Advice for Juniors from a Senior

Katie Gauquie, Contributor

This time of year is extremely stressful for all grade levels, but arguably juniors receive more stress than other grade levels. Sure seniors are stressed about picking a college and graduation, while freshmen and sophomores worry about final projects. Juniors, however, deal with college visits, the ACT/SAT, college applications, and becoming seniors.

Even though this process may seem daunting, never fear because seniors are here to provide insightful advice about this challenging time.

  1. It’s never too early to start touring colleges. If you are interested in any particular colleges or specific areas, start touring them! The sooner that you start looking at colleges, the sooner you get a feel of your comfort level at each place and whether each college is a good fit for you.
  2. Look at variety of colleges. Many people believe that they know exactly what type of college they want to attend, but they end up attending a university which is the complete opposite of their expectations. By touring a variety of colleges and universities in different areas, of different sizes, and with different opportunities, it becomes evident what type of atmosphere best connects with each student.
  3. Ask questions! Multiple people within the Prior Lake High School are extremely knowledgeable about different areas and the college selection and admissions process. Teachers and students are a great resource to ask questions about specific universities. The high school’s guidance counselors are an excellent resource about anything concerning the transition from high school to college ranging from choosing a college, letters of recommendation, financial aid, transcripts, and so much more.
  4. Start applications early. The summer is a perfect time to start applications before the stress of senior year begins. Starting applications early has advantages such as offering plenty of time to go over all material and look at the school requirements. Through this process be sure to learn the difference between early decision, early action, and rolling admission, in addition to due dates each college requires.  Also, ask for recommendations early.  Teachers, coaches, and others need time to write a letter that is just right for you.  And…make sure to fill out the Biography Packet on the Guidance Office web page and have it ready to give to anyone writing a letter of recommendation for you.
  5. Aim high! Just because you don’t have the average ACT or GPA for a certain school does not mean that the university is unattainable for you. Multiple universities view applications holistically meaning that they consider all aspects of a student not just test scores! Just remember to be yourself when applying for college.  Show them how awesome you are.

The end of junior year can be a stressful time, but the most important thing to remember is to enjoy high school and get out to various school activities. Don’t stress about the process too much because everything will fall into place.