What parents should know about senior year

Written by Mollie Porch
Published on August 12, 2022

“This is the beginning of the end.” 

I remember thinking this thought the entire summer before my senior year. I was terrified and did not feel ready to leave everything that had ever made me feel comfortable. As I write this, about 10 months after those thoughts first entered my mind, I’m at ease. I am ready to go to college. I am ready to start living my own life. I am ready to leave home. And believe it or not, I actually can’t even wait… and I never thought I would say that. 

Hey there! My name is Mollie. I just recently graduated from high school in Denver, CO and I’ll be  attending Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall. 

Senior year was the best and worst at the same time. I had the best time with friends, made memories with some of my favorite people, and found some incredible mentors. At the same time, I had to prepare to move away from my family, become more independent, and make some really important and hard decisions about my future. 

Parents, this year is going to be difficult for you too. Navigating a child leaving home is almost as hard as moving away itself. Here are some things I think you should know: 

1. Encourage your student to finish well. 

There’s going to be a time when your senior will start hitting a wall. Nothing will seem important anymore and they’ll just want to move on. They’ll feel ready to be done with high school and grow up. Every senior in high school hits this stage at one point in the year. But in the midst of this, remind your student to finish well. Not only with motivation towards grades, but also to be present with their friends and mentors to underclassmen. Encourage them not to wish away the little time they have left. Help them finish well and close this chapter knowing they did all they could to invest in a place that did so much for them. 

2. Now is not the time to pack-in everything your 18-year-old might need to know. 

One of my favorite things my parents often say is this: “We’ve been packing your bag for eighteen years.” They mean that from the moment I was born, they’ve been preparing me to become a Jesus-loving adult. They’ve packed eighteen years full of important people, lessons, experiences, wisdom, discipline, and love (SO MUCH OF IT) in my bag. That’s what your senior is taking to college, not the last minute “Make sure you do this and that!” The best thing you can do for your student is PRAY PRAY PRAY! Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Here are some things your student might need prayer for: 

• Pray that the Lᴏʀᴅ prepares their hearts for change. 

• Pray that the Lᴏʀᴅ establishes new friendships rooted in the joy of the Lᴏʀᴅand the pursuit of holiness. 

• Pray for protection over their hearts, bodies, and minds transitioning into an unsheltered world. 

• Pray that the Lᴏʀᴅ would give them boldness and confidence in both knowing Him, but more importantly, sharing Him with new people. 

• Ask God to bless them with mentors and godly people to trust and ask for guidance. 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). 

3. Encourage your student to study the Bible and stand firm in their beliefs. 

One of the most fruitful endeavors of my senior year was digging into what I believe, why I believe it, how to share it, and how to defend it. I spent a lot of time with my mentor and small group leader reading scripture about God’s character and nature. It helped me lay another layer of foundation. 

Matthew 7:24-25 says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” 

This practice made me so much more comfortable talking about my faith. I am going to a college where I know I will be in the minority of people who believe in Jesus. One of my favorite people said to me this year, “Purpose and calling are very different. Mollie, your purpose is to share your faith and expand the kingdom, and your calling is to do what you are passionate about.” Wow, what a perspective shift that was for me. It lit a flame in me as I realized that I have the power to share my greatest joy with my testimony and a Bible. Parents, these are the things that you need to be telling your children. The urgency of the gospel is alive, and our generation is ready. That’s the biggest piece of advice I tell my friends who are a year younger. You have one more year to be curious in comfort. 

And lastly, parents, remember: We are so scared! We haven’t done this before either! Although we might not ask for it all the time, your hugs and encouragement mean something special. We need you to love us in little ways this year. Ask us how you can support us. Ask us to go to coffee. Ask us what would help in this crazy time of transition. Those little things make such a big difference. Before you know it, we will be off doing amazing things! 

But for today, just squeeze us a little tighter. 

Consider a few extra resources: 

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Mollie Porch

Hi! My name is Mollie Porch, I grew up in Denver, Colorado but I now attend Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. I love anytime I get to hang out with my family, shooting film photos, traveling, doing anything creative, and jesus! Follow me on insta @mollie.porch and come say hi!

Read more about Mollie

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