The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

The Student News Site of Cathedral High School | Indianapolis, Indiana

Irish Connection

Getting Prepared for the Next Chapter

What Can Juniors be doing to get ready for college?

Preparing for college can be an exciting yet stressful task. With enough planning and organization, juniors and seniors can more easily transition into the next chapter of their lives and set themselves up for success. Here are some essential steps students can take to best prepare for college.

One good thing to start out doing is researching colleges and universities to see which ones best align with your academic, social, and personal interests. Every college is very different, so it is important to consider factors like location, size, and cost. Narrowing down your list of potential colleges to about 5 to 10 schools will also make it a lot easier to focus on other things.

In those schools, it is important to have “safety schools” just in case you do not get into more competitive programs. Consider factors like acceptance rates, average GPAs, and test scores of the colleges of interest. At Cathedral, there are many resources available to narrow down the choices of what college to attend. Mrs. Pivonka, Cathedral’s college counselor, is a great means of doing this!

This is a map of some of the most popular colleges in each state. It is important for students to choose a school that will best fit their needs! Ella Zink would advise to “pick a school that will give you the best chance of success”.

A common thing to miss when applying to college is deadlines. Students should pay close attention to application deadlines for each college, including both regular decision and early decision deadlines. One tip to make sure of this is making a calendar and/or list to keep track of important dates and requirements for each application. Deadlines can be for a variety of things, including essays, recommendation letters, and transcripts.

Although standardized tests have become widely optional, it is a great asset that students can add to their application. If students are planning to take the ACT or retake the SAT, make sure to schedule a test date that gives enough time to get the scores back before applying to colleges. Students can also consider taking SAT subject tests if required or recommended by certain colleges. At Cathedral, there are various ways to prepare for standardized testing. Two examples of SAT tutors are English teacher Mr. Panzer and Math teacher Mrs. Luddington.

Many, if not all colleges require an essay as part of applying. Juniors should start brainstorming and thinking about college essays well in advance of application deadlines. Essays can be an opportunity to show personality, experiences, and goals to college admissions. Teachers, counselors, and other mentors are helpful to refine the writing and ensure the essay stands out.

Letters of recommendation are also very beneficial when applying to college. Students can find trusted adults who know them well and can present their academic abilities and character to the college. Request letters of recommendation early so those writing them have enough time and make sure to you provide them with what they need to successfully write the letter.

College visits are a great way to better understand what the college looks and feels like. Usually, students and parents can schedule college visits on the college’s website. At the visit, there will be a mentor who shows the group around the campus and tells them any important information. Oftentimes this is a student, so visitors can listen to what the college is all about first hand.

Students should be very excited to enter college, no matter where they decide to go. It is the next step in finding their way in life, and will set them up for success in the future. Cathedral students should have the mindset of Ella Zink, who states, “I can’t wait for college!”

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About the Contributor
Regan Ralstin, Reporter
Regan is a member of the class of 2025 and a reporter for Irish Connection Media Network

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