Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Welcome to Part 2 of of our 2 part series on Action Steps for Juniors. If you haven't yet read part 1, we'd recommend you start there!
BRAINSTORM TOPICS FOR YOUR PERSONAL ESSAY
Both the Common Application and the Coalition Application provide broad essay topics that will allow you to write about almost anything that is important to you--so how do you develop a topic? The first step is to think about the things you most want a college to know about you. How will you convey that information to a college? Your essay one opportunity to share more about yourself with schools.
CLICK HERE for some brainstorming tips to help you get started.
CLICK HERE to for Common Application and Coalition Application personal essay topics.
MAKE A “WHY THIS COLLEGE” LIST
For each college that rises to your “likely to apply to” list take time to consider why you really want to attend that college. Writing down a few bullet points for yourself will help you in several ways. First, it will help you hone your college list. If you really can’t think of a number of reasons you want to be at a particular college maybe it shouldn’t be on your list. Equally important is the fact that many colleges require a supplementary essay that will ask just this question. As you make your list be detailed and specific; size and location are fine introductory reasons to look at a college, but there are lots of mid-sized colleges (or small or large) in North Carolina (or California or the Northeast)...so focus on specific academic programs, appealing aspects of campus life and the tenor of the college (are students politically active? Focused on academics? School spirited? Etc.) that appeal to you. Trust us here, if you make this list for each school you will be so grateful to yourself in October when you are working full tilt on your applications and essays.
FINALLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: FINISH STRONG
If there is only one thing you have time for this spring this is it! Your transcript will be the single biggest factor in your college admissions process, so between now and the end of the school year put your primary focus on working hard and maintaining (or improving!) your grades. This will also give those recommendation writers something great to say about you. Finish strong in your activities as well. If you have an obligation to a club or organization put in the effort to finish what you started. This says a lot about who you are and how seriously you value commitment.
Taking time this spring and summer to get a good start on these Action Steps will make your college application process much easier in the long run. While your friends are stressing out next semester you will be focusing on your classes and enjoying your senior year!