As you begin your junior year, it is important for you to understand that your most valuable asset as a future college applicant is your high school transcript – meaning the classes you take and the grades you receive. As the school year begins, of course you are going to make sure that your class schedule is squared away and if something is awry, see your counselor. However, please realize that we are a public school and there are inevitably times where a student’s request for certain classes could not be honored due to the constraints of the Master Schedule. Do NOT think that not getting a certain class will hinder your future plans – there are spots on college applications where you can explain that you had hoped to take a certain class but were precluded from doing so due to the school’s class schedule. It can be disappointing, but it is extremely important to make the best of it and do as well as you can in the classes you are taking. Here are a few additional things to keep in mind during your junior year that relate to finding colleges that will be a good fit for you:
- REFLECT – This year is a time to reflect on your personal values and how those shape your interests and goals – and ultimate your college path. Ethan Sawyer (also known as The College Essay Guy) has a great exercise to assist you in identifying and prioritizing your values. You can find it here: https://www.collegeessayguy.com/cwiab-student-15-values-exercise.
- EXPLORE – Use junior year to explore your interests and long-term goals. Use Xello (the program our school district uses for interest, career, and college exploration, and to submit documents when you apply to college next fall) to help you explore careers. Additionally, use US Department of Labor website My Next Move to explore industries that might interest you https://www.mynextmove.org/.
- CONSIDER – How do you learn best? What type of environment is best for your productive academic and creative thought process? One of the silver linings of the distance learning that you experienced the past few years, is that it allowed students to really think about their learning style: how you learn best and you envision your college learning environment. This will help direct your college search to find schools which will be a good fit.