Rising Juniors: You’re about to embark on one of the greatest experiences of your life!

The time between Sophomore Year and Junior Year is special. For most, it’s a time of great growth in many areas: physical, emotional; it’s when a big chunk of maturity kicks in. Students get more serious about grades, upcoming SAT’s, ACT’s, and the beginnings of thinking about college. We also see a lot of unnecessary fear and stress start to emerge, and that’s where we come in. We want to interrupt this program to let you know this important message: the college admissions process can be fun. It’s not going to be like your cousin’s experience or your older brother’s friend down the block. This one is all about you and only you.

This is what you’re going to do so that you avoid all that craziness. Start your “college search to do list”, what you feel you are looking for, what you want to discover and keep it handy so that you can update as needed. And visit colleges! This will provide perspective on what you like, and what you don’t like.

Consider those subjects looming on the horizon next year that may give you some agita (we love this word, it’s from the Italian for “agitate” or “to shake.”) Be prepared to visit with the teacher to understand the subject matter and possibly tutoring so you don’t get behind, or chat with your guidance counselor on a class schedule that works to your strengths. You are not in this alone — there’s always an option.

And now for the fun part: go off and daydream about how you imagine your college experience to be — but keep it real for you. Do you see yourself dorming in another state, across the country, or at a SUNY school? Maybe you will be a commuter.

Think on your talents, or what you’re really interested in, subjects that you would like to know more about: Medicine? Literature? Psychology? Art? Business? Most high school students don’t have a clue what they want to major in. After all, you’re just 16 and how in the world should you know what you want to do for the rest of your life! Most of us in our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s haven’t a clue either!

Start thinking about your college admissions journey now so you can have fun vs. panicking. There is no time like the present.

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