After the abrupt ending of junior year, members of the Class of 2021 may be wondering how they can make their mark in the coming months. Many athletes, artists, and budding activists might feel that their efforts were thwarted during arguably their most pivotal high school semester. There are still plenty of chances for them to shine, though – regardless of how different senior year will be.
Undergraduate admissions experts urge seniors to look on the bright side. They’ve been given the gift of time to explore the ideas, relationships, and activities that mean the most to them. Lauren Cook, the president of the Western Association of College Admission Counseling, advises students to reframe their thinking. Instead of asking, “‘What can I do right now that would look good?’ … I would always encourage [students] to think about it from the other point of view. Think about being the most ‘you’ that you can be. What makes you happy? What do you get excited about? That will make admissions officers excited, too.”
For some students, that may mean indulging in artistic pursuits, such as composing a song or writing a screenplay. For others, it may lead to volunteering in a unique and creative way to support causes that are important to them. Zoom volunteering is a thing, after all! Students with particular academic interests can use this time for a deep dive and maybe connect with peers and mentors around a shared passion.
As college application season looms, tougher classes and GPA may be front of mind for rising seniors. The last weeks of summer are a great time to revisit subjects that haven’t been taught in person since March. Students can even strengthen their executive functioning skills as we head into another semester of (at least some) remote learning. Preparing ahead of time is especially important for senior year AP classes which generally require greater independence, outstanding school habits, and a specific baseline of knowledge.
College applications also mean college essays. This task can be stressful for even the most skilled writers. Working with a tutor to brainstorm, draft, and edit college essays is a fantastic way for seniors to enhance their applications, as well as boost their advanced writing skills. It’s also a great opportunity for students to get writing feedback from someone other than their mom and dad. The more objective approach can result in a more peaceful college application season overall!
If you’d like some assistance exploring any of these options with a tutor this summer, please reach out so that we can customize a plan for your senior!