Seniors are graduating from high school, and those that have chosen to move onto college in the fall have been through the grueling and stressful college admissions journey and feel a sense of relief. Then there are those students that are finishing up their junior year and are just beginning the daunting college admissions journey, where the stress is mounting and they wonder where to start. Below are some helpful hints on what to do this summer to make the fall of your senior year of high school a bit less stressful.
Get a Jump on this Checklist as Soon as Summer Break Begins
Start Thinking About the Type of School You Would Like to Attend
Take some time to think about what kind of school you would feel best attending and that would set you up for success, academically and socially. Do you work best in smaller classes desiring interaction between you and your professors or can you learn in large lectures? Do you want to be near a city, in a city, on a campus, be in a suburb, near the mountains, involve yourself in the outdoors…etc.? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself to hone in on what school setting is best for you. Watch this video for more insight on what to look for in your college search.
Research All Types of Colleges – Even if You Never Heard of Them Before
Whatever you do, don’t solely focus on name-brand colleges. There are over 3,000 colleges out there to choose from and I promise you there is a college, more than one, that is a perfect fit for you.
Work on Your Application Essay
Write your Common App essay this summer, meaning your one general essay that you will need to submit to every college that you apply to. This will alleviate the stress of doing this when school starts since once September 1 comes, you need to hit the ground running!
Visit Colleges Over the Summer – Even if It Must Be Virtually
Visiting colleges and learning all you can about them is the only way you are going to know if a college feels right. While ideally, visiting the campus in person is the optimal thing to do, we are in unprecedented times. So, you may need to virtually visit the schools in which you are interested. I recently wrote a blog post that specifically addresses this subject, which provides great tips on how to access virtual college tours and independent information on the schools to help provide you with a broad array of information.
Prepare for Each School Visit or Contact
Whether you are able to physically visit the schools on your list, are speaking with a college representative, or are chatting with current students, do your homework beforehand. Prior to visiting the school, virtually or in person, or initiating contact, you want to make sure you understand what the college is about and what they offer, and have relevant questions prepared to ask. This is invaluable.
Rising High School Seniors: Make the Most of the Time Summer Break Offers
You are going to spend the next 4+ years of your life in college and ensuring you select the right one can mean the difference between being successful and enjoying your college career or leaving school after a period of time since it just didn’t work for you. This is the biggest decision you will make in your life, to date, and one of the largest financial decisions you and your family will ever make. Put in the time this summer, it isn’t going to be easy, but nothing that is this important typically is.