I thought junior year was stressful! Everyone talks about how amazing senior year is, but who knew it would be this overwhelming? Many of us get involved in extracurricular activities and take tough classes to increase our chances of getting admitted to college. Since my sophomore year, my main focus has always been to bring up my GPA from my disappointing freshman year grades. Still, I’m just an average student. So I decided to become more involved in extracurricular activities, hoping that involvement might give my application a little more oomph.
I think it’s important to be involved. Many smart students apply to colleges, but everyone needs something that makes them stand apart from other students. Say you have two applicants. Both are average students, have met all the qualifications, but a college doesn’t have room to accept both. That’s where extracurricular activities, service hours, and letters of recommendation make you unique.
Also, make sure to send in your applications, transcripts, etc. by all of the deadlines. If you need help, see your counselor for application and transcript information.
Though I have most of my credits for high school finished, I didn’t want to take a bunch of electives my senior year. I knew that instead of taking a sixth performing arts class, it would be better to take an elective like psychology I, which counts as a social studies credit. Since I plan to minor in psychology in college, it’s also a practical class for me to take.
I also took honors courses instead of regular class courses in high school because they are more challenging. Colleges notice this. Financially, I thought it would also be a good idea to take some dual-enrollment classes. Dual-enrollment classes are college courses offered by a local college; these classes are completed while you’re still in high school. They are sometimes free because you are technically still a high school student and you not only look good to colleges but you may be able to gain credits for high school and college at the same time with no expense. Beginning in January, I will take two dual-enrollment classes—an astronomy course and sociology course. I am also taking a college class, English 101 and 102, provided at my high school. The class will count for both high school and college credit.
Yet I can’t forget it’s senior year and I want to have a little fun, so I took two easy electives to ease my load.
If you want to attend a competitive college, it’s important to think about which classes to take and to enroll in the most rigorous classes offered at your school. Consider honors or dual-enrollment classes. Get involved. Get to know your counselor—he or she will help guide you and will help you weigh your options. In the end, however, you control your future; life is what you make it!