As we near the holiday break, we hope you are looking forward to some time to relax and recharge. Junior year coursework and activities demand a lot of your time and energy, but so too does the upcoming college process. We thought we should share some thoughts to consider as we turn the page on 2021 and welcome 2022 – which is sure to be an exciting year for you!
Earn the Grade
Return to school in January with a renewed motivation to do your best. Remember to work hard in all of your classes. While upper level classes require a great deal of work, you must also respect your required courses and electives. A student who flourishes in AP math and science courses, but earns Cs in Physical Education (without an extenuating circumstance) shows an inconsistent work ethic.
Earning good grades now will open up more opportunities for you to take advanced level work in your senior year. Senior year grades offer an important snapshot of your ability in advanced courses and your willingness to work your hardest amidst the added pressure of the college process; but junior year grades tell your academic story from September through the end of the academic year. Putting forth your best effort in your Junior year will make an impact on your teachers. These are the same teachers from whom you will likely seek recommendations to complete your college applications.
Involvement in your school community certainly looks different than it did when you were in 9th grade. As club meetings and opportunities for volunteering return, look for ways to participate. Be thoughtful: Rather than join clubs for the sake of filling in space on your application forms, focus on those things that mean the most to you. If you haven’t already, consider running for leadership positions, or simply be a good mentor to those still finding their way. Perhaps you haven’t found your niche yet because of the way your school changed how they approach activities to meet COVID restrictions or simply doesn’t offer what you’re interested in. Get the ball rolling by starting something new or getting creative! Stay true to yourself and your own interests, and the activities section of your application will be a genuine reflection of who you are.
You have likely received your recent PSAT scores, so take some time to examine your strengths and weaknesses. These areas will help you focus your preparation for official spring SAT tests. Depending upon the schools you are interested in, we will establish a testing plan that may include the SAT and/or the ACT. For your reference, here is registration and test date information for both tests:
Many times, the data and rankings you see about a college can cloud the reality of whether that school is a “good school” or a good school for you. Are rankings the best information to use when beginning the college search? Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell takes on the validity of rankings in his podcast. We think it’s worth a listen.
Best wishes for a healthy and restful break!