Spring To-Do List for Juniors:

Spring for juniors means prom dresses and corsages, soaking up the sun over spring break, and enjoying outdoor sports like lacrosse and baseball. But juniors may also feel very stressed, as their academic and college journeys culminate in a collision of important events. The pressure of SAT/ACT tests, AP exams, trying to do the best work they can for the last final year of grades that colleges will see, anxiously hoping for leadership positions, and the constant and maybe sudden persistence of self-evaluation and investigation can be physically and emotionally exhausting: Do I want to go to that college? Will I be accepted? Am I taking the right courses? How do I compare to my peers? Is my hard work being recognized?

Here is a list of tips for what juniors should be focusing on now that May is just around the corner:

  1. Continue to visit colleges and build your list – visit a wide variety, especially less selective options.
  2. If you are taking AP courses, prepare thoroughly for AP exams.
  3. Choose your two teacher recommenders and talk to them before the end of the school year.
  4. Continue with your SAT/ACT testing plan. Some students may be evaluating their first scores and preparing to re-test soon or after the summer.
  5. Stay involved in school activities, stay positive, show up – especially if you are hoping for a leadership role senior year.
  6. Plan for a fun and enriching summer – get a job, do some volunteer work, learn a new hobby, or pursue your interests beyond the walls of your school.
  7. Create your Common Application account on commonapp.org. Go ahead and complete the Profile, Family, Education and Testing sections. You can update these before you submit to colleges.
  8. Start brainstorming your Activity List and drafting descriptions to get a jump on summer essay work.
  9. Review your course choices for senior year with your McMillan counselor.
  10. Work hard in your classes for a strong finish to the school year!

Juniors, soon you will shift gears from college research and list-building to writing essays and completing applications. Your McMillan counselor will work closely with you throughout the summer to make sure that you have the bulk of your applications completed by the time senior year starts. We know this is a busy time full of fun and also pressure. Remember that we are here to help answer any questions but also just to listen if you are feeling overwhelmed. Use our expertise and assistance to help you not only survive, but thrive, as you finish your junior year!

About The Author

Amy Christie, M.A.