This is it, Sparklers: your last full month of high school. Go ahead, read that again. Let it sink in. June is just around the corner and then YOU WILL BE FREE! Anxious? Have that icky feeling like you're forgetting something? That's why we made this handy-dandy guide to making it out of those locker-lined halls alive!
- Send in tuition deposits! May 1 (today) is the decision-making deadline for most schools. Once you've chosen, it's time to send in your initial deposits and secure your spot.
- Accept your financial aid. For some schools, this is an official letter you have to sign and send in. For others, there's an online acceptance form. Whatever it is, make sure you're in touch with your school's financial aid office and you're submitting the proper paperwork.
- Figure out housing. If you're living on campus, check with your school to see if there's a registration process. You'll most likely need to fill out a roommate questionnaire—and take it seriously! Those questionnaires do have a slight influence on who you live with for the next year. If you're living at home, sit down with your parents. Talk over the guidelines for living at home now that you're a COLLEGE student; for instance, you might want to ask them (nicely) to relax your curfew or give you a bit extra freedom.
- Send in your final transcript. Go ahead and put in a request with your school that your final transcript be sent to the college of your choice.
- Get ready for AP exams! AP exams are coming up this weekend; make sure you're prepared. Check with your college and find out if there are any other placement tests you can take to get credit and knock out some of those pre-requisite courses.
But believe it or not, college-related things are not all you have to be aware of. You also need to make sure that you...
- Pay any fines you've acquired in high school. Most schools won't give your diploma until you've paid up on all your fines, including library fees!
- Know what's up with your cap and gown. Are you renting it? Buying it? Wearing your grandpa's? Most schools will remind you about your cap and gown over and over, so make sure you pay attention.
- Keep your grades up! It can be hard to concentrate on final exams when you know you'll be out of high school in a month, but stay strong! Keep studying!
- Get a summer job. If you haven't already, now is the time to nail down your summer employment. Even if you don't need the cash, trust us: you do NOT want to be stuck at home all summer long with parents who are just as nervous as you are about college in the fall.
- Remind everyone you're graduating! Make sure you point out your graduation to all of your parents' friends. The more people you tell, the more checks you'll get. If this sounds a bit manipulative, well, it is. But you'll be glad you have the cash when you hit campus in the fall!
Are you ready to graduate?