October 9th, 2012

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had a fantastic summer and welcome back! If this is your senior year then this school year is something to definitely anticipate. Hopefully, you achieved all your goals for this summer and are ready to kick off a new school year. We’re now a couple days into our semesters and ideally you are back in your “school modes”. For some of you, this will be your last year in high school so savor this experience and try to make the best of it.

Senior year, as most of my friends who have graduated told me, will come with its highs and lows. Somewhere along the process, you might begin to feel stressed and unsure of what to do—looking for a college where you will spend the next four years will do that to you. You might also find that some of the colleges you apply for will not accept you. However, keep in mind that there will be times where your joy will overcome your lows. This will occur when you are accepted by your dream college, when you receive that prestigious scholarship, and when you finally graduate. These moments will show that your hard work throughout high school will grant you rewards. However, you must keep working hard and begin applying for those colleges and scholarships.

By now you should have compiled a list of the colleges you want for which you want to apply. This should contain colleges your top colleges and some safety colleges. Your top colleges should include the colleges you really want to be accepted to and ones where you can pursue your interests and majors. Your safety colleges should be ones that you are confident will accept you in case all else fails. Pick these colleges carefully because one of them will be your home for the next few years. If you have not yet done so, visit some colleges. College tours are a great way to feel the atmosphere of the college and ask people with first-hand knowledge about the workings of the school.

Spend these first couple weeks to start your college applications and scholarships. Some colleges have already released their applications, and you should try to start these as soon as possible especially if you are planning to apply to more than one college. These applications may be due on the same week or day so check those due dates and make sure you have a plan on when to tackle each one—preferably not the day before they are due. Some scholarships have also been released. These will have due dates so try to manage your time and get them turned in. If necessary, put these dates on your personal calendar so it is explicitly written and so that you will not forget them. Try to familiarize yourself with what the application requires. You may need to write several essays or obtain a recommendation from your teachers. Start now and you will not be encumbered with work later.

Try not to make “senioritis,” the feeling of laziness that suddenly overcomes you during your senior year, an excuse for being late. Completing a little part of the application at a time will make it less of a daunting task. Just think, one more year and you’ll finally enter the world of adulthood.  So look forward to these and strive to make your last high school year, your best!