Road Map for April: Juniors

We are approaching the homestretch of this tough school year and I hope you’re looking forward to the next one as much as I am. If you haven’t made final decisions on next year’s course selection, keep in mind that colleges like to see rigor in your curriculum. How much rigor is the right amount? My rule of thumb is to choose classes that are challenging but not overwhelming. That should be true for each class, as well as for your overall course load.

In the meantime, do you know what your summer will look like? Of course there is still some uncertainty about what options are available but as more people are vaccinated things like camp, classes and internships will be increasingly open for in-person business. Decisions are being announced every week so if your summer plan is not in place yet, think about your goals and see what’s out there that will help you meet them.

Normally my students have taken a first SAT or ACT by now, but this year I’m seeing the timeline shift a bit later since many students didn’t take a PSAT to get the ball rolling. If you need help with choosing a test or making a plan, I’m continuing to have these conversations with students so please contact me.

It’s also time to think about which teachers you’ll ask for letters of recommendation. (Your school counselor will generally write one automatically.) I always recommend making these requests before the summer break and this year there is, of course, an added wrinkle. Students are finding it especially challenging simply to connect with their teachers in a meaningful way, so thinking this through now can allow you to put in some additional effort (if necessary) to impress your teachers before you request a letter. I recommend asking two teachers from academic subjects, while some colleges may accept more than two, or take letters from someone outside of school such as a coach, boss, volunteer supervisor, mentor or peer. There is less urgency for these because you won’t lose access to these people over the summer, but you should still be thinking ahead so that you can make the request with plenty of time before any of your deadlines are on the horizon.

I’m enrolling students for summer Common App and essay workshops, and I’m also accepting students for comprehensive advising. You can still get 2020-21 rates if you enroll by June 30, so please feel free to schedule an introductory phone call or meeting to learn more or contact me at [email protected].