Welcome seniors to the final year of high school!
You have survived three years, and now you just have the final grind until you are done. At this point you should have a very good idea of what you want to do after you graduate, and should be working for that goal. If you are going to college, then fall of this year will probably be the most painful period of your entire high school career. However, to make it easier, here are some tips and advice for each part of the process, and here are some tools to help alleviate the stress and confusion. College applications will inevitably create tensions in your family, and it is helpful to find days in your week where all talk of college is banned. Make sure you know what tests are the last ones accepted by your schools, and know the process for how your guidance counselors want you to turn in materials.
By the fall of the year, you should have your college list pretty much finalized. Decide which schools you may want to apply early to; this will help you spread our your applications so it is easier for you to handle. However, do not apply early if you are not ready. At the same time that you are apply to schools, make sure you keep an eye out for scholarships. Scholarships are incredibly helpful, and so many are offered throughout the year. Here are links to many scholarships around the nation. Particularly pay attention to the local scholarships as they have a smaller applicant pool thus increasing your chances of getting one. While summer programs can still be fun the summer after your senior year, it is also the last summer you will have with your friends, so don't overload yourself and enjoy the summer.
While you complete your college applications, it may seem overwhelming to be applying to something that is often seen as the end all be all defining thing for the rest of your life. However, statistically this is not true. In the long term, Ivy League students fare about the same as any other student from any other college. When it comes to college, it really comes down to the person that you are. It depends on if you will actually use all of the resources that college gives you, and if you continue to push yourself to your full potential.
While college applications may be stressful, don't let them get to you. This is your last year! Enjoy it. Go to the games. Celebrate. Hang out with your friends while you still can, and visit your favorite teachers.