It’s that time of year: the weather is starting to cool, the leaves are getting ready to change color, and pumpkin spice products are around every corner. Some students start to slow down as Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks approach, but while having time to unwind is essential, continuing your momentum through the fall will ensure you’re prepared not only for the college admissions process, but also college itself.
Balancing senior year and the college application process can be a bit stressful, but don’t let it overwhelm you. We’ve compiled some college prep tips that will help you make the most of your senior year and finish strong.
1. Set Academic Goals
By senior year, you’ve probably been told to set goals numerous times already. While it may seem like a mundane task, navigating the fall semester with a clear set of goals in mind will allow you to get ahead and finish out the year with ease. Setting academic goals will also help you continue an upward trajectory and make the most of your last year of high school. If you struggle to set goals for yourself, your college counselor can help identify some areas of improvement to set goals that would be most beneficial for you.
2. Get your Applications Out of the Way
One of your top goals should be to create a timeline for your applications with clear deadlines. For example, if there are applications that you will want extra feedback on, make a point to complete these as soon as possible. Or, if you plan to apply to your top-choice college in the early round, be prepared to complete your application well before the early deadlines. Give yourself enough time to avoid rushing through or making any mistakes and to stay up to date with the latest college admissions trends throughout the process.
3. Develop Good Habits Now
There is no better time than the present to start figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t. Developing and implementing good habits now, before you get to college, will help you to avoid any unnecessary stress during your freshman year. Good study habits will be crucial to finding success in college, so be sure to stay ahead. Staying organized will allow you to move through senior year, the college application process, and even college itself most efficiently.
4. Manage Your Time
Procrastination is a well-known habit of many college freshmen, which can lead to disappointing grades and unnecessary stress. Buying a planner or calendar can help you map out your academic and extracurricular schedule as efficiently as possible. Or, if you prefer to manage your schedule digitally, there are hundreds of apps designed to work with you to stay organized and on top of your academic obligations. Developing strong time management skills now will set you up for success in college, where you will have a much more rigorous course load.
5. Make Your Senior Year Count!
Senior year will fly by and be over before you know it. This is your last chance to soak in what it means to be a ‘high schooler,’ so take advantage of it! Spend time with you family and friends, step out of your comfort zone, and learn more about yourself and what you hope to accomplish over the next chapter of your academic career. Last but not least, don’t fall victim to senioritis! Remember, colleges will pay attention to your senior year grades, so it’s crucial to maintain an upward grade trend, even after receiving offers of admission.
Juggling senior year and college applications can be challenging, but IvyWise experts are here to help you make the most of your last year of high school. Stay on track this fall and beyond by downloading one of our free college planning checklists and contact us today for more information!