It’s that time of year again.  The calendar turns to March and two things happen simultaneously:

Seniors – You are starting to receive admissions letters.  I’ve written many articles on this so I’ll be brief.  But the waitlist has a terrible name.  It should be called the proactive list.  Take a look at some of my resources. If you think you could benefit from a personalized waitlist/deferral program, don’t hesitate to reach out.  Since 2011, my students have been accepted off of waitlists at nearly 10x the national average!

Juniors–you are inundated with schoolwork, standardized tests, and after school activities.  The most difficult & stressful 9 months of high school have arrived.  Additionally, you’re starting to hear talks of “summer plans” and, if you are like many students I initially work with, you have absolutely no time to even consider any plans beyond tomorrow.

Good news is I am here to help.  Whenever you are able to take a breather, likely on a Saturday, and start to think about your summer plans, there are simply two areas of focus you should consider:

1) Do something this summer that grows your brain

2) Do something this summer that puts you in a leadership position.

The summer really only is eight weeks, so you likely won’t have time to do both (especially because I recommend starting your college apps in August).  Therefore, pick one of the two above and do it well.

Find a summer course at a local community college or high school.  Or even better, if you are highly motivated, pick a topic you are interested in, design your own study schedule, and stick to it!  Talk about an impressive college application essay: “I designed my own course on the history of baseball…and then took my own course for one hour per day.”  If you are a student reading this and truly think you have the motivation to pull this off, reach out to me.  I’ll work with you for free to design a course like that!

In the leadership category, please remember the following: It’s how you tell your story.  There are absolutely ways to turn a waiter/barista job into a leadership opportunity.  If you want to make money this summer, find a job, and then actively seek out leadership opportunities at that job.  Perhaps the manager lets you open or close the shop.  Or maybe you take a role in planning social events for the restaurant.  There are many, many ways to show leadership abilities regardless of job title.

Whatever your choice, the goal for your summer should be to give you a plethora of examples to write about in your upcoming college admissions essays.  And yes, they are closer than you think–5 months until supplements are released!