There’s no better time than the end of the year to reflect on our progress and growth. Looking forward, as well, it’s a meaningful time to plan for the coming year! During the flurry of New Year’s resolutions, it’s a good time to check in with your high school student and see how they are feeling. Here are a few suggestions for seasonal and holiday reflections for students as they move through high school.
Let it snow…
The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your growth and progress throughout high school. No matter what stage of the journey you are currently in, you’re facing growth and challenges every day! As busy as you are in high school, time moves, as Ferris Bueller would say, “pretty fast.” So let’s take a few moments to think back on this year, and consider what is coming in the future.
The season of giving
It’s also an appropriate time to tell your mentors that you are grateful for their support! As they say, “‘tis the season”—and a heartfelt gesture, as simple as a hand-written thank-you note, goes a long way. After reflecting on your growth, consider reaching out to your counselors, teachers, mentors, and/or parents or guardians who believe in you and your future.
The following reflections can be used in discussions, as practice interview questions, as journal prompts, or even as the starting point for a personal essay. Practicing writing and composing your thoughts in the first-person voice, with descriptive and concise language, will always help you in your academic and professional careers.
Even if your holiday season is bustling, try to take a few minutes to get cozy and think about these prompts.
- What things are you grateful for during this last year?
- Which people in your life are you grateful for during this last year?
- What small thing are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
- What large thing are you most proud of accomplishing this year?
- What actions or habits would you like to change in the next year?
- What lessons or habits would you like to carry forward from the last year?
- What is a short-term goal for the next semester?
- What is a long-term goal for the coming year?
- What are you most excited about coming up in the near future?
Writing and composition tips
While you write and reflect, consider how you can improve your writing skills. Push yourself to use specific examples and reference your contributions to the situation you describe.
Most of all, critical thinking about your progress will help develop your self-awareness as a writer. After all, this is a great opportunity to practice formulating your thoughts into the different kinds of writing you’ll encounter in college and beyond!
Your big picture
Reflection and self-analysis are only two pieces of the larger puzzle that forms your student’s overall educational journey. For instance, class grades, extracurricular opportunities, and social skills develop during this crucial time as well. With so much going on at once, it’s hard to take time to slow down. These reflection prompts are designed to help you get started.
What’s more, wintertime is a logical time to reset and make a plan. Not only are students usually granted a few days off of the school schedule for holidays, but the finality of the end of a calendar year also has a way of making the passage of time more obvious and urgent! Follow that instinct. As you prepare for your best future, consider how you can work towards college success even now.
Consider giving the gift of Empowerly.
Is your sibling or loved one facing the college admissions process soon? Empowerly College Counseling is giftable. With college coaching, the sooner you start, the better your chances of improving your odds of admission at the schools of your choice. Working with a personal college counselor on your student’s individual journey to create a customized plan is the surest route to channel your efforts wisely.