It’s their last year with you, their school, their family and their childhood. For many High School Seniors the Fall is filled with college visits, gathering information and college applications. Parents are navigating the “FAFSE,” and wondering why this child doesn’t have a full ride based on their academic or athletic prowess? Many of them start pulling away from youth group even at the start of the year. This is the “biggest year of their lives,” as they focus down on proms, class trips, graduation and a final year with their friends.
As they appear aloof and “grown,” it’s easy to just let give some wise advise as they enter in, and then let them go. However, I have found this to be a vital time of transition for both us and the Senior.
Beyond a potential small group for “them,” what do they need from us?
They may act like they have it “all together.” They may even tell you they do. However, there are only a small handful of overachievers that have the rest of their lives figured out. Guidance counselors are overworked and don’t have the time to really talk “future” in detail with students. Sit with them and think through not what they want to do as much as who they want to be “when they grow up.”
Not always a literal embrace. Sometimes they just need someone to keep reminding them they are meant for more. I have met too many Seniors who in the end stay home because the future is just too overwhelming. The start of the school year is the perfect time to start holding onto them, and reassuring them that God has this and it’s going to be alright.
What are they doing to foster their relationship with the Lord? Is it all wrapped up in actions or do they understand they are pouring into a relationship? Guide them to rely less on you, leaders or programming, and ensure they know how to take time daily to spend time with Jesus in prayer, worship, & His Word.
You are the bridge between this last year of “adolescence” and “young adulthood.” At least this is how they are feeling. It will need to be an ongoing process of aiding them as they look to their year after HS. When they look at schools, what’s on and around campus in the way of Bible Studies and Christian organizations to help them with accountability? Could you or a volunteer make some calls to churches around their potential schools to find out how they can get involved?
Sometimes they just need practical help in how to fill out an application. What’s the best grammar for an essay? What’s their ideal major? If they aren’t “ready” or “made” for college then what? Do they need a year on the missions field or to find a trade school? How can you help them talk to keep communication lines open with parents? Parents need you to be with them as they help students think forward.
All those years they have been with you, this is the time to pull it all together and walk out this final year. Most of all let them know this is NOT the “LAST HURRAH” this is an exciting step ahead.
What are you doing for your Seniors starting this Fall?