During the months before you start your senior year, make sure to explore your academic interests and learn about potential colleges and areas of study. Below are some of the steps I recommend taking during this time period:
- Take the SAT in June for the first/second/third time. If available in August, you can take it then if you want. If applicable, take the ACT.
- Think about your interests, passions, skills, and experiences… how do you see yourself in four years? How would you like to get there? Are you undecided, but eager to explore many possibilities?
- After thinking about these questions, do some research and narrow your college options (initially, a great number is ten). Consider location, size, courses and departments, study abroad programs, internships, community, diversity, student life, financial aid, and any other factors you think are important. I recommend using websites like College Board’s Big Future, Niche, or the lists from U.S. News.
- Identify whether your colleges are in the Common Application, Coalition Application, or another type of application, since this information will be valuable eventually.
- The Common Application is usually available by August 1, but you can register as early as late June. Make sure to fill out the required information so that once the application opens in August, you can begin discovering the requirements for the colleges you are interested in.
- Fill out the FAFSA, which, if I remember correctly, should be open by October. But, just as the CA, you can fill out the information earlier.
- Choose whether you would want to include a resumé or a CV for your application and start filling it out. Remember to include academic achievements, extracurricular activities, summer programs, work experience, internships, community service events, etc. Here is an incredible website that helps you build your resumé for free!!! https://www.standardresume.co/
Also, here’s a free CV template: https://www.reed.co.uk/career-advice/free-cv-template/
- This summer, try to participate in a summer program that demonstrates your continuous interest in a specific area of study, whether it’s healthcare, creative writing, or business.
- Start brainstorming ideas for your college essay… DON’T PANIC! (just as written on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). Your essay should reflect glimpses of your identity, personality, dreams, aspirations, relationships, or any other aspect of your life that you, and only you, think defines who you are in a profound, meaningful way. For now, only brainstorming is key.
- List four high school teachers who have contributed greatly to your academic and personal growth, and I recommend choosing those who have taught you more about the areas of study you intend to pursue.
- Apúntaloooo: firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously, you’ll need it. If you haven’t sent your autobiography, do so ASAP.
-Prepare to challenge yourself academically and, simultaneously, engage actively in the clubs and organizations you are passionate about. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the entire college application process; letting admission officers know who you are, what motivates you to pursue your interests, and how you contribute to your school community is incredibly satisfying!