The start of a new calendar year means the start of a new college cycle for us here at Campus Bound. Our seniors are (mostly!) done with their applications, and already hearing back from schools. So we turn the majority of our attention to juniors. The best piece of advice we can give to juniors right now is… get organized! In this blog post we will tell you how.
- Meet with your college counselor to develop a timeline. Students and families who know what to expect, and when, are going to go through the college search and application much less stressed than those who don’t. At this point in the junior year, I like to sit down with students and their parents and explore their goals and set a reasonable timeline for achieving them. It makes everyone feel better when they know what to expect and can tackle small tasks one at a time.
- Get your records together. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to make a folder with academic records (ie report cards), awards, and anything else that might come in handy during the college admissions process. This isn’t for college mail, typically. These are items about YOU. Letters that come home from school, scholarship opportunities, certificates of achievement, and any reference letters are all good things to hang on to and keep in one place.
- Make a resume. Now that you have your records together, it’s a good time to get started on your resume. We have posted several blogs about how to make a resume and what it should look like (find them here). Your Campus Bound counselor can also help you with this.
- Create a system for mail and emails. It’s going to start coming in fast and furiously. And it can be really overwhelming to try to read it all. So, sort both physical mail and email into three categories: Definite No (throw it out!), Maybe (keep it), and Yes (obviously keep it). It can be hard to throw something away…. “maybe I could go to school in Wyoming…” but if you have no intention of going to Wyoming, or art school, or a tiny school, or any of those types of things, don’t think twice about throwing it away. But keep the things from the Maybe’s and pay close attention to the Yes’s. You don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity from a Yes school because you were unorganized and didn’t see it.
- Plan trips and visits. Some families try to wing this, but it’s SO much better if you are organized and plan in advance. Winter break and Spring Break are excellent times to visit colleges. Three-day weekends in the winter or spring are great too. But, you don’t want to hold off, and we’ve talked about that in this previous blog post.
The winter months of junior year are the best time to kick off the college process. It’s always best to be prepared, know what’s coming down the pike, and tackle it all in small steps. If you feel that a Campus Bound counselor can help you, please call us and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.