Making the Most of Your Senior’s Final Semester

For many parents, the sad realization that their senior only has one more semester before they graduate high school hit pretty hard over the holiday season. Whether we like it or not, Covid’s forced quarantines brought some families closer together and the thought of graduates leaving the nest might be a difficult one for parents. Instead of thinking that you are losing your child, think about the new and exciting opportunities ahead and how you can help prepare them for their next adventure.

Take Care of Business

Probably the most important thing you can do is help your student finish high school or get their GED. Even if they are not college bound, surviving one more semester and earning the proper credentials is a good start in a successful future. If your student plans to go into the workforce or a specialized trade right away, just get the diploma. No need to fuss over GPA or the number of extracurricular activities. Show up enough to pass the classes and move on. If they know what type of trade they’d like to pursue, help do the research. Are technical schools available? Are certain locations better than others for that type of work? Use your wisdom and experience to point your teenager in the right direction.

If your student plans on attending college, the list is a little longer. Get in touch with your school’s college counselor as soon as possible to discuss scholarships, FAFSA, and application requirements. The in-house expert is a great resource and helps to streamline the process. Encourage your student to build a resume (on paper and in real life). Suggest getting involved in volunteer opportunities before it’s too late. Once they have a few things to add to an actual resume, help them build it. This is great practice for the real world, but also might be needed for scholarships. Speaking of scholarships, search far and wide for possible opportunities. Ask teachers for recommendation letters early in the semester and give them plenty of time to finish before the due date.

Practice for the Future

Once you get your student on the right track for graduation, you can start teaching more deliberate life skills. Go over financial planning with your student. Help them understand what student debt might actually look like in terms of amounts, interest, and paying it back. Encourage them to budget and allow them to take responsibility for small expenses like cell phone bills or gas. Also, start delegating daily tasks that they can handle. Have your child help with daily tasks like calling businesses such as Alpha Elite Roofing for your annual services or sending them to the grocery store with a list and some cash. Give them the opportunity to be responsible and you might be impressed.

Finally, enjoy the time you have. Have some fun with your teenager before they leave for college and return as an adult. They won’t be under your roof for much longer and you might actually miss them!