Spring Focus

As High School Juniors, it is vitally important to keep your focus. Here are some things you can do to keep your Spring focus.

As Juniors look ahead to their Senior year coursework, it can be tempting to take extra electives or open periods instead of additional English, math, or science classes. Although you may have already completed the minimum requirements for graduation, continuing to challenge yourself in all 5 core classes throughout the end of high school can set you apart from other college applicants.

Colleges provide a list of minimum requirements for admissions, but with the current state of declining acceptance rates, students who go beyond are always going to be stronger applicants. Be deliberate as you plan for Senior year and pick classes you find challenging and that further your scholastic interests.

The coursework you select can be as important as the grades you earn, so show colleges you like challenging yourself by taking advanced courses that pertain to majors that interest you or contain material that you find important. By showing colleges you wish to grow in fields that you find meaningful, they can better understand your character and get a sense of how you may contribute to their school.

In addition to being strategic about what courses you choose, there are other things you can do during Junior year that will give your college admissions journey a head start. At Cultivate, we encourage students to focus on optimizing their opportunities outside of school with specific intentions.

Colleges favor students who have long-standing commitments and want to understand your connection to the extracurriculars you invest your time in. If you find yourself light on activities outside the classroom, set aside time now to devote to opportunities that resonate with you.

Universities want to understand what you find meaningful when reading your resume, so this is a great opportunity to demonstrate what values are most important to you. Aim to make an impact by organizing and leading activities you connect with on a personal level.

Even if you don’t have a traditional leadership role in a club or extracurricular, pointing out the responsibilities you’ve taken and explaining your passion for what you’ve done shows colleges are interested in growing your own core values. Dedicating time outside of the classroom with intentionality will show that you are committed to growing your interests and becoming a better person, rather than just adding lines to a resume.

If you have questions or need recommendations regarding activities that will make your resume stand out, reach out to your Cultivate Coach today!

Spring Term Reflection for Juniors:

At Cultivate, we know there is usually not only one right answer to a question. The answer to, “What is the best school?” is “How do you define best?”

The questions below are designed to help students and families take ownership of their growth and mindsets, so that you are empowered to chart your own course forward.

  • Have I met the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this school year? How can I use this last quarter of my Junior year to fulfill the intention I set for myself?
  • How might I structure and write my resume so that it not only demonstrates my involvement, but shares why I choose to spend my time the way I do?
  • What teachers have I had a sincere connection with this year? Who has supported me? Watched me overcome challenges? Ask 2 or 3 teachers if they would be willing to write letters of recommendation for me. Provide them a copy of your resume. Thank them.
  • This is the last summer of my high school experience; how might I use it to deepen my knowledge, interest, or experience in a particular interest I have? What experiences do I want to have this summer, and how might they make me an interesting candidate for the colleges I’m interested in.

We wish you the best in going and growing through your high school experiences.