Five. Four. Three. Two. One. The halls fill with confused freshman students as the final bell to the entire school year rings from ear to ear. Sophomores jump in unceasing joy, as they are one step closer to finally dominating the school. Seniors begin to cry tears of both happiness and sadness. It is the final bell to what they consider the end of their high school career. Juniors, on the other hand, step into the hallway, scared for the future. Senior year for them is going to be a bumpy, but incredibly rewarding ride. Let’s dive right down into this once in a lifetime experience.
Although senior year is considerably the most anticipated time for many students, it’s important to not get caught up in all the hype. Whether you like it or not, the actions you do and partake in while a twelfth grader can determine several totally different courses that your own life could take. How exactly is this possible? College decisions. Thwart this ignorance by using the summer to your advantage! Don’t get me wrong, you should take a break from high school academics. You should hang out with your friends. You should follow hobbies that are tailored to your liking. After all this is said and done though, this is also the perfect time where you should look at college information and scholarships.
Trust me when I say that the summer before your senior year will pass you by faster than you can possibly think. Before you know it, it’ll be national college decision day and you’ll be committing to the university where hundreds of thousands of memories will be made, setting the foundation for whatever the future has in store for you. Don’t waste any time when you can be researching, documenting, and looking over the different aspects of what makes you happy. This includes things such as tuition and fees, location, degree plans, etc.
Let’s be real here. One of the most important reasons some people don’t attend the college of their dreams is because of finances. They instead choose the more affordable option. This admirable decision done by hundreds of thousands of teens often comes as a surprise when it’s already too late. Don’t be blindsided by the cost of some private universities. When you have free time in the summer, be sure to make a concise spreadsheet depicting some ways you can prepare for this.
Have a column depicting whether or not the college you listed is a public or private university. Dive further down into this spreadsheet by adding columns that go over the exact tuition and fees you would have to fork up for each institution. Try to arrange it in a way that you can visually see what would be the most expensive option in the schools you’re applying to and what would be the least expensive option. This can serve as a wake up call to help you pursue academic scholarships that can and will help you pay for your dream college.
Location, Location, Location
Other things to consider include the location of the university. During the summer its important to ask yourself where you would be comfortable to live for the next four years of your life after high school. Some people prefer to stay close to home and family while others seek a journey that takes them across the country in an environment that is totally new and filled with different experiences. Where you’re comfortable at location wise is an incredibly important part of your decision. All in all, there are numerous amounts of different column topics you can focus on like the research professors at the university, sports, etc.
Think of this list as the master plan of your college career. It is the beginning of a very demanding year filled with different applications, essays, interviews, recommendations and research of the sort. The only way to combat this heavily stressful time is to be as neat and orderly as you can be. This goes for scholarships as well. Doing a spreadsheet that covers aspects such as scholarships you qualify for, whether or not it needs an essay, supplementary material, etc. can benefit you tremendously.
Overall, choosing a college is a holistic process. All parts of the process should be carefully looked at from every single angle. There are a variety of resources you can use in order to make the entirety of your senior year as relaxing and rewarding as it can be. Check out this TP article on one writer’s 5 things she wishes she considered before choosing a college.