Words to the wise: Tips for rising juniors

Published 12:08 am Thursday, May 30, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Claire Reinthaler

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — The final week of the 2023-24 is just around the corner, and while 2024 seniors are checking out of the village, life is still busy for juniors and underclassmen

For juniors, their senior years are fast approaching, and with a shortened summer break because of the earlier start to the 2024-25 school year, it may be harder to accomplish their college application preparation unless they stay on top of it. Coming from someone who’s been through it, here are my best tips for rising seniors, starting now through the summertime, to prepare for your college applications to begin.


Ask for teacher recommendations now

This was something that I wish I had thought to do when I was a junior at the end of last school year. All the teachers that I wanted to write my recommendations were able to accommodate me, but asking them sometime in advance puts you on their radar for recommendations they intend to write in the fall, especially for high-demand recommendation teachers, who may have a lot of people coming to them in the fall asking for recommendations. If you forget to do this, you can always email your teachers over the summer as well to ask them. It’s just a nice courtesy to give them a bit of a heads-up as to what you’re asking for before the school year begins.


Finalize your college list and set up your CommonApp

Your college list can (and likely will!) still fluctuate throughout the application period in the fall, but having a solid first list over the summer will really help you get your head in the game and set up your CommonApp account. CommonApp is not the only way to apply to schools — nearly all schools have a place on their admissions website where you can apply to that school individually — but CommonApp is the most popular, and I highly recommend using it. Once you set up your account, you are able to search and select the colleges you are interested in through their portal, which gives you all the information you need to apply to those schools through CommonApp. Essentially, it allows you to use one website to apply to all your schools instead of applying to each separately, which is extremely helpful organization-wise.


Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family for help

The best tip I learned throughout my own process last summer is that you’re not alone. There are so many resources around you to assist and prepare you for this stressful time, and often, people in your life who have gone through the same thing. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it! Although a senior meeting will be scheduled with your counselor for you in the fall, you can always schedule extra meetings with them once the school year begins for a helping hand.

The senior torch will soon be yours to carry, class of 2025. Stay organized, don’t stress too much and keep all your options open; you never know how useful they may be.