Road Map for September: Sophomores

Welcome back to school.  In a normal year you’d be diving into your coursework and resuming your extracurricular activities, and I hope that’s still true this year to some extent.  I expect that while remote school may not be great it will be better than it was last spring now that teachers and administrators have had time to prepare. As always, doing well in your classes is a top priority, so figure out how to make the current system work for you as best you can. If you have some in-person classes, make use of that time to connect with your teachers and classmates. In online learning, it’s harder but still possible.  My colleague at Smith Rivas Study Skills and Academic Coaching  has some upcoming events to help students with online learning, as well as skills like time management, preparing for tests and writing papers that apply to school in any format.

In a typical year many 10th graders would be taking the PSAT in October, but with so many schools closed that may not happen. The College Board has scheduled an additional test date in January; however, in my view this is a low priority for 10th graders since it’s strictly a practice test for you.  I’ll revisit this topic later in the school year.

I usually recommend trying to visit a couple of colleges by the end of 10th grade, and normally I’d be suggesting long weekends or professional development days when you wouldn’t have to miss class. However, with very limited travel options I think students can hold off on visits in the hope of having opportunities in the spring or summer. An alternative, however, is to do virtual tours or attend a virtual college fair like the one NACAC is holding on September 13.

Finally, keep in mind that most of this is temporary, and in all likelihood your junior and senior years will be more or less back to normal. Hang in there!