Essential advice for high school juniors & their families

Enrolling in college is a process, executed over a series of conversations, which increase in frequency starting during the Spring of Junior year and typically extends through the first semester of college, as teens and their families are seeking agreement about which college is most valuable.

The more a family accepts that college admissions isn’t a series of tasks, executed in lock step order, with benchmarks to mark progress, like some project, but the transition of an individual from childhood to adulthood, then, they’ll more effectively collaborate

Thus, the college admissions process is essentially a matchmaking endeavor, where a student reflects on their qualities, talents, vision, then seeks a “partner”, the university, where they’ll discover more about their ability in order to gain prosperity and peace of mind.   

For high school juniors, the 18 month cycle, roughly separates into five parts: 

  1. Spring Semester Junior Year, extending through the summer between junior and senior year: The College Selection Process 
  2. Fall Senior Year: Applying to College
  3. Spring Senior Year: The Time of Deciding
  4. After High School Graduation: The Summer of the Long Goodbye
  5. Fall Semester of College: The Great Adjustment 

In the first leg of How to Become an Adult via a College Education, Juniors and their families begin dreaming (sometimes stressing) about where to apply. Typically, families approach the college selection process asking, “Where can I be accepted?” as if a student is begging for a college to be so kind as to throw them a bone and give them access to the In-Crowd

To reframe such a pauper-like mentality, students and their parents can instead imagine themselves as individuals with equal agency seeking a partnership with a university. Then, not only do students no longer need a university to validate their person, they’ll seek to wisely invest their carefully collected qualifications for admissions as well as the six figures of college costs most prudently. 

Additionally, and possibly more importantly, students will begin the critical self-reflection process necessary to craft autobiographical college essays in the next leg of their college admissions journey in Fall and Winter of their Senior years: submitting applications to college. 

Stay tuned for the next post about Applying to College

For over twenty years, Creative Marbles experts have moderated family conversations regarding complex educational decisions, lending our expertise to reduce the risk of malinvestment. For more information, contact us.

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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