Your freshman or sophomore just finished a challenging fall semester. You are thanking your luck stars that you are not going through the college application nightmare. Friends with seniors look like they took a newborn home this semester and those with juniors in the house are beginning to get a look of dread on their faces.
It seems like yesterday when they were clinging to your leg, begging not to be left at Pre-K or kindergarten and now they are in high school. Well, if the last 10 years went that fast, the one or two-year buffer between now and the dreaded college application season is no buffer at all. Action is much preferred to reaction when applying to college. Students (families) that wait until the senior year to think about careers, what majors make sense, what they want from a college and which colleges fit them best have no choice but to react to every bit of new information. If these questions had been raised in the freshman and sophomore years, a great deal of information could have been gathered, filtered and placed in order for consideration.
Planning in the freshman and sophomore years allows time to consult with trusted friends, family and the colleges themselves about questions and concerns. Also, any misinformation could have been disproven and discarded. Does planning for college seem like the better idea than waiting or is it just my OCD talking?
Plans for life after high school beginning the day a student starts high school makes sense and it isn’t difficult. High schools are designed to equip students with higher level thinking skills. It doesn’t matter if those skills are later applied to college, a job or inventing the next new product that we can’t live without. The key is to have a plan for what happens after high school, then to use the time spent in high school preparing to pull the trigger on that plan. Marching through high school with a purpose decreases the possibility for an unpleasant surprise after graduation for both parents and student.
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