By Fanny Zhao ’19 and Mohima Oishe ’19
Believe it or not, college is right around the corner! This leaves the question in hand: How ready are you for college?
“Growing up is hard, and we have to eventually deal with it at one point, so you might as well prepare earlier to get it over with,” said Talha Malik ’18. “It’s way less stressful than having all this work pile up senior year.”
Starting the college process early definitely has its benefits. It gives students the opportunity to enjoy senior year without pressure even though it does involve adding that stress into junior year.
According to Ms. Kendra Lane, a guidance counselor at Midwood, juniors
need to have their College Board accounts set up and ready. The College Board is
where students are able to register for SATs and check their scores for SATs and AP tests.
Looking into colleges and figuring out what you are interested in is very important to look into early on. Naviance, a website students may have heard of from their counselor, is a college and career readiness site where they can take interest inventories and quizzes to explore possible colleges and career tracks.
“It doesn’t hurt to take a look at these things now and start making plans and
moving in that direction,” said Ms. Lane.
According to Ms. Stephanie Gluck, a guidance and college counselor, students should be getting their GPA up. However, Ms. Gluck also said, more competitive colleges do not just look at student’s GPA, but extracurricular activities they have done. She recommends that students join clubs if they have not done any extracurricular activities.
In addition, Ms. Gluck said internships, volunteering, and after school jobs are ways students could show colleges what they have done during high school.
“Checking emails is super important,” said Ms. Gluck.
Guidance counselors send emails informing students about available internships and programs they could apply for. For example, through Pupilpath, there was an
email sent about the Bezos Scholars Program, which is a leadership development program for high school juniors. If juniors are interested, applications are due February 9.
Through a program called Teen Career Connections, Ikra Islam ’19 was chosen to work at Harlem Youth Court, located in the Bronx. She learned how to deal with respondents, students who were arrested. There, she had “heart to heart” conversations with them to try and get to know their background stories.
“Working at the Youth Court really helped me understand what I want to major in when I’m in college. Not only that, but it also provided me with a profound sense of commitment that I was never able to achieve through school,” Islam said.
Moreover, students could search for internships at their local libraries and hospitals, Ms. Gluck said.
For example, according to their website, NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn provides students from ages 16 and up internships and volunteer opportunities all-year round in Patient Support Services, Office Support Services, and Outreach and Support Services. The application process is available online.
Leah Shteinberg ’18 recommends visiting colleges to sort out which ones are the best fit in the long run to prepare for the application process.
“Touring in colleges you’re looking into really gives you an idea of what you want,” Shteinberg said. “It makes the process so much easier because you can easily
eliminate any colleges you didn’t like and it gives you extra reassurance for the ones you do like.”
When students are researching and applying for colleges,“think outside the box,”said Ms.Gluck.
As students transition from a junior to a senior, they may come to regret not taking
advantage of their time and opportunities.
“It’s a great feeling when you aren’t one of those seniors crunching all your files into the office the week that it’s due,” said Shteinberg.
According to College Board, early action is when students apply earlier to colleges and receive an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1. According to Prep Scholar, a test prep website, the most common early action deadlines are November 1 and November 15. However, each college may have different early action deadlines. Looking back, Zakria Khan ’18 wishes he did early action.
“I wish I did early action because my
friends are getting their acceptances already and knowing that I won’t be getting mine anytime soon is making me anxious!” said Khan.
“Deadlines are super important,” said Ms. Gluck.
One of Senior Aruba Ahmed’s biggest regrets was not asking for recommendations from teachers at the end of junior year.
“It was absolutely hectic trying to find teachers to write you a recommendation senior year because they have so many other students also asking them,” said Ahmed.
“Senior year is not when you want to start thinking about these things,” Ms. Gluck said.
Any students who are seeking assistance regarding their college profiles should visit the college office in room 445.