Road Map for February: Sophomores

As I noted last month, we’re in a cold dark stretch of a long hard year. This time of year is always challenging for my students and with unique COVID challenges piled on top, I hope you’re taking care of yourself, managing your workload, and finding ways to do things you enjoy. I also recommended planning for some future fun. For this spring and summer, think about what you’ve been missing most and why, as well as some of the goals you’ve set for yourself. Although it will still be a while before we are all released from captivity, planning some outdoor activities for April seems like a safe bet, and now that vaccine availability is accelerating I hope summer will offer a lot of the opportunities that have been off the table for so long.  Of course flexibility will continue to be important as this all unfolds, so also make a Plan B, such as a rain date, for any event you come up with—and maybe even Plans C and D to make sure you have options that will work under different scenarios.

Regarding college specifically, I normally suggest that students do at least a couple of visits by the end of 10th grade. While that’s not really happening right now, it would be worthwhile to do some of the online tours that colleges are offering, either on their own or as part of a virtual college fair. As things begin to open up in the spring and summer, consider planning some in-person visits. The goal of these early tours is just to see what’s out there—perhaps a college in a place your family is planning a vacation, or a couple of local schools. For example, you might visit a medium or large public university and a small liberal arts college to get a sense of the differences between them. If you can fit that in now, you will have a head start going into the junior year when you will actually start building your college list.