Things We Wish Someone Told Us Senior Year (Part 2)

First-generation college student? Pursuing a technical career? Trying to navigate the next steps before you cross the graduation stage? Applying to college but don’t know how? This one’s for you.

Whether you’re looking for your first job, trying to find extracurriculars to buff out your applications, or determining which path is right for you, this is Part 2 in our “things we wish someone told us” series.

1st Place Application Tips (Jobs, Colleges, Scholarships, etc). 

It’s a competitive world out there, we’ll be honest. Applying to things is no small feat, whether it’s a seasonal job or a scholarship. Here are the tools we wish we knew before diving into different programs and opportunities:

  • Use an ATS resume template when applying through online portals. (This will ensure that you aren’t getting tossed out of the pool by AI scanners.)
  • Learn how to craft a good email, and follow up after you submit an application or inquiry.
  • Have everything handy – from essays and letters of recommendation to transcripts and portfolios. It’ll make the application process quick and easy.
  • Complete forms to the best of your ability. That being said, don’t skip questions or boxes. 
  • Read the instructions and questions carefully to ensure you understand what they’re looking for.
  • Take your time. A complete, detailed application will have better mileage than something haphazard (or worse – with the wrong company, school, or job as the file name).
  • Always write cover letters from scratch if asked for one. It shows that you care about whatever it is you’re applying for, and that can go a long way in the eyes of the recruiter.

Deadlines Matter in the “Real World”

In high school (and even early college), there was always that slim chance your teacher would give you an extension or offer extra credit at the end of the semester, boosting your overall grade. While you may be lucky enough to have understanding supervisors, bosses, and coworkers, being late, whether it be to meetings or completing deliverables, is a hard no. Now and again, sure, as long as you give as much notice as possible, but tardiness cannot be a part of your regular behavior. Here are some things to try if you find deadlines difficult.

  • Utilize your phone’s Reminders app (Apple or Android). Don’t dismiss the notification until whatever you’re working on is completed. Notifications are irritating, but so is being late or forgetting meetings and assignments. Use reminders for irregular instances, like one-off projects or deadlines, that you may forget.
  • Use a calendar – digital or physical. Some people remember things better if they physically write them down; others do fine with digital push notifications for deadlines and meetings. Use calendars for things you’re likely aware of but need to refer to just in case, like meetings, events, regular deadlines, check-ins, etc.
  • Try time management software. If you have a hard time balancing everything, time management software is a great way to see everything you need to do and get reminders accordingly. Make sure your time is being spent where it’s needed most.

Have the tools in your arsenal to tackle deadlines, work, assignments, and everyday tasks in a more effective way than before.

Extracurriculars Don’t Just Appear – Seek Them Out 

In high school, clubs and organizations were everywhere you turned. Signs, tables, fundraisers, events. You likely knew what was around and could pick and choose where you spent your time. 

Once you graduate, it’s your turn to seek out similar groups and organizations. You may see a flyer or two, but it’s sometimes difficult to find what you’re looking for with a simple Google search. There’s so much available! Here are a few places to find post-grad extracurricular meetups:

  • Facebook Groups
  • Your local library (always showcases local events)
  • Seasonal classes (e.g., baking, cooking, photography, exercise, art)
  • Volunteer organizations (e.g., food banks, local festivals, shelters)

Once you get out and try something new, you’ll find the extracurricular that’s right for you simply by meeting other people!

High School Clubs and Organizations Were Only the Beginning 

While you’re closing the chapter on your primary education, you can still show your pride with your high school spiritwear from 1st Place. Whether you wear your alma matter on your sleeve or take all your school spirit shirts and turn them into a quilt, your school pride is a part of who you are. Take that pride and turn it into pride for your next job, college, or career. Be proud. Be 1st Place. Shop at 1st Place Spiritwear! 

Shop Senior Shirts at 1st Place before you turn the tassel! 

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