5 Tips to Avoid Junior 'End-of-Year' Mistakes

Ahhh....spring is in the air, you're back from break, and summer is just around the corner. Time for relaxing, easing back on your school work, and preparing for summer. Well, think again. These last few months of your junior year are critical if you plan on going to college. Colleges now take a hard look at end of junior year grades as well as your senior year grades. So how do you avoid the pitfalls and traps of 'end-of-year-itis'? Here are 5 tips to help you move successfully through the end of your junior year:

1. BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES: Have an A plan in place, a B plan in place, and prepare for adverse conditions. Do not let your guard down these last few months. Keep studying and keep those grades up. If you need to relax, do so for a day or two only. Do not get caught in the trap of losing steam at this point of your journey. Make sure you're planning and researching colleges. Are you registered for the SAT and ACT tests in June? Maybe you need to think about taking the September and/or October tests as well.

2. KEEP A WEATHER EYE OPEN: Keep an eye on where trouble might come from. Feeling like your pre-calc class is too much? Ask to meet with your teacher to review specific problems. Still having trouble? Try to line up a tutor. Having concerns about college choices? Schedule an appointment to meet with your guidance counselor. Maybe you're having social issues. Try to talk to family members or friends - create your support system to help you through these difficult times.

3. STAY THE COURSE: Do not vary from your intended destination. Do you have a goal to obtain a 28 on the ACT? Keep practicing until you reach that goal. Is your goal to be admitted into the National Honors Society? Network with teachers and other adults who will give you outstanding recommendations. Identify your goal and determine what daily steps will allow you to reach that goal. Work towards your goal on a daily basis, even if it's baby steps. Have you identified your top 5 colleges yet? Have you visited any of the schools? You can always visit virtually through college websites. 

4. TAKE NO PRISONERS: Be uncompromising in the pursuit of your objectives. Do you want to end the year with a high GPA? You may have to spend your Friday night studying instead of hanging out with friends. Make time for your friends on Saturday. Set your priorities and work towards them. "Work like a Captain, but play like a Pirate." You can work hard and still have time to relax and spend time with your friends - just make sure that you stay focused on the end game.

5. COLLECT THE BOOTY: Now is the time to search for scholarships. Is there local scholarship information that is readily available through the guidance office of your high school? Fastweb Scholarships is a great website that can hook you up with potential scholarships. Work on any additional financial aid opportunities. What about a work/study program at the college of your choice? Do you have a summer job lined up? Feel the need to dig deeper for that treasure? There are many private individuals who can help you sift through scholarship opportunities. Search them out and ask for help.

Hang in there! Set your goals, prioritize them, and work towards them every day. Remember that Weathervane Prep is a great place to go for help with your test prep needs.