High school checklist: Make the most of your senior year

Smiling teen making a frame with his fingers

Soak up your last moments in high school while also preparing for college with these must-do items.

Your time in high school might be coming to a close but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still time to make memories — or get a jumpstart on your college career. Whether it’s something small, like decorating your graduation cap, or something a little bigger, like acing your final exams, there are many ways to soak up the last moments of high school before starting the next chapter.

One way to do this is to create a senior checklist with must-do items to complete before the end of the year. Don’t know where to begin? We’ve got you covered! Check out these fun checklist items for inspiration on how to make senior year your best one yet. 

1. Don’t forget to say thank you!

We all have that one teacher who influenced us the most in high school. Maybe they took a little extra time to explain math problems to you or they wrote a college recommendation letter for you. Whatever the reason, take the time to thank them — you never know when you might need their help again, plus you’ll make their day!

2. Open a bank account

While you may have been fine using cash in high school, consider that a checking account (and debit card) can be super helpful in college. If you don’t have your own checking and savings accounts, talk to your parents about opening both before you graduate from high school and head to college.

3. Go all out for spirit week

Sports may be on pause for now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your school spirit. Wear your school colors with pride — whether you’re in person or on video.

Better yet, plan a group costume with your best friends so you can all get in on the fun! Your friends can easily pay you their share of the costume costs with Zelle®1.

4. Take senior photos

Senior year is special: it’s likely your last year living at home before you head off to college. What better way to celebrate your achievements than with a fresh set of photos?

Whether you hire a professional photographer or go out to the backyard with your mom and her smartphone, senior pictures are a great way to announce your accomplishments to the world. Plus, you’ll have some nice new pictures for your social media profile, and your family will love having updated photos of you, too.

5. Figure out what’s up with credit

Graduating high school is a huge step toward your next chapter, but part of taking that next step is getting real about your finances. You might feel like you don’t need to understand credit just yet — hey, you only just figured out trigonometry! — but getting a jumpstart on credit is always a good thing. Before considering credit, take time to learn why your credit score is so important and how you can make sure it stays healthy during your college years.

6. Practice setting and reaching a financial goal

One of the best parts about senior year is making lasting memories. Maybe that means taking a beach trip after graduation or buying a new phone to stay connected with friends after you head to college. Chances are, mom and dad will appreciate you making those dreams a reality with your own money. You can do some careful planning to save up the cash.

If you have a Wells Fargo checking account, consider using available tools like Budget Watch. Budget Watch takes your account history to suggest monthly goals for different categories (like “travel” for beach week or “shopping” for when you buy clothes or shoes).  You can also go into Budget Watch and manually set goals.

7. Celebrate your accomplishments

Don’t forget to celebrate what’s important: that you’re one step closer to your future! Whether you’re celebrating getting into your dream college, landing a cool job, or just taking time to figure out your next move, be sure to take the time to celebrate you and your accomplishments with friends and family. Plan a dinner or take a selfie wearing your new college logo — just make sure you’re taking some time for you.

Are you ready for college? Track your progress to key milestones with the Get College Ready tracker.

Want to read more about managing your senior year tasks?

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