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How to Prepare Mentally Before Starting College

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Let’s face it, seniors: once you’ve gotten those acceptances from the colleges of your dreams, it’s hard to stay focused the last couple months of high school. And before you know it, your “last summer” will transition into your first year of college.

You may feel like you’re ready to start right now. Or you may be looking at the calendar with dread. Transitions are difficult for everyone; but the good news is you’re not alone.

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What Your GPA Says About You

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From the Ivy League to the nation’s top public universities to small liberal arts colleges in far-flung corners of the country, the story you’ll hear from admissions officers is the same: your grades are the most important part of the process.

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4 Tips for Reshaping Summer Plans

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From Olympic athletes to first-time sleepaway campers, people all over the world are watching their summer plans—along with many of their life routines—unravel. There is hopefully some consolation in knowing that we’re all in this together and can emerge stronger and more purposeful!

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Top Mistakes to Avoid at College Fairs

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One of the best ways to learn a little about a lot of colleges and universities is by attending a college fair. Representatives from dozens, sometimes hundreds, of schools set up stations full of colorful material designed to drum up interest in their respective institutions.

As social distancing restrictions begin to ease it is likely that this valuable form of information gathering will return in some capacity. We will all have to keep a close eye on state-by-state developments; but being prepared in advance will serve you well, nonetheless.

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Does a Gap Year Make Sense for You This Year?

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Does a Gap Year Make Sense for You This Year?

Needless to say, this is not a normal year. The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted much of our regular routines and caused students across the globe to adjust their schedules in unprecedented ways. And while there is hope for a resumption of relative normalcy by the time the fall semester rolls around, it’s hard to predict anything in the future with too much certainty.

For some students this will make you rethink your plans and priorities as you prepare to head off to college. As the final deadline to make your matriculation decision approaches, be sure you’ve considered all your options – including taking a gap year – carefully.

Might you benefit from more time with family? Is there unfinished business you’d like to tend to on a personal or extracurricular front? Has your intended program of study shifted in light of new world developments

These are some of the potentially compelling factors you should consider as you finalize your plans for next school year.

Enter with Focus

Your first year of college is a monumental time full of new experiences and memory-making opportunities. You’ll want to be in the right mindset to embrace all of it. If there are factors at home or with your health that have arisen that threaten to interfere with the start of your school year next year, you may think about taking advantage of the time a gap year can buy you.

Although it’s impossible to control all of your life circumstances, it’s likely that you’re facing an elevated level of difficulty compared to what you expected for this time of year. For some, taking the time to step back and regroup will create stronger momentum moving forward. Remember, your college success matters more than your college start date.

Un-pause Your Projects

Perhaps you had major plans for intellectual growth over the spring and summer that have been put on indefinite pause. Whether it was a one-of-a-kind internship or research project or some other kind of personal exploration, you may want to see that opportunity through before embarking on the next chapter of your education.

A gap year could afford you time to take your ideas further than you imagined otherwise. What would have been an internship may evolve into a paid position with growing responsibility. The paper that you contributed to with your research team may turn into the beginning of your own intensive study. Or maybe the song you wrote becomes the featured track on a full album you create and produce.

If your passions compel you to pursue them to a fuller extent, be open to listening to that call. You may find new clarity of purpose and gain increasing expertise in the process.

You May See the World Differently Now

Having an extended time away from the routines and systems we’ve built causes us to reevaluate our priorities. This will mean different things to everyone, but in some cases, this could affect your ideas about where you want to attend school or what you want to study.

Perhaps being closer to home or family is more important to you than you initially expected. Maybe your career field of interest has shifted in light of how you envision the world and its economy reconfiguring post-pandemic. If this is the case, you might want to take extra time to test those waters.

This may lead you to opt to pursue a different major or apply to additional schools in the following admissions cycle. Be open to how you continue to grow and evolve your thinking. Even if that leads you down an unexpected or nontraditional path, what’s most important is that you are making the soundest decisions you can about your education.

Even in a normal year, many students benefit from considering deferring their admission by a year and increasing their life experience before attending college. There may be added reasons in this time of uncertainty why that is relevant for you. If so, know that you’re not alone; with help and thoughtfulness, you can formulate a great plan for spending this upcoming school year in a way that’s personally satisfying and challenging and makes you more ready for the road ahead of you.

The expert admissions consultants at Wise World Prep have helped hundreds of students maximize their potential of being admitted to their top choice colleges and universities. Over 20 years, we have successfully guided students through each stage of the application process – from choosing competitive high school courses to building an appropriate college list to drafting winning essays to writing persuasive update and appeals letters. We would be happy to answer your questions and partner with you to create a successful admissions roadmap.

Ready to get started? Schedule a complimentary 20-minute conversation today!

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Is Art School the Best Fit for You?

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If you are interested in a creative passion such as art, film, design, or theatre, institutes like the Rhode Island School of Design or CalArts may be perfect for you. These schools offer undergraduates specialized classes, career offices with ample connections, and accomplished faulty to help you hone your craft. You will be immersed in a community brimming with fellow photographers, painters, and movie makers who can fuel your creative juices.

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