Rising Juniors: Plan, Don't Panic!
Since it provides the final complete academic picture that colleges will see, the significance of The Junior Year tends to loom large with students and parents alike. As we meet with rising juniors here at College MatchPoint, we are reminded of the stress that everyone is under--as well as the anxiety that beginning a new and unfamiliar college admissions process can provoke.
In the hopes of helping you all enjoy your summers a little bit more, here is our advice for college-bound juniors:
The most important thing you can do is to take the most rigorous academic course load you can manage and ensure that your grades are as high as possible.
Explore your aptitudes & motivators--or explore a lot of things to find out what your aptitudes are. Take a new class, try learning a new skill or push yourself out of your comfort zone in some way.
Junior year is a great time for you to really explore your interests outside of the classroom. Look into research and community service opportunities, jobs and internships.
Visit colleges. Start with nearby campuses, just to get a feel for what college life might be like. As circumstances allow as the school year starts, add college visits to any travel you may have planned.
Start planning your testing schedule in the fall. Our partner William Ramsdell, the Director of Advantage Testing of Austin, shares his guide for high school juniors as they work to succeed in their testing in this Guide to SAT/ACT Success.
Keep your mind open when it comes to thinking about your college list. There are more than 3000 schools out there--chances are you have never heard of a great number of schools that would be an amazing fit for you. Take this year to get to know yourself--your academic interests and goals, your social needs, etc.--so that you can be a more engaged participant in choosing the right school for you.
Enjoy high school--it really does go by so fast.