Allison Kelly

​When entering senior year, I had no idea what my capstone would be. I didn't feel interested enough in anything to dedicate a whole school year's worth of work to the project. I was actually one of the very late bloomers when deciding on a capstone idea. I had messed around with a few different topics, but nothing really stuck with me. It wasn't until one day when I was reflecting on senior year and all of the things I wish I knew going into it and I wish I was warned about  that it finally hit me. I was going to make a senior year guidebook for the incoming seniors of SLA.

The book consists of 8 chapters. It starts out with an intro to senior year, just a general idea of what to expect. After that, it goes on to tell my experience as a senior. I try to the best of my ability to warn them to steer clear of all of the mistakes I made. I then talk about some junior year necessities. In hopes that all of the advisors will make their advisory read the book over summer, this chapter will help them know what exactly to have done before even entering senior year. I then talk about test prep, creating their own future plans, and some of advice on how to be accepting of situations and motivated to make something work for them. The best chapter of this book  are letters written by some other select SLA seniors giving their own stories and advice.

Overall, I have learned that you can always take something away from an experience, even if it didn’t turn out the way you planned or would’ve liked. Maybe the best thing I have taken away from my senior year is the advice that I have crafted into this guidebook to be able to help other seniors out with some information and advice that I wish someone could’ve given me.

Below is an excerpt from the first chapter of The Official Guidebook to Senior Year.

And so that time has finally come. The year in which you have so longed for, the one you thought would never actually arrive. It’s here and it is going to go by faster than you will ever believe. All of our years in schooling are spent wishing for the weekend, the summer, the following year, etc. that we never realize until it’s all over how fast that time we wished away actually went. The scary thing is though, that is time you will never get back. So, I am here to help you not be in the current position I am in, wishing you could start senior year all over, do things differently, and get all that wished away time back.

    I think the first place students go wrong when entering senior year is the mindset they have. Senior year has gotten itself this reputation of being the easy year, the year that you just cruise through. I hate to break it to you, but that is not the case at all. From experience, I can actually say that it is quite the opposite. Senior year was definitely the hardest year of high school. All of the work you get in all of your classes seem like so much more than it actually is just because you were expecting all of your teachers to be asking close to nothing from you, and sadly that’s also not the case, well not at least until about second semester. So, not only do you have your normal boatload of work, but it is also the lovely season of college applications.

Now at SLA, being as we are a very small, close school, we seemed to have been warned about everything. We have rarely went into a year not knowing exactly what the challenges entailed. We were warned about how hard physics class would be for most of us, we were warned about which teachers would always catch us on the elevators, which teachers were pushovers and would fall for accepting a google doc link for a submission even though they wouldn’t be shared in for weeks to come, what it would be like to finally be stuck in a Don Marcos or Reddy class, and even how hard junior year would be. But, for some reason, nobody decided to warn us about the hardest year of our high school careers.