Prospective students tour Shepherd University. Photo courtesy Shepherd University

Senior Blues: End-of-High School Mistakes

Applying to college is a challenging task for everyone involved. In West Virginia alone 59.2% of high school seniors apply to college, but what they do not realize is applying to college is the easiest part of it.

Junior year is a busy time for many high school students. They are taking the ACT and SAT exams, researching colleges, and going on college campus visits. It does not slow down after that.

During a high schooler’s senior year, they start applying to colleges, writing their entrance essays, perfecting their standardized test scores, etc. Once they get accepted into college, kids like to think it will all get easier, but little do they know, there is still so much to do.

One thing that high school kids struggle with is second semester burnout. This is especially prominent in a child’s senior year. This is when seniors have already been accepted into a college, so they do not see the point in continuing their efforts in their classes. In the second semester, class grades have declined over the past couple of years.

One high school senior, Lindsay Poplin, said, “I am counting down the days until graduation. I have a full ride. It is hard to continue with the same efforts.”

Many colleges aged kids, especially first-year students, say they regret not showing as much effort the second half of the year. It makes it harder to finish with the grades that got you accepted into college. This affects end of the year grades and the results of end of year exams.

Students do not focus on things like their AP exams, and those affect which college classes they test out of. Also, many colleges ask for your end of the year transcripts. Even though you were already accepted, they can just as easily revoke financial aid for declining grades.

Speaking of financial aid, many students do not apply for scholarships. They apply for FAFSA, free application for federal student aid, and they sometimes receive aid from their universities. Other than that, they do not prioritize applying from other sources. This leaves college students in a lot more debt than necessary.

One college student said, “I wish I spent more time looking into scholarships. It would have saved me a lot of hassle paying back my student loans.”

Another thing a lot of students wish they focused on in high school was learning how to study. A lot of students, especially those within honors and AP classes, naturally achieved good grades throughout school without studying. This negatively affected them when they started college because it was no longer a study free environment. The problem is that they never learned how to study.

One of the biggest mistakes high school students make is focusing on the course grade rather than the course content. This negatively impacts their college grades because instead of learning the content, they are focused on the grades. This makes it harder for them to accomplish things in their college courses because they do not remember the background knowledge needed.

Overall, these are just a few mistakes high school students make during their academic careers. These are easily avoidable things that will make your college career so much easier for everyone.

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