Thanks to Ohio Dominican University for today’s guest blog. Ohio Dominican University is located in Columbus, Ohio.
College Planning for High School Juniors
Most people think of the junior year in high school as an iconic time in the development and life of a youth. Having been around the high school scene for two years, juniors have achieved a comfort level with their environment. They know most of the teachers and coaches and have already developed lasting relationships with their peers. Since they are not yet seniors, the urgency of moving on with the next big step in their lives is not in the forefront of their thoughts.
However, while the junior year is surely a year to be completely involved in the high school experience, it is also the time when students should begin to prepare themselves for college. Students who begin to prepare for college their junior year will find their lives much easier in the following year. By taking the time to think about what they will want to do with their college experience, juniors will find that their choices down the road will be easier and less stressful.
The first step a junior can take to prepare for college might actually take place during the last few months of their sophomore year. Taking challenging classes that are geared toward a student’s areas of interest is the first practical step toward college preparedness. Students should begin thinking about careers; what industries do they find interesting, and what classes can they take to learn about them?
This is also the time that students should get to know their guidance councilors. These servants of the student are there to help make these difficult decisions. They have the experience and knowledge to inform young students what steps need to be taken to move toward a desired career. In addition, guidance councilors know that certain schools have certain requirements for admission. They will make sure that students are taking the correct classes to keep as many options open to them as possible.
The junior year is the ideal year to begin attending college fairs and speaking with representatives. These opportunities will begin exposing the students to the different lifestyles and areas of excellence that they colleges that they might be interested in can offer. If college fairs are not planned for the area where a student lives, students should make a point to take an individual visit. Students will find that all colleges are very accommodating and will often offer personalized tours.
While most students are taking the PSAT, junior year is also a good time to begin taking the actual SAT and ACT. While most colleges only require one of these tests, it pays to take both tests at least once. You can review your test results with your guidance councilor and schedule to retake the tests, if you feel that you can achieve a higher score.