Junior Timeline

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  • Guidance--Chat with your guidance counselor to make sure you’re on the right track for what you want to do. Example, some colleges require 3 years of the same foreign language while others only require 2. Remember, counselors work in high school and don’t know everything about every college, you, the student, can research & find stuff out, too. College & University websites are an excellent place to start. While you’re in the guidance office, check out your stats...rank, GPA, & other academic standings are ways colleges sort prospective students.\n\nContact Colleges--Students making the first move is often how students and colleges meet. Colleges are a business and they don’t send random messages. Be a proactive student and ask them to send you information, that opens the door for them to check you out.\n\nCommunity Service--Get involved & make a difference. Colleges love to see prospective students who are willing to make a positive difference for the community they live in. Join clubs and organizations at school and in the community.\n\nPSAT--This is the year the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test counts. It’s only offered on 2 days this year, Wednesday, Oct. 17 at LHS & Saturday, Oct. 20 at surrounding schools.\n\nGoals--It’s hard to know if you’ve met a goal if you haven’t taken the time to figure out where you want to be & what it takes to get there. Get your game plan together and work it out. \n\nGet Organized--This is the year to get it together. Planners are a great way to figure out what’s coming at you at any given time. The trouble with planners is that they only work when you use them. Figure out a schedule that works for you. Plan the entire day and stick to it. Be specific & task oriented (check lists are great), that way you won’t talk yourself out of getting stuff done & you can see your progress.\n\n\n\n \n
  • PSAT--If you’re wanting a chance to get hooked up with some pretty sweet scholarships & think your smart enough to hang with the top students in the nation, take this test, it could pay off big for you.\n\nPractice--Check out DISCUS online learning through the South Carolina’s Virtual Library. Click on A-Z List of Resources, then scroll all the way down the first column and click on Learning Express Library. You have to give them an email address and create a password, and then you get hooked into free ACT, SAT, & PSAT tests. You can even study for other things, like the AP Exams (most subject areas), COMPASS (technical school placement exam), & even higher education exams, like the GMAT, MCAT, & LSAT.\n\nPreview--The best way to get to know what colleges want to know about you is by looking at what they ask for. Sharing general information & knowing what they look for help you get a better understanding and realistic idea of the time frame college applications take.\n\nWriting Skills--This is often the first impression colleges get from you. The better you articulate in writing, the better you potential college will view you. Do what you need to do to be a better writer. Make your English teacher your best friend, they love English and the’ll love you for wanting to do more with them.\n\nThe Plan--Remember those goals for what you want to be and how you’re going to get there? Review the list and see if you can check anything off...like making the grades you know you can, finding that community service project, or lining up a job shadowing experience so you can get a better feel for a career.\n\nResearch--Find schools that you’re interested in and weigh the pros and cons. Some may be better in areas that are more important. Some things you thought were important may not be that important in the big picture.\n\n\n
  • Gauges--This is a great time to check all your gauges. You know how a car has the gas gauge, the oil gauge, the speedometer, the odometer...stuff like that? Well, checking your own “school gauges” are a good idea. They help you figure out where you’re been (odometer), how much farther you can go without making a change (gas gauge), how long you can go before you need some help & preventative maintenance (oil gauge), & how fast you’re getting to where you’re heading (speedometer). More brass tacks questions could be something like, "where do I need to spend more time studying?" or "is there an area where I can use my time more wisely?"\n\nCommunity Service--Continue to serve the community and kick it up a notch. Ask if you can be more involved in an activity or branch out and share your service with another group or organization to better the community. Remember to jot down what projects you help with so you can add those in to the organizations/community service section on college applications.\n\nMore Research--Research is a constant activity. Find some time to search more places and sort out which ones best fit you, your interests & your pocketbook.\n\nPractice--Just like in class, the more you do correctly, the easier it gets.\n
  • Spring SAT/ACT--Check out those dates. Often times, money and a weekend in the Spring is hard to come by. It’s easier to find a day to take a test several months in advance & go ahead and sign up for it. Once you’ve committed, you’ll probably make sure you get there.\n\nCareer--Really think hard about what you’re good at and what you love doing. That’s some of the best advice when it come to the big questions like "what do you want to be when you grow up?" If you give a good bit of thought to your future now, it’s a whole lot easier dealing with it when it comes your way. You don’t have to know if you want to be something specific, like an underwater welder, but more along the lines of, I like being in the water and working with my hands. Lots of times your interests change, but those core things about you rarely change...stick to figuring out what those are and use those to guide you to finding what field of study you want to be in when you grow up.\n\nGauges--Keep a good check on these. Sometimes it’s easier to head a problem off at the pass when you check things out & keep them copasetic.\n\nResearch--Start narrowing down what colleges you’re truly interested in & actively seek information from them. Call Admissions offices and see if over the holiday, you can come out a take a look at the campus and have a chat with them about you & how the campus works.\n\nWriting Ready?--Is your writing ready? Find someone who knows how to write well (English, Journalism & Media Specialists are teachers are really good at this...they do it all day long) and they love reading and they give pretty good feedback one how your writing comes across to others & how to make it better.\n\n\n
  • Summer Job--Start thinking about a summer job & figure out if it’s going to work for you and your family schedule. Colleges like to see students taking responsibility in becoming adults. \n\nMe Folder--Have a place where you keep awards, accolades, certificates, community service logs, and stuff like that. It makes it way easier to find and add into a college application.\n\nSemester Schedule--Double check to make sure you've got what you need to get what you want. Talk with your guidance counselor to make sure you're on the right track.\n\nResearch & Write--Have you noticed the patttern? Keep sifting through the schools you're interested in. Keep honing those writing skills.\n\nSAT/ACT Practice--Remember the SAT/ACT test dates. Most juniors take the SAT &/or ACT in the spring semester of their junior year.\n
  • Sift & Sort--Remember all that research? Try to narrow down to around 5 schools you’re really super interested in and have a pretty good chance at being accepted into. Work hard & pursue those colleges. Show you’re interested, really interested in them. Visit or Re-visit the college, try to have some face to face time with an admissions counselor & be prepared to have some frank conversations about what you want from a school and what that school can provide you. Take what they say, think it over, & see if you can live with what they’ve got to offer.\n\nCheck Gauges--Make sure you’re doing what you need to to be where you want to be. If you’re not, make changes; if you are on track, then keep doing what you’re doing.\n\nLook Out--Keep on the look out for colleges that might interest you. Sometimes we can get caught up in the sifting & sorting and forget that we can still add to the list. You can always add, just try to maintain a manageable number so it's not overwhelming.\n\nPractice & Write--Practice test taking strategies and writing skills. Things should be getting more familiar, faster & easier to take.\n\n
  • Apply--This is a great time to apply. The early bird gets the worm, and often, the job. This is also great practice for filing out college applications. Lots of job applications have similar questions to college applications.\n\nMoney--Go to the library, high school, county, where ever books are, that’s where you need to be looking for books about financial literacy and how to deal with money in college & even before college. There are also lots of great websites that can help you figure out how to manage your money. The National Endowment for Financial Education is one of my favs...check out the website and see if it helps you...http://www.hsfpp.org/resources.aspx.\n\nGauges--How are things going? Make changes that are going to improve your education.\n\nSift & Sort--Keep figuring out which school is best for you. Have an open mind.\n\nPractice, Write, Repeat--Practice you test taking skills and prepare for the SAT/ACT. Keep getting better at writing.\n
  • SAT/ACT--Schedule either of the exams. You should be pretty well set with all the preparation you’ve done so far. Go to guidance to register or you can sign up online at http://sat.collegeboard.org/home.\n\nCommunity Service--Start looking for ways to serve your community. Feel free to stick with what you’ve done in the past or try something new. Serving is serving. Just be sure to make an impact and be memorable. The people who you help in community service, may be the ones you ask for recommendation letters.\n\nCheck Gauges--sometimes students get tired of school. Remember to keep your head in the game.\n\nPractice--Testing strategies;\nResearch-Colleges and universities for programs and fields that you’re interested in;\nWrite--Better than you have before;\nRepeat--Do it again.\n
  • SAT/ACT--Take the test you already signed up for. You’re ready for this.\n\nSummer Reading--Develop a summer reading list. Often in college interviews, a question that’s asked is "what have you been reading that wasn’t required for school?" Schools are trying to get an insight into your personality. Lots of times in scholarship interviews, this is a question on the application. If you write a book title down, you might want to refresh your memory with SparkNotes or Cliff’s Notes, because they’ll ask you some questions about it...and no one wants to look foolish and say "oh, I read that in the 3rd grade. I don’t remember it."\n\nCampus Visits--Narrow down to your top 2-3 schools and head out to the campus. Check out, in depth, what goes on at that school. Use your critical, yet understanding eye to help you decide if that is the right place for you. Often times, weekend trips are good to see student life; the down side to that is many times, schools don’t have tours set up then, unless you call ahead. Lesson to remember: Call ahead if you want to see student life & talk to admissions.\n\nRetake?--Did your score come out to what you wanted? Consider retaking the test.\n\n\n\n\n
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  • Finances--Check over your family budget and see what y’all have to work with regarding college tuition.\n\nTalk About It--Talk with your student about his/her interests and where he/she sees himself/herself headed. Talk about things like, why those particular schools, what do you really like doing & what is it that makes that more appealing than anything else.\n\nCollege Fairs--Get the biggest bang for your buck. College fairs are a great way to see what's out there. Lots of colleges, lots of people willing to talk to you & lots of information. This is a great way to share in the research process with your student. Feel free to let your student ask questions. This is a great time for parents to see glimpses into the young adult their child is becoming.\n\nCampus Visits--Go tour a campus together that your student is interested in. Walk around, smell the air & get a real feel for how life might be on that campus. Sometimes you can even sit in on a real college class. \n\nScholarships--Reminding, nudging, looking over, whatever you want to call it, make sure your student is hot and heavy on the look out for scholarships, completing applications & meeting deadlines. This could be money that you don’t have to pull out of the family budget.\n\nEmployee Scholarships--Several employers have a scholarship program that only family members of employees can participate in. Ask around & see if your employer does that. Have your student go after those; you just might get it.\n\n\n
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  • Junior Timeline

    1. 1. Junior TimelineThings Students Can do toBetter Prepare for College
    2. 2. SeptemberGuidance UpdateContact Colleges & UniversitiesCommunity ServiceRegister for PSATPlan Your Work & Work Your PlanGet Organized
    3. 3. OctoberTake the PSATPractice for the SAT and/or ACT for Freewith DISCUSPreview College ApplicationsSharpen Your Writing SkillsRemember Your Plan? Check Some Things OffResearch
    4. 4. NovemberCheck Your GaugesCommunity ServiceResearch Some MorePerfect Practice Makes Perfect Results
    5. 5. DecemberCheck Out the Dates for the Spring SAT &ACTWhat do you Want to be...SeriouslyCheck Those Gauges AgainResearch & Fine TuneWriting Ready?
    6. 6. JanuarySummer JobMake a “Me Folder”Review Your Semester ScheduleResearch, Write, RepeatSAT/ACT Practice
    7. 7. FebruarySift & Sort CollegesCheck GaugesKeep on the Look OutPractice & Write
    8. 8. MarchApply for that Summer JobLearn About MoneyCheck GaugesSift & SortPractice, Write, Repeat
    9. 9. AprilSchedule the SAT or ACTCommunity ServiceCheck GaugesPractice, Research, Write, Repeat
    10. 10. MayTake the SAT/ACTSummer ReadingCampus VisitsThink About Retaking the SAT/ACT
    11. 11. ParentsPreparing for Your Student’s Junior Year
    12. 12. Parents To Do ListFinancial LookTalk About ItGo to College FairsCampus VisitsMake Sure Your Student is on Top ofScholarshipsAsk About Scholarships Through YourEmployer

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