COLUMN: Academic advisor urges juniors to take advantage of vacation
Finals week is here and the days until Christmas break can now be counted on one hand! As students are eager to dive into their three week vacation, high school juniors should utilize this time to better equip themselves as they enter their second semester.
The spring semester for juniors is a pivotal point in their academic career. Students will be registering for the SAT and ACT and should also be exploring colleges if they haven’t already began their search.
In order to have a better understanding of where they are in the college search, I meet with every junior one-on-one to discuss their goals and post high school plans as well as give guidance presentations to all juniors within the classroom.
During the fall semester, all juniors at Fresno Christian were registered to take the PSAT. For some students this was their first time hearing about the PSAT and taking the test. This practice test was a great tool to give students an idea of how the actual SAT experience is.
Students will receive an email notification in December regarding their PSAT scores. These scores provide students with an insight on the areas they need to improve to receive a high score on the SAT.
Juniors are recommended to make a College Board and ACT Student account to utilize the SAT and ACT prep resources that both websites provide. These resources include daily practice questions, practice tests, vocabulary quizzes, scholarship search engines, and so much more. These accounts also give students the ability to register for each of the tests as well as send their official scores to their selected colleges.
Over the break, students may choose to get a head start and begin studying for the SAT and ACT or register for the tests to reserve their spot since they fill up quickly. There are many scholarships offered specifically to juniors which can be found on College Board or FastWeb. Students are encouraged to take this time of year to explore these options as it may be beneficial to secure various means of paying for tuition costs.
One thing I wish I knew as a junior in high school was not to put so much pressure on myself as a student; always worried about being the perfect student for a college application. You can never be perfect, but your best will do just fine. — Christina Guiton, admissions rep. for William Jessup University
Admissions representatives from William Jessup University and Multnomah University provided a few pointers on how juniors could spend some of their time during their three-week vacation when it comes to starting to prepare for college.
“This Christmas break spend some time researching and scheduling visits to your top four colleges this December or January,” Christina Guiton of William Jessup University said. “This is your time to explore the campuses and schools that have caught your eye and find out if they are truly right for you.”
Guiton expressed what she would do different looking back to her junior year.
“One thing I wish I knew as a junior in high school was not to put so much pressure on myself as a student,” Guiton said. “I was always worried about being the perfect student for a college application. You can never be perfect, but your best will do just fine.”
Xander Brechbiel from Multnomah University shared the importance of college visits and scholarships.
“If I was to go back and give myself some advice as a junior in high school,” Brechbiel said, “I would tell myself to apply for more outside scholarships and visit as many colleges as possible. It is incredibly helpful to see the universities first hand and experience them before you commit four years.”
Brechbiel encourages juniors to start researching colleges and majors.
“Now is a great time to do research on colleges and universities in your area,” Brechbiel said, “or out of state that have the major you want to study. Outside scholarships are also a great opportunity to look into early on. I have known students who would apply for one scholarship per week so that they don’t overwhelm themselves.”
As students begin the new year with a new semester and fresh start, it is important that they go into it with their best foot forward. Taking advantage of the winter break by sorting out their plans for the following semester is key when it comes to finding the most success with the least amount of stress.
Your #PSAT/NMSQT scores come with:
🍍 Free SAT prep
🍍 Free access to career planning
🍍 The opportunity to qualify for scholarships
🍍 Free guidance on which AP courses might be good for you
Get your scores this week.https://t.co/CpdAG7n0Ym pic.twitter.com/jSEy6ieEpt
— The College Board (@CollegeBoard) December 10, 2018
I encourage all juniors to set aside some time and commit it to their college preparation. This minor bit of planning will go a long way once the spring semester is in full swing and their schedules become much more busy.
Any further questions or inquiries can be directed to academic counselor, Evangelina Tello, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more articles by Tello, read her November post, College Corner: UC & CSU application advice and College Corner: Clovis High hosts FAFSA workshop, Oct. 15.
New campus academic advisor Evangelina Tello continues the occasional column, College Corner, for The Feather Online. She shares college prep advice and offers college counseling in her office. Tello can be reached via email: email@example.com. Her office hours are M/T/Th 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Wed/Fri., 8 -noon. She encourages students to set up appointments during these hours but has an open door policy as well.
For a recent Feather articles, read Kristina Breshears thrives in high school atmosphere and COLUMN: Learning to Prioritize by junior Toryn Triplitt.
Evangelina Tello can be reached via email.Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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