Senior Year Bucket List: 12 Things To Do With Your Senior During Their Last Year of High School

A note pad with the words "Bucket List" on top and numbers below.

Senior Year Bucket List: 12 Things To Do With Your Senior During Their Last Year of High School

Published September 25, 2023

A note pad with the words "Bucket List" on top and numbers below.

Hey there, parent of a high school senior! Your kid’s senior year is upon you, and before you know it, they’ll be trading textbooks for cap and gown. It’s time for you to create your very own bucket list to make the most of this milestone year with your student. Grab your sense of adventure (and a few tissues), because we’re diving into the ultimate parent’s guide to surviving and thriving during your teen’s senior year.

1. Attend Their Games and Performances

Whether your teen is a star athlete or a theater prodigy, be their biggest cheerleader. Attend as many games, performances, and recitals as you can (but don’t feel guilty if you miss some because no one is keeping score, not even your kid). Trust us; they’ll appreciate those “I saw you shine” talks later on.

2. Plan a Surprise Party

What better way to celebrate their achievements than with a surprise party? Whether you do it on their last birthday as high schoolers, on graduation day, or somewhere in between, organize a gathering with close friends, family, coaches, mentors — anyone who made a mark on their lives until now — and watch their faces light up when they walk in.

3. Embark on a College Road Trip Together

Exploring potential colleges is an exciting part of senior year. Turn it into a memorable adventure by road-tripping with your teen to visit campuses. Singalong sessions in the car are encouraged!

4. Record Messages From Loved Ones

Collect heartfelt messages from family, friends, coaches, and mentors, and present them to your teen in a video. It’s like a giant group hug they can revisit whenever they want.

5. Attend the Homecoming and Prom Send-offs

Help your teen get ready for their big nights, take those Instagram-worthy pics, and wave them off like they’re heading to the Oscars. Get ready to  tear up!

6. Set Up a “Senior Memories” Night

Host a “senior memories” night at home where you can all reminisce about their high school journey. Share funny stories, show embarrassing baby photos, and laugh until you cry. If they prefer, host it for their high school friends and let them share their best (and maybe their worst) memories of high school and laugh about it. Bonus points if someone records it!

7. Attend Graduation With Pride

Of course, you’ll be there for the big day, but why not go all out? Create a giant banner, wear matching shirts, or even bring a foam finger that says, “That’s my kid!”

8. Craft a “Life Lessons” Letter

Write a heartfelt letter to your teen, sharing your wisdom and life lessons. Seal it in an envelope and give it to them on graduation day—a gift they’ll treasure.

9. Share a Special Tradition

Start or continue a special tradition that’s unique to your family during senior year. It could be a weekly game night, Sunday brunch, or a secret handshake.

10. Teach Them Household Skills

Before they fly the nest, make sure they know some essential household skills. Teach them to cook their favorite meals, do laundry, and balance a checkbook. Adulting 101!

11. Plan a Parent-Teen Adventure

Go on a parent-teen adventure together. Whether it’s a camping trip, a day at the amusement park, or a cooking class, make some unforgettable memories.

12. Give Them Space and Support

Lastly, remember to give your teen the space they need while offering unwavering support. Senior year can be overwhelming, and they’ll appreciate your guidance and understanding.

So there you have it, the ultimate parent’s bucket list for your teen’s senior year. Get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions, from laughter to tears and everything in between. Cherish every moment because, before you know it, they’ll be tossing that graduation cap and embarking on their next adventure. Here’s to celebrating this incredible journey together!

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Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

How Students Should Spend the Summer Before Senior Year

College Countdown Gift Ideas for Parents of Seniors

High School Transition to College: A Parent’s Guide

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