Getting ready for high school graduation is a long-awaited milestone. Many spend the year soaking up final moments, some graze through with a touch of senioritis, and others impatiently tap their foot for college, vocational training, and a life beyond these halls. Here at the beginning, there are some factors that need to be considered.
Many seniors consider the following questions:
“How can I prepare myself for success?”
“How do standardized tests fit into the timeline for a senior?”
When should I be applying for colleges?
Should I wait until graduation to start thinking about a career/college?
Mrs. Gayle Cuomo, Cherokee High School counselor, provided more information regarding whether or not there is an “ideal” timeline for senior year.
“There really is no certain timeline for senior year,” said Ms. Cuomo. “It all depends what your goals are.”
Every seniors timeline will look different some more difficult than others.
“For someone who’s looking to go to a competitive college and looking to apply early action its going to be different than someone who is looking at a different college like military or tech school.”
I asked Mrs. Gayle what was a piece of advice she would give this years seniors or upcoming seniors next year.
“This is the time in your life when you have so many options open to you. You don’t necessarily have to know what you want to do. You don’t need to be stressed out if you don’t know exactly what you want to do yet. But just know there are a lot of options so don’t close yourself off to just one. There’s not just one route. You don’t just have to go to a four year college. There are tons of other ways to get success and success is what you define it as. This is the time to start thinking about what’s good for you, not what your friends are doing and what your parents want you to do kind of thing” said Ms. Cuomo.
As senior year rolls around you want to be sure that you have everything done that needs to be done such as dues, senior project, college searching, and to start thinking about prom and homecoming and what not.
She had a great piece of advice not to do what everyone else wants you to do, senior year is for you to figure out what fits you best.
Here is a recommended timeline built from suggestions by The College Board and Princeton Review:
- Summer before senior year starts
-Start a list of at least 5 colleges you want to apply for- summer is a great time to find colleges that seem to feel at home for you
-Do your common application- start and register your common application during the summer so u can get familiar with it
-Take the ACT- sign up for your ACT on a weekend you are free, and make sure to study very good for it.
-Start your campus visits- before you are overwhelmed with homework, sports, and outside activities use the last couple months and weeks checking out colleges and visiting them so you can narrow your list down.
September – October
-Register for SAT
-Start college essays- Give yourself enough time to really work hard on your essays, those who spend months on their essay will start out more than someone who spends one day on their essay
-Narrow your list of colleges- by this point you probably have a favorite, make sure to get your grades in line for the GPA you need to get accepted into this college.
-Work on applications and attend college fairs- College fairs are an open recruiting forum where students and parents are invited to see the campus and learn more about academics and student life.
December – March
-Submit applications- make sure you have been keeping track of all deadlines so you don’t fall behind with submissions. Don’t leave anything to the last minute
-Financial Aid- Start getting to know financial aid and scholarships at the colleges you applied to.
-Early acceptance- If you applied for a college early you should get your acceptance letter in early December, make sure to fully understand deadlines and the timeline.
-Confirm Applications- Most colleges will give you a confirmation that you application has been received and is being processed and looked at!
Summer before college
Roommate- chose your future roommate and start preparing to set up your dorm and get to know each other.
Register for your classes- As a freshman, you will probably feel like you’re flooded and overflowed with options, but freshman classes always fill up fast.
Go to college- get started and have fun!
You’ve finished high school and your about to start on an exciting new journey in life. Good luck!