Planning for Your Senior Year
Here are some important ideas to ponder:
If a traditional 4 year school is your primary option, designate 3-5 schools to which you will apply. You might visit their campus this summer while it is in session. Of these 5, one is your “dream school.” Three are realistic options for you. One is a safety valve type of school that you would be forced to select due to some unforeseen event (failure to meet graduation requirements; parent(s) job loss; natural disaster; serious illness in family; inability to gain acceptance to schools applied, etc.)
As part of your college application process, depending on where you choose to apply, you may be asked to write one or more essays that are called, for the sake of this discussion, “Personal Essays” or “Personal Statements.” These allow the school’s admissions committee to gain further insights about you that a typical paper resume does not provide. Many schools consider this ‘personal statement’ to be one of, if not the most important part of your application.
I suggest strongly that you work on this during the summer and write a draft or two on some or all of the following topics while you have some time. Depending on how many schools you apply to, you may see any or all of these topics in the fall when you begin the application process (you may be asked to write essays like these below when applying for scholarships).
1) Does your academic record accurately reflect your potential as a student?
2) Write about the most influential person in your life
3) Write about why you think you deserve a scholarship
4) Discuss a contemporary controversial social issue and how you would design a resolution to the issue (if you apply to a Catholic college, you may be asked to write about a controversial or important religious issue)
5) Write a personal statement (this type of essay in intended to give an admissions or scholarship review committee an additional insights or two about you). Personal statements can entail:
- your career goals
- special talents
- unique interests
- your cultural or socioeconomic background
Sometimes schools want you to write a ‘Personal Experience Essay” about a famous quotation , or some book you read that impacted your life, or about some piece of art or film you consider extraordinary, or some particularly significant experience you have had that affected or help to develop your life or values or personality.
These ideas and suggested directions for essays are general in nature, I know. However, in doing some preparation this summer, you will be in a much better situation as this arduous, sometimes stressful process of preparation for life after high school becomes your major concern.