July is usually filled with fun, vacations, and celebrations. Students have about two more months until school begins in the fall. The free time is a great time to do college prep activities that you may be too busy for during the school year.
Rising Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors & Seniors
- Look at your upcoming class schedule. Ensure you are registered for the best classes for you that will best prepare you to be a good college applicant. Are you taking challenging classes? If not, do you have the ability to add more challenge to your class schedule? Take your time thinking about your class schedule. Check in with your counselor when he or she are available to discuss changes if necessary.
- How do your extracurricular activities look? College admission officers are looking for students who do great things outside of the classroom too. How do your activities look? Have you found that meaningful activity? If not, think about what you are passionate about and find a way to dive in. Student clubs, organizations, and activities are great, but you can also find activities off campus as well. Quantity is not what impresses admission professionals; quality in your outside activities will always be more important than quantity.
- Visit colleges. If you are traveling for a vacation, think about adding a college visit to the itinerary if there is a college in the area you are considering. Or, visit some of the colleges in your area. Even if you are not considering a college close to home, visiting different types of local colleges (public, private, small, large, etc.) can help you learn more about your preferences in colleges.
College applications are beginning to open for submissions. Some open as early as July, while others open a little later this summer. Students do not need to submit applications as soon as the applications are open, but the summer is a great time to start working on the application and essay.
Incoming College Freshman
- Pay attention to my email and mail. If the college you will be attending in the fall sends anything, open it right away. Colleges send a lot of valuable information during the summer, and sometimes they might need some information or documents from you.
- Don’t show up to campus in the fall without a plan. College housing offices will be sending out roommate assignments. Reach out to your roommate to get to know each other before arriving on campus. If you will need to have a part-time job while attending college, learn about the different on-campus job possibilities. Getting involved on campus can make your college experience even better. Learn about the different organizations on campus and find some that you think you may enjoy. By doing your research before arriving on campus, you won’t feel overwhelmed when you arrive on campus and start taking classes right away.
College Counseling Tip
Even if you do not know where you plan on attending college, you can still apply for outside scholarships. Dedicate a little time every week to scholarships. I know it can get frustrating when you apply for scholarships and do not win. However, you cannot win if you don’t apply. As you continue applying for scholarships, you will continue to learn how to better your application and essay. Make sure you are submitting the best application and essay you can and make sure you application will stand out from the crowd. If someone else can send in the same story as you, they probably will. Learn how to make your story unique so the scholarship provider will remember you when they are making decisions.
Happy 4th of July!
Enjoy the summer holiday as we celebrate the birth of our nation! If you ever have any questions or think there is an article that could be helpful, send me a message. My goal is to help students and their parents as much as I can as they move through the college admissions and financial aid process.