11 Jan January Road Map
Happy New Year! To both students and parents, I hope 2017 brings you health and happiness. And if you’ve made resolutions (whether you call them that or not), I hope this year brings you success in moving toward your goals.
If your goals include volunteering, the MLK Day of Service on Monday is a terrific opportunity to put that plan into action. You can search here for service activities in your area for this weekend, as well as opportunities throughout the year.
Another goal I’m hearing about from students is reducing stress. If this is on your list, AdeptPrep is holding a meditation workshop this Sunday, January 14 in Tenleytown, and they also offer weekly drop-in meditation sessions. For more information or to register, email [email protected].
Congratulations to everyone who received offers of admission in December! I know it feels good to have those in hand, especially if it means you’re done with your applications. Now, keep up the good work that got you admitted and don’t let senioritis get in the way. It’s unusual but possible for colleges to revoke admission if your performance does not continue. (Read your admission letter!) Your school counselor will send a mid-year report to your colleges as well as a final report at the end of the year. Don’t let either of those be a red flag.
What about students who were deferred from a top choice? Follow up with the admissions office to let them know any new information that might help boost your candidacy, especially awards and activities. (There’s generally no need to send your grades, as they will be included in the mid-year report your school counselor sends.) Once that’s done, hope for the best but be prepared for any outcome. If your list was well-researched, you should have other solid choices that will also offer a wonderful college experience.
If you’re still working on applications, keep at it and get them wrapped up in the next few weeks. If you need help finalizing them, contact me for an appointment. And make sure that if you need additional service hours for graduation, a requirement in most DC high schools, you get those completed soon. Of course there are lots of other good reasons to do community service. Check here for local opportunities that might interest you.
Finally, enjoy the last few months of high school—your friends, family, sports, clubs, and classes. This can be an exciting time if you’re able to focus on the fun parts and keep a healthy perspective on the challenges.
I hope you had a fun and relaxing break. During the next few months most juniors will start to focus more and more on college visits and test prep. Squeezing college planning into a busy junior year schedule can be a challenge, so map out the next few months to make sure these obligations don’t sneak up on you. On the other hand, if you can’t wait to get started you don’t have to. You can book college tours online and create profiles in the Common Application and the Coalition Application. The Coalition also recentlyannounced that additional colleges that meet its membership criteria may apply to join; a list of new member schools will be available in May.
I am currently accepting new counseling clients in the Class of 2018. For one-on-one guidance on standardized testing, campus visits, developing a college list, summer plans or other topics, please contact me for more information or to schedule a meeting.
I hope you’re coming back from winter break feeling refreshed. As you ease into the new year, take stock of the last year—what went well, what you accomplished and what needs to be adjusted. As you reflect, writing a resume can be a valuable exercise and will help you keep track of all you’re doing. If you create a draft and it seems thin, think about how you enjoy spending time. Resume items do not have to be things you do in school; it’s appropriate and useful to include jobs and hobbies if they reflect your interests and skills. Then think about opportunities you have to do more of these things in the coming year.
With new semesters starting up, it’s a great time to take a college tour. Sitting in on a class can be a valuable way to explore different kinds of learning environments, but that’s not all there is to see on campus. If you like college basketball, plan a visit around a game. If you’re more into the arts, check out plays, concerts or exhibits that might be happening during your visit. These kinds of activities will help you understand what counselors mean when we talk about schools being a great fit for a student.
Finally, some schools will be offering the PSAT 10 between February 21 and April 14. If you didn’t take the PSAT in October, talk to your school counselor about this opportunity. (If you did take the October PSAT, I don’t recommend taking the PSAT 10, since it’s the same test and will provide little new information.)
Welcome back from your break. Have you set some goals for 2017? What have you been enjoying this school year? Activities, clubs, sports? Start keeping track of your participation and accomplishments with the Coalition’s locker feature.
If nothing stands out, service is a great way to explore and learn more about things that interest you, and to meet people who share those interests. MLK Day is an opportunity to connect with local groups and find out about the work they do year-round. I’m a strong advocate for community service and encourage all students to try volunteering during high school, whether or not it’s a graduation requirement. For advice on making the most of service opportunities throughout high school, contact me.
Some middle and high schools will be offering the PSAT 8/9 later this month, or between February 21 and April 14. If you’d like to become familiar with the content and format of the PSAT and SAT, talk to your school counselor about this exam, which is based on the same topics but focuses on material generally taught before 10th grade.
Finally, check out this article on the adjustment to high school.