Seven ways to make the most of your senior year

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Sylvia Zuiderveen

PV seniors make the most of their last homecoming prior to graduation.

Alyse Zuiderveen, Copy Editor

This year’s seniors have only experienced one normal year of high school – their freshman year. As first quarter wraps up, here are seven ways to make the most of the rest of senior year:

      1. Try a new school activity

Senior year is the last chance to try activities at PV. This realization hit senior Lily Law this year, so she joined PV’s diving team and has had a wonderful experience. “During the time of COVID I began [to think about and question] why I was afraid to start new things when my time to try things in high school was so limited in the first place,” she shared. “I had wanted to start diving for a few years, but with that knowledge I finally just decided to start with the last chance I got and I’m happy I did,” she shared. Law has enjoyed her diving experience and believes that she has benefited greatly from getting out of her comfort zone and trying something new.

      2. Spend time with your family

Many students look forward to leaving home and gaining independence; however, it is important to not neglect family in the process. Spending time with family prior to graduation can be done in simple ways, such as being intentional to eat one meal per week with them, and does not have to be the monotonous process many students tend to associate with family time. Spending time with family is important regardless of where you are going to college; however, it is especially important if you are a student planning to attend an out-of-state college or do not plan to come home frequently!

      3. Enjoy what the Quad Cities has to offer

The Quad Cities is home to many local coffee shops, restaurants and natural beauty. Seniors, take time this year to revisit places that have been important in your life and to embrace what the Quad Cities has to offer, especially if you have lived in the Quad Cities your whole life! Celebrate what makes the Quad Cities unique. The Quad Cities is full of agricultural beauty that makes it incredibly special, and it has many fun things to do such as walking by the Mississippi River and visiting local boutiques! 

      4. Mentor younger students

As the oldest students at PV, seniors have a large impact on younger students, especially elementary-aged students who greatly admire seniors. Senior Summer Halsey has decided to use her passion for children by serving at Kids Club, a group at her church, Coram Deo Bible Church. “Serving in Kids Club brings me joy. The children there brighten my day and make the whole week better,” she shared. Halsey has found that she also has the opportunity to get to know younger high school students through her student leadership team at Coram Deo Bible Church. “I am also a part of our student leadership team at church and this has led me to some of my best friends,” she emphasized. Many of these close friends are younger students who Halsey has recently grown relationships with because she has been intentional to have a mentor-like relationship with each of them.

      5. Challenge yourself with some of PV’s classes

The academic rigor of PV’s courses is often unmatched and something PV students do not take full advantage of. However, it is important to be intentional with the classes you take – expose yourself to classes on topics you might not choose otherwise. This exposure to new classes is beneficial to things such as deciding a college major, as PV offers classes in things such as business and engineering. Taking these classes can help guide seniors’ future. Seniors, don’t hesitate to take other classes just for fun – allow yourself to take classes related to art, music, or any other area you’re passionate about!

      6. Cheer on the Spartans at sporting events

Since senior year is the last year you will be cheering on the Spartans as a student, take advantage of the opportunities you have to support your classmates and school at games! Join Blue Crew, attend sports events and go with friends you know you will have fun with! Take part in the cheers, join others in Rally in the Valley and dress for game themes! Keep the traditions that have been prized by seniors at PV for years and maybe even put your own fun twist on them! These memories will stay with you for a while, so make memories that you will want to keep!

      7. Spend time thanking the teachers who have invested in you

Many teachers have played large roles in the lives of their students, fostering both academic and personal growth. As you begin to finish your time at PV, thank teachers for pouring so much into their jobs while emphasizing the ways they have played important roles in your life and genuinely show appreciation for them. Show gratitude throughout your senior year, and be intentional to do so during Teacher Appreciation Week. This important time takes place during the first full week of May, and includes Teacher Appreciation Day, which is the Tuesday of that week. Teachers are largely responsible for the success of their students, and thanking them is important!

Keep up the great work, seniors! You’re almost onto the next step of your life!