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The Hero's Journey: Your Road to college

A step-by-step guide to high school and the college application process.
by

Eleanor Oates

on 26 May 2010

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Transcript of The Hero's Journey: Your Road to college

10th Grade The Abyss Welcome to the Heros' Journey Congratulations!

By viewing this presentation, it means that you have taken your first step towards preparing for the college application process. It is not an easy task to complete, but if you follow your passions, are prepared, and perform well in high school, colleges will be knocking on your front door. This presentation is designed to show you the "big picture" about your high school career and how your choices will affect your final application.

As mentioned above, you will conquer the journey to college by using the 3 P's: Preparation, Passion, and Performance. These are the key factors that will make your college application stand out and the things that admission officers look for in a candidate.

So come on! Let's get you ready for college applications! Preparation Why should you prepare early?

Well, taking the time to think ahead, work smart, and get informed, will save you tons of time when you actually start to fill out college apps.

Trust me! Simple things like tracking your goals and accomplishments will help you stay focused and make sure you have all the information for your applications. Also, knowing what's ahead helps you understand how class selection, extra curricular activities, and references all come together in senior year. If you understand the process now, you will be able to make smart decisions!

This presentation will take you through all 4 years of high school and give you tips on how to prepare for the battles ahead.
Passion Colleges look for passion in their candidates. They can tell if your faking it on your college application, so don't even try. By tapping into your unique interests and abilities, you can look like a star on your applications. This presentation will guide you through each year of high school and give you suggestions on how to make your passions pay off. 9th Grade Call to Adventure Performance Today begins your journey to college. Your GPA will be the single most important factor for a college admissions officer. The SAT/ACT tests will also be a big factor in college admissions.

Never fear!

The toolkit section of this website has hints on how to boost your GPA and advise on how to prepare for tests and the battles ahead!

Like a true hero, you need to do the best you can. What most colleges look for are students who have worked hard, been consistent, and have increasingly challenged themselves.

This presentation will guide you through the challenges you face during your high school years, like choosing classes, tests, and your GPA.

9th Grade: Your call to adventure You’re starting high school, and, just like the great heroes in legend, you have received the call to adventure. Your unique journey to college awaits you. Every student will find their own way, choose different weapons to master, and will slay the monster with their own unique gifts. But first, you need to go through some hero training. Trust me... this will work. As we travel together through your high school years, we will keep in mind the 3 P's, which will focus in on what a college application is all about. Preparation Every hero has a unique calling. What is yours?

You need to begin by deciding what path to take. Do you want to go to any Ivy League college? Do you not really care about school and you just really want to enjoy your friends and have a ton of down time? You have taken the first step by checking out this website, but you need to decide what you want. When you do, you might want to research the choice you made and see what you need to do during the next four years.

What are your goals? Where do you want to be at the beginning of senior year? Do you want to have great SAT scores? Do you want to just see what happens when you get there? Do you want to have scholarship money? These are hard questions, but, as Yoda would say, "answer you must".

Let's get one thing straight. Notice I said: What are YOUR goals? Not your parents' or your teachers' goals, but YOUR goals! This is your unique journey, only you can write this story and make it epic.

However, regardless of your choice, one easy thing you can do to prepare is to start a "brag sheet" and a "goal sheet". In the toolkit section of this website, you will find a sample brag sheet and goal sheet. The brag sheet is where you can write down the accomplishments you've made during high school. Received any awards? Did you get a job? Put those on your brag sheet. That way, when you fill out the awards and activities section of you Common Application, all the information will be at your fingertips on the brag sheet.

The goal sheet is where you should write down the goals you want to make before senior year. Do you want top grades? Are you going to get a certain award? Do you plan to get a certain internship? You should write all of these goals down. It's okay to modify this sheet every year (and believe me you will), but it's good to write some things down and get thinking about it.
9th grade:How does this thing work? Talk with your parents about college. The toolkit page of this website has a whole section on how your parents can help.

Why is this important?

You need to know if you are going to need to get a scholarship or take out loans: that might mean you have special challenges ahead. Also, is there a special college you have in mind and you need help researching it? Each college looks for different things in a candidate. Bottom-line: start your discussion early and get your parents involved with your college plan. They are an excellent resource and can really make the college application process run more smoothly.
9th grade: Talk with your parents In 9th and 10th grade, you will be taking practice PSAT tests. In junior year, you take the real one. It never hurts to read about the PSAT before you take it.

Why?

Well, if you slay that PSAT monster, it can mean a scholarship or an award that will look very nice on your college application. Also, by preparing for the PSAT, you are one step closer to conquering the dreaded SAT in junior and senior year. Test taking skills are learned best over a long period of time, and yes, there are tricks that can boost your scores.

Learn about how the PSAT is scored and how you can improve your score. Check out http://www.collegeboard.com/ for the rules and take a sample PSAT test. Try to brush up on your weak areas. The toolkit page has more information on test taking skills.
9th grade: Seek wisdom Before you select your 10th grade classes, share your plans with the school counselor and find out what they think.

Why should you do this?

Well, first off, this is a great opportunity to let the counselor get to know you and how seriously you take academics. This counselor will most likely be writing your reference letter to colleges. That means the more they get to know you, the more invested they will be when writing your reference.

Second, counselors know a lot about college and classes. They have great ideas about which classes count and what is going to work for your goals. For example, if you want to go to an engineering college, you will probably need to take different classes than a theater major would. Your counselor will know what an engineering and theater college wants from their applicants. Don't think you have to sign-up for every difficult class that your school offers. It depends on you and how your unique story is going to unfold.
Passion 9th grade: Heroes always care about the world All heroes care about the world they live in and have a personal set of values they live by (except for Tony Stark).

Colleges are looking for no less in a college applicant.

They want to see that you will be a person who will go forward and change the world for the better. They are looking for students who will represent their school in the future and will be a leader in business, sports, art, or academics.

Your job in 9th grade is to find 2-3 activities that you are passionate about, and then pursue them. Think volunteering, sports, theater, music, or dancing. Take journalism class, or get involved at your church. It's good in 9th grade to try new things and have an adventure, but by 10th grade you need to defiantly pick 2-3 activities and stick with them through senior year.

Again, pick activities you love!
9th grade: Help others Find a volunteer activity that you love. Most colleges today want to see that you are involved in the community. Make sure you volunteer at an organization that you feel strongly about and where you can slowly gain more responsibility because this is an area where you want to show leadership at some point. Not only does volunteering really look good on your application, but it makes you feel good too.

Make sure to resist selecting a charity because it will "look good" on an application. Select a cause that you really feel passionate about, because trust me, you will need to write about your involvement come application time.
9th grade: Have fun Every hero has fun along the way (except for maybe Frodo).

Try some fun extracurricular activities. Experiment with a new sport, perfect an old sport, join a club, or try out for a school play. This is the year to try dance classes, have fun, and take chances. Colleges want to see students who have a wide range of interests. They also want to see leadership, so be on the look out for leadership opportunities within your sports team, clubs, or other activities.

Beware!

Next year you need to focus on a few activities and stick with them through senior year.
9th to 10th grade:
Make your summer count The summer between 9th and 10th grade is an opportunity to get a head start on building leadership skills, work experience, and to start writing your unique heroic saga. Think about volunteering at a camp or going on an academic adventure. If you're really ambitious, you could also start a business or hold a fundraiser for a cause you love. These summer experiences are vital when you start filling out your college application. You need to tell a story, so you need interesting adventures to write about. Make sure to check out the toolkit section for information on storytelling and good summer experiences. 11th Grade Temptations and Challanges Mentors and Guidance Unknown Known Known Unknown The 3 P's 9th Grade
The Call to Adventure 9th grade: Conquor your first monster 12th Grade The Return Performance Grades count! Don't let anyone tell you that the college admission officers won’t scrutinize your 9th grade academic record!

Colleges look at your WHOLE high school record. They want to see consistency and that a student has always taken their studies seriously. That doesn't mean that you need to get A's in all your subjects; it means that you need to do the best you can. Heroes don’t always win every battle and neither will you. There will just be some classes that you won’t do as well in. However, heroes always try their best and that’s what colleges are looking for.

This is a great time to use your school's tutoring resources if you’re having problems. English and math build on prior knowledge. Don't let yourself get behind. Reach out to your teachers and get the most out of your class work.
Participate Not everyone can be a math wiz or child prodigy, but everyone can be engaged in the classroom and ask good questions.

Yes, colleges look at grades, but they also look at teacher recommendation letters.

Your references will indicate whether you participate in the classroom. In the presentation "The Abyss", which can also be found on this website, we go through the Common Application process and explain how you can get tons of points from your reference letters by being a passionate student.

So remember, focus in the classroom and ask questions!!!
If you have a record of goofing off in class, being sent to the office, or not doing your homework, it's going to be reflected in your references. It's amazing how students get identified early as being studious, well mannered, or passionate. That reputation stays with you throughout your high school career.

Start out right and get the right label!

Again, be a great student, respect your teachers, and stay out of trouble. While we are on the subject, if you get suspended, expelled, or have any disciplinary problems on your record, the colleges see it. However, you do get a chance on the Common Application to explain why that disciplinary action was taken and to tell your side of the story...this is not the type of essay you will feel comfortable writing, so stay clean!
Behavior counts too Breathing room Phew! I know that this is a lot to think about, but remember, 9th grade is the start of your high school career and you're also supposed to have fun!

You have time this year to try different things and to get used to the rigors of high school classes. In 10th grade, things start ramping up. Many of you will be taking your first AP class, and you may need to cut back on activities and select only a few extracurriculars that you really love, so savor this year!

Take advantage of 9th grade to get a good start. Stay on top of your homework and get help if you need it. Figure out a schedule for homework that works for you. Create good study habits that will prepare you for difficult subjects. In short, think like a hero getting ready for a long battle. Rest, train, and learn all you can about the enemy, but don't forget your free time and friends!
10th Grade:
Mentors
and
Guidance Seek Guidance 10th grade is an important year.

You may be starting your first AP class and you have identified certain extra curriculars and charities that you are going to concentrate on.

This year you need to lay the groundwork for your college applications.

Seek out mentors that will guide you; even heroes need some guidance sometimes.

If you plan to hire a college counselor, start the interview process at the end of the school year. DON'T wait until 11th grade. If you are using the school counselor, make sure you have a good relationship with them.

This is also a wonderful time to have an in-depth discussion with your parents about college. Are there finical issues you should understand? Do they have knowledge about college that can help you? Having your parents as part of the college team can help you immensely. Put your parents to work!
Passion Show long term involvement Continue volunteering at your chosen institution/group. Make sure that you have increased your involvement. Colleges are looking for long-term commitment, so you need to demonstrate that you care about your charity and you will stay loyal to it. Remember: heroes are committed to their quest and stay on course!

Why do colleges care about this?

Because they are looking for students who will eventually become community leaders. They want students with a "can do" attitude, who will overcome roadblocks and think out of the box. Your involvement with your group shows that you will care enough about a cause to take a leadership role and accomplish something.

Focus on a few activities Start to narrow your activities. Pick 2-3 that you love, and that you want to continue through high school. You are going to start getting REALLY busy, and there is no way to continue with extra sports, acting, music, and other extracurriculars that you don't really care about. You need to focus on a few important activities that you love and will excel at. When you begin to fill out your college applications, you will use these activities to demonstrate that you are multifaceted. These activities can also emphasize that you are a team player, creative, or have business sense. The bottom-line is that these activities will tell a story and give the colleges a sense of who you are.
Feel the force Do some soul searching and start to figure out what academic area you love. Is it science? English? Art? Take classes that fit your interests, yet push yourself. You don’t have to take AP Chemistry, but you do need to stretch yourself academically regardless of what you are interested in.

Now is the time to start thinking about the academic area that you can concentrate on and shine in. If you’re thinking about engineering, then math and AP Physics might be a good way to go. If you're leaning towards an art major, an AP English and AP Art class might be a good option.

Either way, colleges want you to stretch yourself academically, and they want you to take increasingly more difficult classes.
Make your summer count! Did you know that one of the most common college application questions is: What did you do during your last 2 summers?

Sorry, but sitting around playing computer games just isn't a really good answer.

This summer is VERY important. Volunteer in a significant way, start a business, get a job, attend an academic workshop, do a language immersion program, or slay a dragon (if you can find one). This is a great opportunity to explore new avenues and have an adventure. See the toolkit for more information on summer experiences.
Performance Gentleman: Start your engines! 10th grade is the beginning of your serious classroom experience.

You may be starting your first AP class and all of your classes will be harder. Here are some general things to remember about your classes and academic career at this point:

The math you are learning now will help you with your PSAT and your SAT tests.

As your classes begin to get harder, you need to stay focused and seek help if you need it. Getting a good academic start will pay off next year when the workload increases even more.

Summer reading can really make a difference with both your SAT scores and your ability to do upper level English classes. Look on the College Board website for a list of summer reading. You might be surprised at how much you love the books and how much they will prepare you for the next two years of testing and English challenges.
Grades, Grades, Grades! GRADES MATTER!!!

Do what you can to make your classroom experience count. If you're having problems, get a tutor or see if your teacher has after school hours. Ask for help. Stand on the desk and SCREAM. Do what you need to do to get the help you need.

However, keep in mind that your college application is a balance of many things. Don't drop out of all your extracurriculars to get an A. Most schools would rather see a well-balanced student then a student who solely focuses on academics.
Prepare for the PSAT Take the September practice PSAT SERIOUSLY!

The real one is in junior year and can get you a scholarship or award if you perform well. The reality is, you need to understand the math and English in the PSAT to do really well, but there are some simple test taking strategies that can boost your scores. If you're not doing well with the PSAT sample tests, you might want to take that as a red flag that you need to work on your basics. The College Board website has lots of information about how to prepare. Reading classics is one big way to really boost your score. There are also some great self-help books that can make a difference. While 10th grade is way to early to be stressed out about the PSAT, it is not too early to understand the test and what skills you should have by early 11th grade.
Raise your hand Continue to participate in class, do your homework, and be prepared for all class activities.

Always be the student who participates in class discussions. This can really make a difference.

Firstly, if you do have academic problems, teachers are usually more willing to help students who have shown that they take their studies seriously.

Secondly, teachers talk in the teachers’ lounge. Reputation matters, and if you are labeled a "great kid", your teachers next year will start the year feeling really good about you.

All in all, there is no downside to being the student every teacher wants in his or her class. Come recommendation time, this will make a difference. If a college sees great references, they are much more likely to select that student.
Preparation It's not too early It's not too early to casually start visiting colleges. Find a book on colleges and college majors. Think about what types of classes, SAT scores, and activities that you want to obtain in junior year to get into your desired college. If you have a definite goal in mind, it will be easier to motivate yourself over the next two years. Keep your information updated Remember that brag sheet and goals sheet we discussed? It's more important than ever to keep them updated. There is a sample brag sheet, goal sheet, and resume in the toolkit section of this website. You will need all this information when you fill out your college applications.

In 2 years, it will be very hard to remember all the activities you were in in 9th and 10th grade. You will forget how many hours you volunteered or how you spent your summers. It's also important to have your goals set because they help you focus on what is important and it helps you stay on track.
SAT II's If you took an AP this year, MAKE SURE TO SIGN UP FOR ITS SAT II !!!!

A good score on the SAT II is more important than a 5 on the AP exam. STUDY for this test!!!! (See the toolkit for more testing info)

When you take an AP class, your instructor is getting you ready for the AP test. If you get a good score, your college may give you credit for that class and you will be ahead a few credits when you start school.

However, most colleges DO NOT CARE ABOUT AP SCORES. They DO CARE, however, about SAT II SCORES.

As a matter of fact, many colleges require you to have at least two SAT II test scores sent with your application. These tests can be very different from the AP test, and you need to get a study book well before the test date. If you do really well on an SAT II, it can really help you out.

This is a test worth studying for and it's much easier than the regular SAT since it focuses on one area.
Critical 11th grade classes Meet with your school counselor before deciding on your critical 11th grade classes. Next year, you are allowed to take even more AP’s. Push yourself and take one or two more AP’s next year, but be sure to take ones you love and that coincide with your passions!

Make sure to look at the "Abyss" presentation on this website to see how these classes fit in with your story and make you a unique and interesting candidate.
Temptations
and
Challanges Temptation is everywhere... This is it, junior year.

You need to get the grades, prepare for your SAT's, plan an internship or cool summer job, and keep on doing those great activities. This is the time when you will be the most tempted to stray from your path; where exhaustion will wear on your mind, Facebook will beckon you away from your studies, and vampires will come to seduce you.

This is the true hero's test; you must not fail.
Passion Grades still matter Yes, grades still mater. These grades will be the most IMPORTANT of your high school career. Colleges will judge you based on how you balance the increase in schoolwork with how many of your long-term activities you still choose to maintain. More than ever, you need to keep to a schedule and make sure you keep up with your homework. Many people turn off their Facebook and IM account during their junior year to keep themselves focused on school. Challanges lie ahead Junior year is when everything comes together. This is when you are taking classes that reflect your passions; you are putting your passions into action and creating new activities, starting a business, or displaying an individual interest for something. All the groundwork you have laid in previous years will pay off. This year, many schools give out special awards, the College Board announces the PSAT scholarships, and science institutes create internship possibilities.

Keep your head in the game!
Make your summer count During the summer, you need to find an internship in an area where you are passionate, create a business, attend a college seminar, go into the mountains and train like Batman, or arrange for some activity that will allow you to explore an area of interest.

This is important!

This is a critical experience that will supply you with a multitude of essay opportunities for college applications. Colleges often ask how you spent your summer. Think about it! See the toolkit for information on internships and other summer experiences.

Most heroes spend hours training before the big battle, and your battle begins next year, so be prepared! Activities Continue with the 2-3 activities that you love. You should be looking for leadership possibilities within your organizations. Colleges like to see long-term commitment and growth. By taking more responsibilities with a charity, school group, or sports team, you establish yourself as a leader and as someone who can get things done.
Performance Soul searching Continue to soul search (and I don’t mean find pieces of Voldemort’s soul!); find your passions. Identifying what you love will help you select a college and will help you understand the direction you may wish to take once you're into college. Although many colleges don't expect you to know what your major will be, it doesn't hurt to have a general idea. Think reference letters Remember that two of your teachers will need to write a college reference for you next year. This is the time to shine for them!

NOTE: Reserve the teachers you want to write your rec. letter. Some teachers will only write a few letters each year. Talk to your college counselor about which teachers you should select. See the “Abyss” presentation for more info on references.

You also need to control the message that is in the reference. Write a letter to your teacher where you give them brainstorming ideas. For instance, tell them that, if they could, you would like them to talk about your leadership in class or your hard working nature. He who controls the message controls the world!
Testing You have many testing challenges this year: the SAT, SAT II's, and ACT to name a few.

Needleless to say, these tests are very important. While colleges vary on how much weight they put on test scores, all colleges will accept SAT scores, whereas only some colleges accept and put weight on ACT scores.

Study! Read the information about testing in the toolkit. Start studying early in your junior year because you are going to be really busy this summer.

Note: The SAT II's can really help you. Get a book on the SAT II subject test you plan to take and take a few minutes each week to read a chapter. It will help you get a better grade in the class and it will help you on the test. These tests are slightly different from the AP test that you are prepared for in the classroom.
You're on a roll! Hopefully by now you have good study habits and you understand how you work best. If you're having problems in an academic area, get help. This year, you need to be proactive and get what you need. Trim back on anything you can to focus on grades and your few chosen activities. If you’re not prepared like Indy was, the boulder of senior year and college applications will crush you! Preparation Testing Get on the College Board site and schedule your SAT and ACT test taking days. You might want to take your first tests at the end of this year because you will be very busy at the beginning of senior year. Take a sample SAT test. If you don't get a score you like, sign up for tutoring or a class. The sooner you start preparing, the better!
Critical senior classes Meet with your school counselor before deciding on your critical 12th grade classes. You might want to increase the number of APs you take next year; this will show growth and commitment to academics. Don't take classes just because they look good on an application; take classes that will complement your strengths and interests. Identify your dream college. Think about what types of classes, SAT scores, and activities you will need to get into your dream college. Look at the schools’ applications and get an idea of what they are looking for. By now, you are in 11th grade, and you should have some reach schools, target schools, and safety schools.Talk to your school counselor to make sure your dreams are big but realistic. References Next year, you will need your counselor to write a reference for you as well as two of your teachers. Make sure your school counselor knows who you are because they will be writing a recommendation letter for you whether you like it or not. This is also the year to impress the teachers so they will have good thoughts when writing those references.

Note: Don't pick teachers who actively hate you... Dream big... but not Death Star big... 11th grade Summer Into the darkness You are just about to enter the abyss, the deep dark world of college applications. You will need to use all the knowledge you have gained in order be victorious.

Seriously, you will be fine, but it's going to be a challenging year.

This summer you need to get ahead of the game. Don't wait to start those college applications till a month before they're due. Get on the college websites and check out their applications, or get their applications from the year before from your counselor (because colleges rarely changer their essay questions from year to year).

Over half the seniors at my school said they wished they had started their essays earlier, so get busy!
Passion This summer, you need to be passionate about the work you are doing. Whether you have choosen to work, do an internship, attend a seminar, or attend a college class, you need to be focused on where you are and what you are doing. Hopefully, you will be able to get a reference letter from your supervisor to add to your college application. Performance Make sure you're preparing for the SAT and ACT. See the toolkit for information on how to prepare. Reading a few classics will also really help your SAT scores. Also, practice your vocab. There are websites, games, books, and flash cards available to help you improve your reading and vocab skills. Preparation Essays Make sure to write as many of your college essays as possible during the summer. Many times colleges will publish essays in advance to let you get a head start. Plan to rewrite your essays at least 4 times and have as many people read them as possible. Spelling and grammar count big time.
Get ready for those applications Narrow down your college list so you can start focusing on those essays. Put the finishing touches on your brag sheet and resume. You will be using these when you fill out your college applications. The minute the Common Application goes online, start filling it out. These essays are critical. If you have a private college counselor, meet with them to discuss essay possibilities.

If you don’t have a private college counselor, check out college consulting websites or books, and read about the process. The more you know, the better off you are.
Get your head in the game Deadlines and schedules This is a great time to setup a reliable calendar. Verify your SAT and ACT dates if you haven’t already done so. Start to put college application deadlines on the calendar as well as local college seminars, testing dates, and personal deadlines. 12th grade:
The Abyss
Passion Performance Preparation Keep going If at all possible, continue with the 2-3 activities that you love. These activities will keep you sane while you are filling out your applications and it will show long term commitment, which colleges love. Express yourself When writing your college essays, be sure to show the admission officers just how passionate a person you are. You have worked hard for many years and now is the time to pull it all together in one epic tale. Tell your story with confidence and zest. The colleges want to know who you are and why you should attend their school. Regardless of what your peers say, FIRST AND SECOND SEMESTER SENIOR GRADES MATTER!! Colleges see your first semester grades and these grades can make a huge difference. When you get accepted to a college, that college can overturn your acceptance if your grades drop dramatically or you behave badly (i.e suspension/expulsion/misconduct). Don't blow it now Spelling counts PROOF READ! Many students write their essays at the last minute and so never get to proof read their essays. You need to start your essays early so that you can send in clean and well thought out essays. Purfect grammr and concise yut stylized wroting kan make all the differenze in the wurld (do you get my meaning?). Pay off Now is the time to use the brag sheet and copy its information onto the application.

Remember those academic goals? Put them onto your application if you made them. Check deadlines
and create schedules CHECK ALL MAJOR DEADLINES! Don’t miss submission dates of applications or scholarships because admission officers will not accept late applications. Research if the colleges you have applied to require interviews. If so, schedule the interview and research interviewing techniques. References Have two teachers write reference letters.

NOTE: Control what the teachers write in your letters. It’s a good idea to write a letter to these teachers with brainstorming ideas and your resume. Check to see if your supervisor from your summer job will write a reference.

Make sure to include your Common Application or College Application number on all documents and references you send in so they don’t get lost.
Meet with your school counselor at the beginning of the year and communicate to them which schools you REALLY want to attend next year. This is vital because your college counselor will lobby harder for you at your desired university. Send thank you notes after you interview at any college. Reiterate what you discussed in your interview and why you are a great candidate for this college. Lobby for what you want The Abyss You must stay focused, on schedule, and energized during the first half of senior year. Check out the website for the senior survey results and see how other seniors dealt with this process.

Now is a great time to turn off Facebook (do you want the colleges reading your wall?), getting rid of nasty email names that may sound good to your boy or girl friend but not to colleges (like hotsupermegafoxyawesomehot@gmail.com), and reducing distractions in your life. Keep your calendar updated so you don't miss deadlines.
The letters keep coming Many seniors say the hardest challenge comes when the applications are submitted and you need to wait for the acceptance letters.

Relax. You will get into a great college and it will all work out.

Double check the college websites and monitor whether they received all your references, transcripts, and other materials.
AP and SAT scores Make sure you sent the colleges your testing scores. You can find out how to send different scores on the various testing websites. Always verify that the colleges recieved these scores. Wait lists So you’re on a wait list. Send a letter to the school thanking them for their consideration. Let them know that you would attend their school if accepted. Many school counselors will lobby for a student if they know that they have one dream school they are wait listed for. Don't be shy about letting the college know that you're still interested. Make sure to hit accept! Make sure to send in your deposit and double check to see if the college recieved it. It would be terrible to go through all that work and then lose your college slot! What people don't tell you is that, when you're filling out your applications, you aren't just filing out a sheet of paper; you are writing your biography, or your personal heroic adventure through life

They also don't tell you the secret about college admissions: college admission officers are looking for the students with the most intriguing stories. It sort of makes sense. Think about it, if you're at the bookstore and you are deciding between two books, how do you choose which one to buy?

You pick the book with the most interesting story of course!

So the moral of this long digression is that you need to tell your own unique story to colleges.

So how can you create the most interesting story?

This presentation is designed to help you think about your four years of high school in such a way that you can use your time to your advantage. By following the three P's, you can make choices in high school that will reflect your interests and therefore look good on your college applications. Remember, your college application will only look great if you truly are passionate about what you do in school; college admission officers can smell dishonesty and non-passionate people.

In the toolkit section of this site, there is a page about how to tell an effective story on your college applications.
Storytelling Congratulations! You are now done with this presentation!

Hopefully you have a better idea about what to expect in the coming years of high school. Trust me, it will not be an easy road, but if you remember the three P's, you will finish high school in a flame of glory.

Have fun on your own hero's journey, and be sure to check out the rest of the site for more details on the topics discussed in this presentation.

Fair thee well! The Return
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