Road Map for June: Sophomores

Congratulations to those of you who completed AP exams in May. I hope as school winds down you can look at the year and feel positive about what you were able to accomplish, even though it’s probably quite different from what you had in mind last fall. Now, take a break and reflect on the challenges you faced this year, how you approached them and what you learned. As you take stock, you can use this opportunity to start or update a resume or activities list so you’ll be prepared to share that information as you look ahead to junior year and your college search.

Coming up with new items to add to that list may be a challenge right now as you revisit your summer plans; however, now that we’ve entered Phase 1 of reopening in many places and hope that Phase 2 is near, there may be more options soon for jobs or internships. There are also lots of virtual academic and enrichment programs being launched, and remote service opportunities continue to be available, with in-person activities restarting as public health conditions improve. This article was written for the Class of 2021 but much of the advice on activities applies to you as well.  Similarly, my advice for graduating seniors planning a gap year centers on setting goals and figuring out how to meet them within the current constraints. Identifying your goals can be especially important this summer to help you decide how to spend your time, and potentially your money if you’re considering a structured program.

One activity rising juniors often consider for their summer vacation is test prep. While it’s not essential and not for everyone, this seems like a particularly good year to take advantage of the extra time you have now to lighten your 11th grade workload.  We’re not even 100% sure what testing opportunities will be available this fall, but prepping this summer means you can do a smaller amount of refresher work during the school year, be prepared for exams at any point, and potentially get them out of the way and off your plate early. Your first step should always be to determine whether you should take the SAT or ACT by taking a diagnostic test for each. You can find practice SAT exams here and a practice ACT here.