Use the Holiday Weekend to Get a Jump Start on College Planning
Rising seniors should consider taking advantage of the upcoming three-day weekend to get a jumpstart on their college planning. If checking off items on your college to-do list seems overwhelming, it can be helpful to focus in on a few pressing tasks.
While there’s no need to cross everything off of your agenda as quickly as possible, taking ownership of a few tasks can help students start senior year off strong and prepare for the busy semester ahead. Keep reading to learn more about some simple college planning tasks that are easy to work on during the holiday weekend.
Create a Calendar
It’s hard to start checking items off of your to-do list if you don’t have a firm idea of what you need to accomplish and where to start. If you haven’t already, take some time to write down every college planning task you need to have on your radar as well as each corresponding deadline. Be sure to include asking for letters of recommendation, finalizing your best-fit list, filling out the Common App, and working on your personal statement. Students should also add in tasks related to financial aid, such as filling out the FAFSA and applying for scholarships, as well as any school-specific requirements they need to take note of. Double check this list to make sure you account for every step of the application process.
Start Drafting Your Personal Statement
If you haven’t started working on your application essays, now is the perfect time to get started. Begin by reviewing the prompt options for the personal statement and pinpointing which question you’re most interested in addressing. Don’t be afraid to explore multiple topics before settling on the idea that truly resonates with you. Every writer benefits from editing and revisions, so be sure to give yourself enough time to work through several essay drafts before finalizing your personal statement.
Work Towards Finalizing Your School List
Rising seniors should have a strong idea of what schools they are interested in applying to, as well as when they plan on applying. If you haven’t finalized your balanced list of best-fit colleges, consider reviewing and revising your selections over the long weekend. Strive to learn as much as possible about each school on your list by reviewing university webpages, social media accounts, and scrolling through virtual tours when they are available. Students who are really unsure about a particular institution may wish to schedule additional campus tours as well.
Give Your Social Media Profiles a Make Over
Not all admissions officers will review an applicant’s social media profiles, but since many do, it’s important to ensure your online presence is up to par. Make sure your social media accounts highlight the interests and passions you care most about by showcasing content that focuses on these pursuits. Don’t be afraid to include pictures of your favorite hobbies and experiences, links to news articles that resonate with you, and comments to family and friends that are genuine and authentic. Consider deleting any photos or written posts that aren’t professional or do not showcase your work ethic and integrity. If you’re unsure about a post, consider how you would feel if a parent or teacher saw it; if that would give you pause, it’s likely that the content should be removed from your account.
Working on these college application tasks can help rising seniors make the most of the long weekend and prepare for a jam-packed first semester. If you are currently preparing for the college application process and looking for expert guidance, our team of college admissions counselors can help students navigate every step with confidence.