The #1 Myth about applying to college is that once you have submitted your college applications you are good to go ... WRONG! It is so important to stay motivated and continue working hard even into the Winter and Spring of your final year of high school. Colleges will still look at your performance in that last semester because you have to submit your final High School Transcript to them once you graduate. Don't slack off and screw up ... keep your momentum going!
One positive thing you can do after all of your applications are submitted is apply to scholarships! You can check out a "Wish I Knew Wednesday" post about scholarships here, but you should be concentrating on applying to scholarships too. IT'S FREE MONEY -- who doesn't want that? You can focus on one scholarship a week or do a few every other week, but the important thing is to keep looking for available scholarships online and through your High School Guidance Department!
Another way to productively use this time is by looking into different internship and job opportunities for the future. You can look for summer jobs for once May and June rolls around or you can search the classified ads or monster.com to see what jobs lie in the field you're interested in. This may help you in the future with deciding on a concentration within your major or possible just deciding on a major at all! Also, looking for internships can be incredibly helpful for your future-self. Chances are that an internship that is being promoted now will also be promoted and offered next year around this same time. Jot down the internships you find and try to apply to them next year or the year after. Check the criteria for the internship, but if grade or credit level doesn't matter, why not apply to it when you have the chance next year!
Visiting the campuses again in the Spring can be a good use of this time as well. Especially if you need to attend a formal interview for a scholarship, do a portfolio review, or even have an audition for your major. Most campuses offer visit opportunities through the Spring and even after decisions are sent out, they have Accepted Student Days for a in-depth look at life on campus. It may be necessary to wait until you receive your decision, but if you have the free time and its a nice weekend, why not visit one of your top choices!
Taking advantage of a potential career booster would be a great way to spend these first few months of the New Year! Look into opportunities in your high school or your community to work in your future major. If you're interested in studying Education, look into tutoring elementary students during your Study Hall; if you're interested in studying Hospitality, see if the local tourism bureau needs some help planning for a spring festival; if you're interested in studying Art, volunteer at a local art gallery every Saturday. All of these will give you great experience for your future profession. Also, if you are potentially wait-listed or the admissions committee needs to re-review your application, you showing them that you are very passionate about your potential career and that you are already taking initiative to be successful, may help positively sway their admissions decision for you.
Another positive option is to do something that takes you entirely out of your comfort zone. In about eight months you will be venturing off to college which will be such a new surrounding and experience for you. Because of that, acclimate yourself to doing new things and trying what the world has to offer. This could be joining a new club or sports team (even if it is just JV), taking a February/Spring Break trip that emphasizes rebuilding homes or reading 18th Century Russian Literature. Do things you wouldn't normally do and that will help expand your horizons past what you are familiar with. Think about attending a leadership conference or a daily Writing/Drawing campus at a local college. Once you get used to doing new things, your transition into college life will not be as difficult.
These are all just suggestions for making the next couple of months worthwhile in your chase for college. Don't forget to take some time for yourself and to assess how far you've come over the last three and a half years, but also try to do something that will benefit you in the future! If you need ideas or suggestions feel free to comment, e-mail or tweet me and I would be happy to give you some feedback! Have a great rest of the week everyone!
enjoy the chase,