June 13, 2014
Top 10 Must-do’s for Rising Seniors
1. Write a draft of your personal statement. I know, I know. This can be overwhelming. But once you get that first draft completed, it will (mostly) be smooth sailing from there. You’ll provide yourself with plenty of time to edit.
2. Brainstorm letter of recommendation writers. Who likes you? Who knows you well? Who thinks that you are a solid student? Make a list.
3. Ask recommendation writers. You can do this toward the end of summer. Give them plenty of time to write these letters of recommendation. Make sure they’re aware of your deadlines and discuss what you’d like them to address. You might even consider giving them a copy of your resume.
4. Make a list of colleges you’re interested in and why. For most schools you’ll need to complete a school-specific writing component. For CommonApp schools it will be located in the supplement. Identifying exactly why that school interests you will help with writing these supplemental essays in the fall.
5. Take a look at application checklists of the schools on your list. Do any of them have supplemental materials? Do you need to create a portfolio? Is an interview required? Make sure you’re aware of what a completed application is.
6. Sign up for communication from schools on your list. You’ll want to make sure that you know when they’ll be visiting your school or holding a reception in your area. They’ll also send updates about the application and admission process, and most importantly, they’ll remind you when applications are due!
7. Read the newspaper and watch the news. It is important to understand what is going on in the world around you. You might be asked questions about current events in admission interviews. It will help with discussions in your classes and in conversations with admission counselors. Download the app of your favorite news publication and read the news daily.
8. Read a book (or 10!) for pleasure. Do you have a book on your bed stand that is collecting dust because you haven’t had time to read it? Find the time this summer. I am currently reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. Hilarious. Read that book you’ve wanted to read for a while. It will keep your brain working this summer, you might discover new interests, and you might even learn an SAT vocabulary word or two!
9. Exercise. Be physically active daily! Endorphins are chemicals in your body that act as your body’s rewards system and they make you feel oh-so good. They are released when you exercise, so get moving! My favorite is a quick run around my neighborhood, but find what exercise you enjoy!
10. Learn yoga or meditation or another form of stress relief. Senior year can be stressful. Develop skills this summer that will help you to manage the stress that you may have this fall. Yoga and meditation are healthy ways to deal with it, so learn a few poses and how to take calming, cleansing breaths. It is imperative that you stay healthy and happy, so learn these techniques!
Most of all make sure your summer is fun! Make sure you take time for you. There is a lot asked of you as you conclude your high school career and prepare for college. These tips should help alleviate some of that heavy workload. Good luck!
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