Paperwork isn't really everyone's favorite thing in the world, but for seniors it's important.

Paperwork isn’t really everyone’s favorite thing in the world, but for seniors it’s important.

By Jaz Thomas, age 17

Florin High School Student

So you finally made it: senior year!

You’ve survived your first semester, went toe-to-toe with finals, stared the SAT and ACT right in the eye, applied for scholarships and started college applications. You can finally relax, right?

Wrong.

For those seniors with their eyes on UCs and CSUs, maybe you do have some time to relax—those applications were due at the end of November. However, that relaxation time won’t last forever! As one year closes and another one begins, there’s still a lot to get done during the last few weeks of December.

FAFSA starts January 1 at midnight, and it’s important to apply as early as possible. You should also get your federal PIN created so you can e-sign your forms for faster processing. Don’t forget to remind your parents to hold on to their year-end paystubs, what with the FAFSA asking about their finances.

You would also want to put a personal planner down on your Christmas list to jot down all the important deadlines that will start looming over your head. They say to “not put off what you can do today for tomorrow.” Procrastination should be your number one foe, the Joker to your Batman, the Lex Luther to your Superman, and Magneto’s band of villians to your X-Men, it isn’t going to help you now or when you throw yourself into the college fray.

Once winter break lets up and you’re pumping yourself up to drive it all home, do not give into senioritis! That means no slacking off as graduation approaches. You have to stay on top of your grades, projects, deadlines, etc.

Another useful piece of advice: look for a job. There’s a lot of free money through scholarships for students who apply. The thing is, money doesn’t grow on trees, and tuition is getting pricey nowadays. If you haven’t already started your own college savings, or even if you have, take on a part-time job and start saving up. You never know when that extra hundred or so dollars might come in handy.

So what are you waiting for? Get to work and good luck!