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Plan Ahead to Avoid Senior Meltdown

By the time you’re a senior, deadlines start coming fast and furious

By Jordyn Davis

Let me tell you all about all of the stress of college applications. The process of applying for college helps students to see the future clearly and become excited. It also agonizes students over their GPA, test scores and application essays. We hope and pray that we will stand out among the applicants.

The anxiety among applicants about how to present themselves to universites is visible online. Websites jump out at us, advising students on whether, for example, teacher recommendations make a difference, or whether you should write about money in a college essay. One website, College Confidential, offered a seminar in which you learn what admission officials discuss behind closed doors and may not tell you in the information session. Applicants ask on forums what other site visitors — strangers — to guess or estimate the likelihood they will be admitted to their dream college.

In your senior year of high school, with our primary education long behind you and your secondary schooling coming to an end, it’s time to begin thinking about college and work. The final year of high school is full of change and excitement and it may seem difficult to focus on your college and career. Yet, now is the time to be making plans and putting those plans into action.

For those who want to attend a 4-year college right out of high school, the deadlines in the Fall come up very fast. For example, the deadline to apply to the California State Colleges (such as San Jose State or Cal State East Bay) and the Universities (like Berkeley and UCLA) is the last day of November. You will also need to have taken either the SAT or ACT test by then.

This is why students who want to continue their education after high school should begin thinking about what college they would like to attend before their senior year. Making your choice will allow you ample time to prepare for all of your college admission requirements. Those standardized tests can be taken and letters of recommendation gathered before admissions applications are due to be submitted.

The final months of high school can be frenetic, with graduation events, the Senior Project, and making plans for the Summer and Fall after you walk the stage. The student who makes the time to plan for college is closer to making their dreams come true.

 

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