HomeArticlesJuniors, Get Into Gear Now for College!

Dear Estelle. We can’t believe our daughter is already a junior.  It seems like such a leap to go from 10th grade to 11th at her high school. All her friends are starting to look so sophisticated; they talk about the boys, homecoming and other social events.  However, aside from all this new social stuff, isn’t it time to consider strategizing for college? This is our oldest child and we want to be prepared. Leslie and John M. parents, Littleton

You are wise parents!  Jumpstarting the college process will indeed make it more productive and less stressful for your daughter and for the family. There is so much to accomplish now which will lighten the load for all of you in the coming year. I would recommend a few strategies which will be beneficial for your family and for others who are just beginning to think about college.  Early junior year is definitely not too early to begin the college process. This is a good time for your daughter to do a personal assessment of her interests, academic strengths, community service needs, social and religious requirements and other factors which will help her identify  “good fit” colleges.

Start having family conversations about your parental expectations, concerns and hopes for your daughter. Share your financial issues with her, too. If you have done this before with an older sibling this will not seem as daunting. This process will help establish good communication between you. This is also an excellent time to start visiting colleges and universities.  We have excellent schools right here in Colorado which can help your daughter experience the college culture and be able to differentiate between large and small, and liberal arts and major universities offering a multitude of majors. You can also start visiting websites to familiarize yourselves with what schools offer and which requirements are needed for attendance.   This is also an opportune time to see what kind of career counseling programs are available in your high school. A student can benefit from early career exploration.

Gathering information of all sorts as a junior will help you make informed decisions as you proceed  through the college search.

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