It’s Time To Take Control Of The College Process!
So much emphasis is put on the importance of class rankings, testing and extracurriculars. Often times, it feels like the college process is completely out of our control! However, we DO have a choice! Here are a few things to consider:
Rankings: The flawed U.S. News and World Report rankings takes a very subjective topic and tries to quantify and simplify what schools are a good fit. This creates an atmosphere of selectivity and competition. Only after you research and visit a college, will you know if it’s a solid fit. Take control and don’t give energy to rankings!
Testing: Some students are spending hours studying for the ACT/SAT and taking multiple tests only to be dissatisfied with their score. At some point there are diminishing returns for these tests. Knowing ahead of time which schools are test-optional can relieve a lot of pressure and stress. Review www.fairtest.org as part of your testing strategy. Take control and add test-optional schools into the mix of your college list.
Extracurriculars: Exhausting yourself doing activities in order to build a resume is something a student can make a conscious choice NOT to do. Volunteer because you enjoy it, work at a nursing home because it exposes you to potential careers, or partake in student council because you’re good at organizing and leading a group. Take control and do not “check the boxes” for the application at the expense of balance.
The college process can be a constant stressful topic that consumes conversations. Work together as a family and make dinners off limits to talking about college. Pick one afternoon or night a week to discuss colleges.
Taking control of the college process is key to ensuring a healthy junior year and beyond!