8 Things

As a senior heading into your final year of high school, you’re focused on having fun, getting good grades, and exploring post-graduation options. If college is in your future, here are some tips on what you should be doing right now.

1. Use a planner to manage your time
Your senior year of high school can sometimes feel overwhelming. To keep track of everything, remember that your brain is not your planner. Learn to prioritize the things you need to do through a written planner, online calendar or an app, and let it keep track of your busy schedule for you. Life is better when you master time management.

2. Make a list of what you want in a college
Endless mailings, texts, emails and phone calls from colleges can make your senior year overwhelming. In order to simplify your search, create a list of what you want in your college. Don’t focus on the title or prestige of the school. Instead, reflect on what the perfect college would be like if you could shape it in any way you wanted. This will help you narrow your search, and ensure a better college experience overall.

3. Look at admission requirements
Taking the ACT or SAT is not something a student looks forward to. However, your final test scores are often used for automatic admission into some colleges or even automatic scholarships. Take pre-tests or prep programs to do as well as you can.

4. Check deadlines
Keep track of scholarship and admission deadlines and add them to the planner mentioned earlier. This will help you prioritize what needs to get done. Deadlines are much less daunting when they are written out to see.

5. File your FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines eligibility for federal, state and institutional funds. Essentially, it makes college more affordable. If you’re not sure how to fill out this form, talk to your parents, school guidance counselor, or a college admissions representative. They want to help!

6. Visit the campus
Once you’ve made a list of what you’re looking for in a college, schedule your campus tour. These tours are free and sometimes come with swag from the school you’re visiting. Make sure to ask your tour guide lots of questions. This is one of the best ways to see if a college is the right fit for you.

7. Trust your gut
With countless universities to tour, it can be difficult to narrow down your top choices. In the end, it comes down to looking over the list you created for what you want in a college. Push the stereotypes and fancy titles aside and go with your gut feeling.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find someone you can share your questions and concerns with, whether it’s your parents, a career counselor, or a college admissions representative. You are not alone in these next steps of life, and there are plenty of people who want to help you reach your goals. Just ask.

 

Karissa LaMont

Karissa LaMont
MSUM Senior
Major: Communications Studies