How To Set Yourself Up For Success in Your Senior Year of High School


By Paul Kirsch

Senior year is an exciting time: You’re almost done with high school, you’re nearly finished with your high school career, and, perhaps most importantly, you’re almost done with high school.

Although most of your college application work is likely complete at this point, it’s important that you continue the momentum you’ve been building and do what’s necessary in your senior year to set yourself up for success in college.

Some DOs

DO RUN for club leadership positions and continue being a contributor. The Ross BBA program is very collaborative and the most successful students here are the ones who value contributing to our community.

DO KEEP UP with your after-school activities and volunteer opportunities. Maybe even add an additional activity or organization to your schedule after you finish applying to college and have more free time.

DO CONTINUE to be intellectually curious. We love when students enter Ross with an active, hungry mind — and the best way to do that is to start now. Why not read one of these books this summer?

  • Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life
    By Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Burnett and Evans teach a Design Thinking course at Stanford and their book takes the same thought processes that lead to incredibly innovative and strong companies, and applies it to your personal development. Read more

  • My Beloved World
    By Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

This best-selling memoir follows Justice Sotomayor from her childhood in the Bronx projects all the way to the Supreme Court. It’s a “journey that offers an inspiring testament to … the power of believing in oneself.” Read more

  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
    By Marjane Satrapi

An illustrated memoir about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It has been selected as a common read by more than 105 universities. Read more

DO BUILD upon your study skills! I recommend rewriting or re-reading your high school lecture notes after school. This is a great routine to get in before heading to college. No one in college will be following up on how you study, so this is a good habit to build now.

DO ORGANIZE your college application files. Instead of tracking application deadlines, you’ll want to start researching and tracking college-specific scholarship deadlines, or college visit programs for admitted students.

DO COMPLETE your FAFSA (if you haven’t already). And remember to respond to financial aid offices if they ask for additional documentation. To be considered for any financial aid at Michigan (including Ross-specific scholarships), we need these documents.

DO PRACTICE ‘adulting’. Go grocery shopping, open a bank account, prepare your own tax returns, etc. These are skills you will need when you move away to college, learning them now removes a whole set of first year challenges in a few short months.

Some DON’Ts

DON’T GET senioritis: your grades and a strong finishing effort still count. A poor performance and grade in your final semester of calculus or French or whatever else you’re just “so over” right now can have dramatic impact on your future at Michigan. There is a process called “Grade Review” that the admissions office runs. If you receive too many Cs, Ds, or failing grades, they will reach out! And yes, this can affect your admission decision.

DON’T LOWER your standards, take dumb risks, or do anything that will jeopardize your future because you think “it’s just senior year hijinks.” If you engage in behavior that is against school policy, or even worse, illegal, your admission is likely to be revoked.

DON’T LET the college search process consume you — balance applications with other priorities and take care of yourself.

DON’T BINGE watch the new season of Fuller House on Netflix. It’s not good … just trying to help you out, here.