Senioritis…? Get Involved!

Senioritis: A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors… REAL!  With the notion of college looming and the new friends, living quarters, and freedom that come along with it….many seniors find it hard to focus on the task at hand: having a strong and meaningful final year of high school. One way to combat senioritis, and a common theme among many providing guidance during the high school-postsecondary transition, is to get involved. Whether it is in the school, local, or greater community setting – get out there and do something. Make the most of your time. Not only does it benefit the college application, but it affords students the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences that will keep them focused through this sometimes tumultuous period and provided a much needed positive outlet for their time and energy!

Tips for Avoiding Senioritis:


Choices: School Size

Your undergraduate experience will be markedly different if you decide to attend a Big Ten school over a smaller liberal arts institution. One size does not fit all, therefore taking into consideration some of what comes along with attending a big vs. small university is important. Thinking about school size is an important consideration when trying to find an institution that will be a good “fit”!

Check out some of these articles and resources for more insight into the school size factor:


Hanging Out? Not an Option!

Colleges want to see that prospective students are leading productive lives and that they have the ability to convey these life experiences in addition to a strong sense of self.  This means a full load of challenging courses, commitment to a number of extracurriculars, volunteerism, and application essays that highlight the students life story and display a strong “voice”.

A Work in Progress…

 “Slow Down and Savor Middle and High School”


Dave Marcus, the author of “Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right Colleges — and Find Themselves,” is a reliable source of measured advice on the college admissions process and on the importance of keeping it in the proper perspective. (Regular readers of The Choice know this first-hand from his posts for us, including one last year about a son who marches to the beat of a different educational drummer, which prompted several hundred comments.)

In an interview posted recently on a blog called Teen Life, Mr. Marcus shared three main pieces of advice that I felt were worth passing on to Choice readers, as a new school year beckons. They are:

“Help your kids live their own dreams. If majoring in economics at Princeton is Mom’s ambition, that’s fine. But if art school is the kid’s dream, help him or her do great work.”

“Kids need to slow down and savor the opportunities of middle and high school — in the classroom, in museums, in clubs. Don’t join a group or take on community service because it looks good on an application; do it to make a difference.”

“Realize that a 16- or 17-year-old is far from formed, and so personalities and goals change.”

In the interview, Mr. Marcus fleshes out each of those ideas a bit further.


Why Internships?

An Internship….

Offers you a chance to learn and discover different elements that may interest you in any area.  It can also be the deciding factor that best predicts if this field is something you would really be interested in pursuing as a future career choice.

Career Competitive Edge

With today’s job market being highly competitive, you will need to make yourself stand out amongst the rest. Students who have completed internships obtain employment more quickly following graduation. It also looks great on your resume! Although you may occasionally have to make coffee or file papers, an internship is a great opportunity to gain real world experience and to get your foot in the door.

“Since I don’t know what I want to do as a career, I won’t know what internships I want.”

An internship helps assists in your career decision. Regardless of which internship you choose, it is a great opportunity to find out about what you want to do in your career in terms of interest. You may discover a new interest through an internship experience.

Career Exploration and Decision-Making

Internships offer you a chance to learn and discover. You will never buy a car without a test drive first, right? Then you will never know if a particular career is right for you until you take it for a test drive. You may find out that your dream job really isn’t what you expected. You may even discover a new interest you never knew you had.

Networking and Professional Connections

Did you know that 80% of the jobs available out there are NOT advertised?  Your internship can provide a great environment for you to find a Mentor who can help you learn about your field of interest based on his/her own experiences and professional connections.  Take the time, when appropriate, to ask the professionals at your internship site questions about their job responsibilities and their career journey.  In addition, if you take your internship seriously, are reliable, and perform your job well, you increase your chances of receiving outstanding professional references for future employers.  Plus, due to the professional relations/rapport you have built, you could be personally recommended for upcoming job opportunities in the department you are currently working in or elsewhere in or outside of your internship site.

Remember, your internship site is place where you can expand the network of people you know – the bigger your network, the more success you can have in your future career – Its not just what you know, its who you know!