Here at Campus Bound, most of our seniors have at least one, if not all, of their applications submitted. As we sit back and wait to hear the (hopefully!) good news, we move our attention on to our junior students. This is a great time of year for juniors to begin the college search process. In this blog we outline four important big picture ideas not to lose sight of as you begin your search.
- Get started early. There’s a reason that this time of year is the “ideal” time to get started for juniors, and that is because it’s not too early, and leaves plenty of time for all that needs to be done. Saving everything until the last minute means that your list might not be as thoroughly developed, you might not know much about the schools you apply to, and/ or you applications end up rushed. Starting now allows plenty of time to get it all done. Which leads to #2…
- Break tasks down into manageable steps. If you tell a teenager to spend the next nine months researching colleges, writing essays and completing applications, they will likely panic. And, rightfully so. It can be a lot to manage. However, if you take each part of the application process and break it down into manageable steps, it will all get done on time and can relieve parents, students, counselors and teachers of unnecessary panic or stress.
- Get good advice. Once you become a junior in high school, people come out of the woodwork to ask you about “where you want to go to college.” We wrote a bit about that in this previous blog post. Remember that the process can be private if you choose it to be; you don’t have to tell everyone every detail. However, there are some people who can offer some very important and timely advice as you go along. College counselors, school counselors, financial aid advisors, admission counselors, teachers and parents can all hold important key pieces of information. Listen up and follow their directions carefully. They only want to help!
- Remember that it all works out the way it is supposed to. It can get easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the college search and application process and lose sight of the goal: to find a school where the student will be happy and successful. The college application process can be a good lesson in rejection for most students. It is extremely rare for a student to get in to each and every school they apply to. Every year many students get denied from a “dream school” and wind up at a “safety school.” The good news is, students are typically very happy once they get there. And if they aren’t, they can transfer, but we rarely deal with that here at Campus Bound. We encourage our students to apply to all schools they like, and with that formula, students are happy wherever they attend. Parents may have to help students keep sight of the big picture from time to time, and perhaps some students need to help parents. But, taking a deep breath, remembering that it will all be okay, can be very helpful.
To our juniors beginning the college search, have fun! Typically you might be traveling and visiting college campuses, which isn’t happening this year, but try to log on to zoom calls and virtual tours, as outlined in this blog post. Keep your eye on the prize and remember that you will be fine! Contact Campus Bound if we can help.