Photo – Alyssa Gonzalez LRHS senior Josie Plakyda (l) talks with junior Summer Araujo

Summer Araujo and Josie Plakyda – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- As the 2022-2023 school year comes to an end, LRHS junior and “Mustangs Ahead” writer Summer Araujo wondered how best to prepare for her senior year.  She asked fellow “Mustangs Ahead” staffer senior Josie Plakyda, who gave this advice.  They thought others may benefit from their conversation.

Summer- What should I be doing before senior year?

Josie– Enjoy your summer. it’s your last one before your life changes forever so really take advantage of it. Also, be looking into what colleges you’re going to apply for because as soon as the school year starts, you should have your applications almost entirely complete. I would highly recommend using CommonApp. It’s a lifesaver.

Summer- What should I expect going into my senior year?

Josie – Expect a very busy year. Life is going to move fast as soon as the year starts. You’re finishing applications, touring colleges, getting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and scholarship stuff complete, and then all sudden college decisions come out and you’re graduating. It happens so quick, but make sure you’re savoring everything and not putting every single ounce of energy into school, take a step back and enjoy your life too.

Summer – What is the best part of being a senior?

Josie – I think the best part of being a senior is being able to get excited for your future. You get to enjoy all the senior perks as well as know you’ve reached the final stretch. Earning a high school degree is a huge deal and a super big accomplishment. It’s not to be disregarded.

Summer – What is the worst part of being a senior?

Josie – I think the worst part of being a senior is the stress that comes with it. Though it can be fun, planning your future is so stressful as well. It’s a lot to grasp, we’ve lived in the cradle of our parents’ home our entire lives and are now suddenly going to be thrown into a “vast wilderness” all alone. It’s scary.

Summer – What was your favorite moment of your senior year so far? 

Josie – My favorite moment of my senior year so far has probably been the friendships I’ve made this year. I enjoyed playing Varsity golf this season as well, but it’s been more fun to just hone in on who my best friends truly are and get to spend time with them before I have to leave them all behind. I also got a fun job this past November and that’s been fun as well.

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Summer – What are three things I should do to be prepared for senior year?

Josie – Three things you should do to prepare for senior year are –

1- start your CommonApp application NOW. Start entering the basic info like your family information, your personal interests, etc.

2- Dwindle down which colleges you might be interested in. Attend open houses and see what you are considering.

3- Just because it’s your last year, it doesn’t mean you can slack off. Colleges are still looking to see the classes you take and your current grades.