but by senior year everyone seems to have a girlfriend. Heading into senior year with a girlfriend is the biggest mistake you will ever make, especially if you believe that she is “the one.” All she is going to do is take away from your time with your friends and cause much un-needed drama. My advice is that if you currently have a girlfriend break up with her before you start senior year and stay single.
3. Stack the first semester.
If you’re heading into senior year worried about your transcripts solidity my advice would be to stack the first semester with hard classes. Trying the first semester of senior year is not frowned upon, only the second semester is, so it is a prime time to complete tough classes and boost your transcript before senioritis kicks in.
4. Enroll in the Gannon program.
Gannon University is a phenomenal institution with tremendous professors who are very knowledgeable in their respective fields. If you are offered the option of taking classes at Gannon, definitely choose to do so. My easiest class first semester was philosophy and my easiest class second semester was psychology. What do these classes have in common? They are both at Gannon and both require less work than any class you will be taking at Prep next year.
5. Don’t fall into the AP trap.
AP classes are for those who can handle them, and those who can handle them only. If you are moving up from honors, have motivation problems, or are trying to make your college resume look better, I strongly recommend that you stay in honors classes. The stress that comes from AP classes is not worth worrying about senior year. Just heed my advice and remain in honors or academic if you really want to breeze through senior year.
6. Pick easy electives.
This one I don’t feel I need to explain all that much, considering the title is self-explanatory.
7. Be a good boy.
One mistake students make every year is believing that they are invincible because they are seniors. Contrary to this belief, seniors are not invincible, and the administration is always eager to make that apparent to any non-believers. My advice is to stay under ten demerits and avoid any discipline contracts by any means necessary.
8. Don’t wish the year away.
Senior year is the last chance you will have to spend time with your Prep brothers, so cherish and enjoy every moment of it. College is going to be fun, but it can wait a year. Too many people go through senior year complaining and saying how much they can’t wait to leave Prep. However, when they’re gone they miss it and wish they had a second chance to live it over again. My advice is to have fun, make memories, and enjoy every moment of senior year because it is truly a special time.