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Last Year's Seniors Give Advice to Class of 2012

From school to sports to college applications, advice from those who have gone before.

Starting your last year of high school can be an intimidating experience. Here three Chatham High School graduates from the class of 2011 offer advice to this year's seniors:

From Brendon Kaufman:

  • Don’t rush your college decision just because others are already in and you want it over with.
  • You do have some slack room…just don’t find yourself with multiple C's
  • Go down the shore for Prom weekend
  • Make the most of your sports season if you play a sport, it may be your last
  • Take a class with "Ferg" (Terrence Ferguson, an English teacher at Chatham High School.)
  • Make your prank a good one…just don’t make the cops come
  • Wait until the right time to actually throw your hat in the air on graduation (That’s because we were a bit early.)

From Anna Kalinsky:

  • Try to actually go to class. Not necessarily on time or even always, but getting stuck in detention or tanking your GPA in the last semester is just dumb. You're going to have to go, so you might as well try to get something out of it.
  • On a related note, don't drop the ball on your note-taking and reading comprehension, it'll just make it harder to swallow when your psych professor assigns 150 pages of reading the first day of college classes. Plus studying usually means that, between AP exams and college placements, you can place into better courses your freshman year. I got to skip the first half of bio, Psychology intro, all of General Chemistry, and the first half of calculus on the basis of those scores alone. Plus I'm entering with a full year of credit. That means I get to spend more time taking weird fun classes for the heck of it and less time sitting through a class that I took in high school but didn't listen to.
  • Get a senior internship at the end of the year, because all of my friends who didn't went absolutely mad the last month of school.
  • Make sure to fill out that scholarship packet they give you in the office and get it in on time. You find out if you get any on graduation night, and the feeling when you do is pretty wonderful. Not to mention that there are very few times in your life where somebody will give you a lot of money for one paragraph about Why Education is Important or whatever. Take advantage of that.
  • Make a little money, and save it! Get a formal job, tutor, babysit, whatever, because you get to college and realize that there are a lot of little things you have to buy, like dental floss and towels. Not to mention you'll want a cushion so that you can go out with friends, buy overpriced sweatshirts with your school's name on them, and so on.
  • Get a lot of sleep! If you're staying up late because of something fun, that's fine, but try not to make too much of a habit, otherwise you'll end up cranky and pimply. And then everyone's last memory of you will be That Kid Who Was Always Cranky and Pimply.
  • The most important thing, though: Just do everything. Wear some crazy clothes to school. Make friends with some new freshmen. Join a new sport or a new club, just for the heck of it. Take every opportunity, every offer, say yes to every question. You're going to be done with this town pretty soon. You might as well see what it has left for you.


From Rani Mehta:

  • Get your college applications done early! They might seem simple enough, but between writing and revising (and revising) essays, and organizing your list of extracurricular and getting all the forms in, they’re really quite time consuming. Once you get them done a huge weight will be lifted of your shoulders.
  • Be mentally prepared. You will have senioritis. Your teachers won’t.  Even after you get into college, there will be work and some of it will be very difficult. It’s up to you to decide how much effort you want to put in, but keep in mind- you don’t want your grades to drop too much.   
  • Have fun! There are so many fun activities planned. Prom, the senior picnic, and Project Graduation are just a few of the many perks of being a senior. Being a senior is a lot of fun, so spend time doing things that you want to do that make you happy.


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