By Jethel Hernandez, Senior
To the Juniors who are anxiously waiting for senior year:
Many students will find comfort in realizing that their academic efforts are simply outlined by the months between August and June. Senior year, ironically, begins during junior year.
As this is an advice column, I feel compelled to let you know that the college process is rapidly approaching, and you, juniors, will have to catch up with it.
To begin, as a junior you should start your college applications by taking the abominable standardized testing: SAT and ACT. The best time to do so, is March. Nevertheless, do not approach the tests without studying—every score will be used for your highest composite. To explain it as a direct relationship: the more you study, the more you master the tests skills. Notice that I said “skills,” most students mistakenly think that mastering math equations and vocabulary terms will guarantee them a high score; this test is about skills. To ensure your success you need to read fast and accurately, obtain context clues easily, correlate graphs to text, and revise all mathematical concepts from Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Only with previous practice, can these skills be perfected.
And now to finally burst your bubble, your first score might not be your best. When you have your first sour taste of testing and you will realize that SAT math isn’t really math, but mental tricks; you must not forget that colleges want students that transcend the academic realms to evoke changes and leadThe dreams of a perfect 1600 will be shattered, but someone smarter than you once said that “with practice comes perfection.” Hence, KEEP ON PRACTICING.
This summer, 2017, is the perfect time for you to set your mission, and be that leader. Joining summer programs, internships, conferences, and community outreach programs will allow you to distinguish yourself before the eyes of the admission officers. Through your extra curricular work, you can showcase your personal traits, passions, and values that tell about you beyond the singularity of test scores. You want to seem like an asset to their institutions. The summer of junior year is a time for you to explore your academic interests and perhaps experience a real college education at some prestigious summer program.
With all the anxiety that you might have accumulated until the end of this letter, I wish to leave you with a positive note: junior year will go by incredibly fast. Your dreams of independence and academic success at far away places will be here before you know it. Buckle up juniors, you are on for a challenging ride.
Sincerely and with a genuine wish to see you make it,