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 I meet with my rising juniors (class of 2017) here at College MatchPoint, I am 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 are my words of wisdom 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 passions--or explore a lot of things to find out what your passions are. Take a new class, try learning a new skill or push yourself out of your comfort zone in some way.
- 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. College MatchPoint clients will talk to Lisa about making a test-prep game plan and scheduling SAT or ACT exams.
- 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.