Jenn Curtis, Guest Post
The rumor mill always seems to be turning, and the college-going process certainly is not immune to its ever-spinning rotation. Here, I list several common misconceptions about the college-going process with the hope of setting the record straight.
MYTH #1: I need to participate in lots and lots of activities to get into college.
Many students believe that they need to try everything to fill their college resume in order to appeal to admissions officers. High school is a time to explore your interests, but you should not be tallying up things simply to put them on your college applications. Instead, develop your passion and show a long-term dedication to that passion (or a couple of passions). Your time is very valuable, and you need to use it wisely.
MYTH #2: Senior year is plenty of time to strategize, plan, and apply to college.
The best time to start college planning is not senior year, not even junior year, but freshman year. Students who delay their planning until 11th or 12th grade feel that the pressure of the college-going process is even more palpable, and it can get too overwhelming. Freshman year is a good time to focus on college because you will need to set up a 4-year academic plan so that you can get to where you want to be in your courses by senior year. If you start planning freshman year, you can also start to develop the skills that will make you successful in college (i.e., communication skills, time management skills, study skills, writing skills), and you can begin to develop relationships with your teachers and coaches.
This is absolutely not true! Although college admissions have become very competitive, there are well over 3,000 colleges in the US, meaning that there is a school for everyone. I see so many students putting so much pressure on themselves that it actually ends up working against them. Balance is key! Take time for stress-relieving activities. Don’t compare yourself to everyone around you. You and your family need to decide what is right for you.
[You might also want to check: How Career Changers Fine Tune their Resumes]
FutureWise Consulting co-founder Jenn Curtis guides students through the college admissions process while also helping them to be successful, productive, and responsible in high school and in college.