Senior Expenses

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Veronica Fernandez, Senior Staff Writer

ATTENTION UNDERCLASSMEN! Start saving money NOW! No one ever tells you how much you are going to spend during your senior year. Between all the events, traditions, and transitions, you have a lot of upfront costs coming your way before you make your way into adulthood. 

First, you have Prestige and Jostens waiting to soak up every last penny you’ve got. I’m sure you have already had some run-ins with these two if you have purchased class photos, a yearbook, or perhaps you already got your class ring from them. These things alone are costly, but not necessary. The only problem when you get to your senior year is how much pressure there is to buy all of these items, and they add even more! There is an entire catalog from Jostens of senior keepsakes to choose from, whether it be clothing, jewelry, a graduation tassel, and more. Personally, the only thing I got for myself out of all these options was the graduation tassel, it being one of the cheaper options and something I wanted to hang on the rearview mirror of my car. I do plan to get a yearbook for my final year as well, which writing this article has reminded me to get on that. I think it will be nice to look back on in the future and most likely laugh at. It is my opinion that the yearbook is truly made for the seniors⁠—most of it is focused on the senior class and they are the biggest consumers, after all. Jostens is also the company that provides the cap and gown for graduation, a rather important purchase for the price of $40.

Next, you have a surplus of events going on your senior year. Again, none of these events are really necessary aside from graduation, but the majority of students will attend for the sake of it being their last chance. Prom, a traditional high school dance, is an event that is difficult to spend less than a hundred bucks on between the admission ticket, attire, dinner, and more, especially for women. Many seniors are likely to adapt the mentality of going “all out” for their senior prom, and that mindset will definitely end up being an expensive one. Then, there will be several graduation parties collectively happening at once to celebrate finally completing the past four years of secondary education. If your family chooses to hold one, throwing a party is always expensive, but rest assured knowing that graduation gifts tend to be in the form of money! Save it though, that will come in handy soon, especially if you’re planning to move out of the house in the next few months. You will probably be giving graduation gifts—and parting gifts—of your own to close friends as well. As a last hurrah to your youth, there is “senior week,” in which many of the new high school graduates go on a celebratory trip with friends and family. This can have great costs depending on the destination, but I am sure it would be one of the most memorable moments of your life, as a bittersweet end to your childhood. 

Lastly, there is the inevitable transition from dependence to independence. This shift varies from person to person, but it is very likely to find seniors begin to take care of things such as car bills and gas for those who are driving, phone bills, taxes, and so forth. For those who are heading for college, there are never ending payments being made, whether it be for the testing fees required by the college (this includes for the test itself, any prep classes or books, and sending scores to the college), application fees, a deposit fee once you have made your choice, and the unbelievable tuition, room and board, and meal rates found at today’s colleges and universities. Then, there are all the costs of moving out for those who are leaving home after graduation, making that full transition into an independent adult. 

All the moving parts during senior year can be tough to handle. To all the underclassmen here at Leonardtown, it is important to plan ahead and be prepared for all of these adjustments and upcoming costs. Please discuss all of the options with your parents or guardians and save up for a memorable last year of high school!