By: Katie Donaghy
As a junior, college is creeping up fast and believe it or not, decisions are right around the corner. Although we are prepared through classes such as career development, college visits to the school, and information nights, there are still many things we have to do by ourselves. Many people have no clue where to begin the college planning process, and I was there too. After many months of stress, I now feel more prepared and am going to share what I have done so far to prepare for the college process. My first piece of advice is use career development to your advantage. Many juniors take this class as a time to relax and speed through their assignments so they can watch Netflix.
While this is tempting, try to use career development as a time to actually out the research in for college. The tests and college matching softwares actually give you real results that can help ease the stress. Not only can you find college matches that are good for you, but you get the chance to in depth research them. My next piece of advice is to know what you want in a college. If you don’t know what critera you want in your college, it can make the process a lot more difficult. Being able to narrow down your choices and put exact information into the college finding databases will save you a alot of time sorting through colleges that don’t fit your requirements. Examples of some things you should know are how far you’re willing to go, what kind of setting the college is in (city vs. suburban), and how many students are enrolled. Knowing these things are very helpful because it filters colleges out and leaves you with less options.
My final piece of advice is to take advantage of everything our school offers us with college planning. Our school offers us different softwares, college information nights, and college visits right in our school. Using the softwares such as Naviance to enter your requirements for college can help you figure out what college visits you want to sign up for. Also, the college information nights can give you very helpful advice that makes you feel more prepared, relieving stress. If you start by doing these things, stress will be relieved and you will start to feel more prepared for your future.