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Juniors: Staying Productive the Summer Before Senior Year

Summer is a time of rest and relaxation but with senior year around the corner, it’s always important to give yourself some time to prepare for the college process. As a student athlete you have both academics and a sport to keep in mind, so having a gameplan before school starts is a great advantage. Give yourself some time to organize your plans and goals for this summer and you will be much better prepared to tackle the stresses of senior year. Here are some summer tips to keep in mind that will keep you productive during your time off:

Start Your College Search

Get a head start on searching for colleges and researching which schools might be a good fit for you. Visit websites, get on mailing lists, schedule school visits, and create your own personal list of top schools you want to attend. Make sure to reach out to friends, family, mentors, and teachers about their recommendations and the schools that you are interested in. Identify what factors are most important to you (cost, location, sports, academics, major, etc) and discuss with your parents which choices match up best with your needs.

Seek Out Scholarships

There are thousands of scholarships available to students which can help alleviate the costs of educational expenses from books, tuition, to housing. Many scholarships require letters of recommendation so remember to reach out early to teachers, former bosses, or mentors during the summer. Scour websites like and for scholarships as well as local sources (school resource center). Once you have a list of scholarships that seem interesting, make sure to create a calendar with deadlines and requirements to keep yourself organized.

Stay Ahead of Standardized Tests

One of the biggest hurdles of senior year is dealing with standardized tests. Talk to your counselor about what tests you should take and when.  Make sure to research what the testing requirements are for the colleges on your top list. The two most important resources for the SAT and ACT are: and Start getting an idea of how you will study for these tests by exploring test prep courses, self-study websites/apps, and seek out additional resources that your school may offer. The earlier you start studying and preparing for these tests the less you will have to worry about senior year.

Enjoy Something You Love to Do

Although planning and organizing is important, remember to relax and enjoy yourself by doing something you love. Spend your time learning how to play an instrument, join a club team to play your favorite sport, write stories or poems for fun, or even create new art pieces. Colleges look for well-rounded students and just doing something you love will show your work ethic and personality in your college applications.

Build Your Resume

The summer is a perfect time to build up your work experience either through a job, volunteer work, or an internship. Spend some time researching interesting jobs or volunteer opportunities in your area, and then reach out to potential employers. Once you’ve got some experience under your belt start a rough draft of your resume with brief descriptions of your experiences, achievements, and any notable positions you’ve held. Keep adding to this resume when school starts as well and make sure to utilize resources at your school, such as counselors and teachers, to help you refine your resume.

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