You know that for high school juniors, the summer before senior year is especially important for college planning and making sure they are on the right track for graduation. While it’s hard to keep them motivated on their summer vacation, giving them a timeline of some important things to do before they leave for break can help them stay on track and make your job much easier come fall.
Your students deserve a break after a year of hard work, so let them get the fun and easy stuff done during the month of June! Have them use this time to research colleges they are interested in or take a road trip to visit colleges that they want to take a closer look at. Getting the chance to visit colleges can give students a better idea of where they actually want to go to school and they can turn it into a mini-vacation. You can stress to your students that planning for college can be fun!
Mid-summer is when students tend to start losing the motivation to keep up with their future plans, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Students should be using this time to get a head start on building their resumé and brainstorming college essay topics. Encourage your students to get a summer job or volunteer in the community, both of which can give them great experience and look great on a resumé. Suggest volunteering at the library, researching potential essay topics or signing up for summer sports leagues. In addition, a summer job can provide students with the opportunity to become more financially savvy; something important that they have to learn before they leave for college.
School is almost back in session so it’s time for your students to get back in the swing of things. Encourage them to get a head start on college applications, start seeking out recommendations and planning their senior course load. They’re going to have a lot more to worry about once school starts again, so stress that getting ahead during the summer (however unappealing) will be immensely beneficial and is sure to make their senior year more manageable. Students should also use this time to talk to their parents about future plans; this will give them the chance to talk about expectations and what support they can realistically expect from them once they go off to college.
The summer before senior year is an exciting time for students and is one that should be both fun and productive. Encourage them to both enjoy their summer and make it count. Remind them that they don’t have to work all summer to properly prepare for their soon-to-be college life, but they shouldn’t slack off completely.
Your students are getting ready to embark on a brand new journey; encourage them to take it seriously. While you can’t be at their side all summer promoting good college planning practices, you can prepare them before summer begins.
Laura Sestito is a writer and designer for NextStepU Magazine.