Advice for Rising High School Seniors
Congratulations! It’s finally summer break (for most of you) and it’s time to enjoy one last long vacation of your high school careers. Whether you’re working, going on a summer getaway, or just enjoying the time off with your friends and family; make sure to take a minute to breathe and relax!
While you should definitely have fun during your break after a long junior year in high school, make sure to remain focused on your college search process as fall will be here in no time! Here’s a few tips for high school students entering their senior years from someone who was in your shoes just a few short years ago (this is the part where I feel really old…)
1) Find something productive to do this summer:
-There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the time off by going to the beach everyday (or sleeping), but this is also a great time to take the opportunity to narrow down your college options. I recommend making a pros/cons list of each school you’re considering, especially if you are interested in more than 4 or 5. Make sure you think about everything from academics, to student life, and especially location. This should be a “working list”, meaning you can always add to it throughout the summer as you do more research.
2) Start thinking about the infamous “college essay”:
-First off, don’t think of the college essay as some major assignment that will forever decide the rest of your life. While the college essay is definitely an important part of your application, you should have fun with it (seriously). Don’t think you need to write about what all your friends are writing about either. The college essay should really spotlight something that you’re proud of and think makes you stand out from other applicants. Of course this can include awards, highlights of your athletic careers, or a narrative of your leadership experience. But, do not underestimate the power of an essay written about a life-changing trip you took, a volunteer activity, a unique experience at a job, or about another experience that forever changed you. Essays written about something unique you have experienced are truly going to stand out to admissions counselors.
Here are 2 great tips for your essay: If you’re bored reading it, the admission counselor will be as well. Also, do not put the name of a college in your paper! (this way you don’t accidentally send an essay with Bentley University in the intro to us at Babson College 🙂 )
Timeline for your essay:
Now until August – start brainstorming by making a list of things in your life you’d like to talk about. Also, keep plenty of notes from any college you visit in case you want to add something that might relate to your visit there in your essay.
September – try to get a draft done by this time and share it with three other people (one being a teacher) so that you can get plenty of feedback on it.
It is best to have your essay finished by the end of September so that you’re ready to send it off if you do any early applications to colleges.
3) Visit schools on your break!
-Summer is a great time to visit any colleges you haven’t already or to revisit those you saw in your junior year in order to refresh your memory on the experience you had at each one. There won’t be many students on campus so this is a great time to walk around on your own and see other parts of the school you might not see on a traditional tour.
–Visit us at Babson!! – our office is open all summer long and I along with the other three summer admission fellows will be here to help you learn more about Babson. We have tours Monday-Friday at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm as well as two info sessions, one at 11:15am and the other at 1:15pm. Feel free to call our office for more information as well!
These are just a few pieces of advice to make your college search a little easier while still having plenty of time to enjoy the hot weather and sun. The final thing I would say to any rising HS senior: enjoy your senior year because it is one of the best years of high school. Between being the oldest ones in your school, prom, senior week, and graduation, you’re in for a fun year. But, do not forget to work hard and stay focused (even after you’ve been accepted to a college because schools will look at your grades for the entirety of your senior year) So, enjoy your last year, keep working hard, and you will have a great experience and be ready to start the next chapter in your life at college.
Now, get off the computer and go have some fun!