Here are just a few key tasks that high school juniors should start working on right now to keep from falling behind and facing an overwhelming first half of senior year.
You should be...
- Researching schools that are a “good fit” with your academic record, interests & goals
- Attending local & national college fairs
- Visiting campuses of interest & meeting with admissions officers
- Developing relationships with high school teachers who can later be asked to write letters of recommendation
- Thinking about your essays. Although the "official" essay questions will not be released until the applications become available in August or September, many essays for many colleges assume one of just a few formats. Begin brainstorming and drafting ideas for responding to prompts in the general realm of...
- Your most meaningful activity or experience
- How you overcame a difficult problem or challenge
- Why you are the "best match" for a particular university (with lots of juicy specifics like course titles, program names, professors you want to work with, orgs you plan to join, etc.)
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Note: Suggestions for summer essay prep are excerpted from p. 164-165 of Elizabeth Wissner-Gross's awesome book, What Colleges Don't Tell You.