Time Management as a Junior and Senior
Admissions Expert Bailee shares her insider perspectives on how to take advantage of your time and resources to do your best and stay motivated during the last two years of high school.
2021-07-20 Time Management as a Junior and Senior
[00:00:00] Hi everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on Time Management as a Junior and Senior. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists. Hi everyone. My name is Bailee Peralto. I go to brown. I’m actually graduating this fall. Um, I’m, uh, majoring in public policy, hopefully with plans to get my master’s degree in public health. So that’s kind of the plan right now. Um, and yeah, I’m excited to talk to you all tonight and answer your question.
So I’ll just go ahead and go through these slides, answering some of the major questions around time management and staying productive during high school. Um, so our first question is how does high school change during junior and senior [00:01:00] year? Um, so generally speaking, I would say during junior and senior year, everything kind of picks up and like goes up a notch just a little bit, um, because you kind of are transitioning.
If you have the opportunity to, into leadership positions. Sometimes you’ll be moving up into sports, um, in higher positions, in sports leadership. Um, and overall people tend to have a busier schedule junior and senior year. And so it just requires a lot more planning, a lot more time management on that end of things.
Um, that way you’re not missing any deadlines, you’re not missing out on any activities or anything like that, but it does kind of require more planning and organization junior and senior year. Especially when you’re starting the application process as well. Um, so yeah, just those things to note,
and then what new challenges might get in the way of a student’s academic success? So this is coming from me personally, but over committing to too many [00:02:00] classes, too many advanced classes, too many activities, too many volunteer events a week, um, kind of landed me in a spot where I was overwhelmed and I couldn’t handle it all.
And, um, I ended up feeling really burnt out. And so I would say that that’s a big challenge that a lot of students, a lot of my friends faced going into junior and senior year. And it’s a great thing that you’re on this webinar right now. Cause we can kind of chat about how to prevent that, um, and figure out ways to organize your schedule so that you’re not over committing to things.
Um, and you’re actually finding a way to balance your work and your life, um, and things like that. One of the biggest challenges that I also face was not preparing enough for the school year. So not sitting down like at least a week before classes and being like, okay, here’s my midterm exam. Here’s my final exam.
Here’s my like major tests throughout the quarter. Here are my essays throughout the quarter that I needed to complete. Um, so not doing that with something that created challenges for me. Um, and [00:03:00] in not organizing, I definitely saw myself rushing to complete things, um, right before the deadline. And so, um, that just kind of as a Testament to the fact that time management is really, really important.
Okay. So we’re going to do a quick pause. So, um, what are your obligations? What obligations are activities take up your time? Um,
Did it go out? Yes. I went out,
sorry. My wifi is being weird. Yeah. The pole went out. So I’m seeing that a lot of people are researching. I [00:04:00] went out.
Okay. So a lot of people are saying academics. There’s a lot of sports people. We got 41 for clubs and extracurriculars. A lot of people work, actually, family and socialize. So there’s a good mixture of everything. Everybody’s so busy. Yeah. Definitely a lot of things to take into consideration.
So our next question is what do admissions officers want to see from students during their junior and senior year? Um, so not only are you having to contend with an increased amount of activities in your schedule, um, and leadership and things like that, but also you kind of want to focus on what admissions officers want, um, out of you for the admissions process.
Um, so I just kind of highlighted three main things. So first advanced classes, um, so classes that are challenging you, um, classes that you think that, you know, [00:05:00] add some variety to your schedule, make sure you have some balance between like stem classes and history classes and things like that. Um, but overall taking like APS, IB classes, ACE classes, if you have Cambridge curriculum, like I did, um, taking advanced classes and your schedule can be, um, really beneficial for your application process, um, along with maintaining those high grades in those classes, And then having leadership roles.
So junior and senior year is kind of the point where, you know, admissions officers assume that you’ve been in clubs for a few years. So for example, my main thing was model United nations. Um, so I’d been in model United nations since freshman year and throughout freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior year, I was slowly climbing my way up in leadership.
Um, so junior and senior year is really that time to take advantage of the fact that you will have opportunities for leadership roles. And that’s something that admissions officers are looking for on your applications. And then finally, I really wanted to know innovation. Um, so doing something that’s really uniquely you.
So a lot of [00:06:00] students can take advanced classes. A lot of students can be in leadership roles, whether for different clubs or for the same clubs or, you know, whatever the situation is. Um, but the thing that’ll make you stand out in the application process is having something that is entirely uniquely you.
Like for me, that was, I started my own business. I started a school coffee shop, um, alongside my culinary teacher. We delivered coffees to classrooms and we did it all through the approval of the administration and things like that. So it’s just kind of like a big passion project for me. Um, and that kind of helped my application to stand out because it is something that was completely uniquely me.
And then what are some tips for time management? So this is a really big question. Um, so my biggest thing is always to use a calendar so you can use Google calendar or you can use apple calendar. I have my planner right next to me. That’s literally just a written calendar. It’s like this big. Um, and so kind of [00:07:00] documenting everything you need to do in a day.
Like whether that’s meetings, whether that’s classes, having that all kind of accounted for on a calendar. So you can look back and say, okay, like, you know, someone wants to meet with me at 5:00 PM on Wednesday. I have a meeting at 5:00 PM on Wednesday. Okay, great. I can’t schedule something for that time.
Um, just kind of having that in front of you, like takes a lot of clutter out of your brain and prevents the need to kind of accommodate for all these events and just puts it on paper. Um, and I already talked about over-committing, um, that’s a really big task is making sure that you actually have time in your schedule for things which goes to that third point of counting the hours you have in a week.
Um, so I will literally sit down and say, okay, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. This is how many hours I have. This is how much is going towards sleep. This is how much is going towards meals. This is how much is going towards my homework and my classes. Um, and I’ll literally just break down the amount of hours I have in the week and [00:08:00] figure out whether extracurriculars actually fit into those things, um, and figure out what fits into basket.
Um, and in doing so, making sure I prioritize sleep has been a very big one, both in high school and in college. Um, it’s kind of a lesson that I really learned in college. I’ll have to say so the earlier you can learn it, um, the better off you’ll be, the more sleep you get, the more productive it will be, the faster you’ll get things done.
You won’t sit and stare at an assignment for four hours when you could have gotten it done in one. Um, so just making sure when you’re counting those hours, prioritizing sleep during that time is important. Um, and then for me to sticking to a schedule and routine, um, so figuring out, you know, I’m going to eat a meal at 2:00 PM.
I’m going to eat a meal at 6:00 PM. I’m going to go to bed no later than 10, 11 o’clock. Um, and things like that, kind of sticking to that routine. Um, I sounds kind of overrated. I know when I was in high school, I was like, like, what do you mean I need to have a [00:09:00] routine. I just kind of do what I do. Um, but it really, really.
How else would like your body’s natural rhythm and allows you to be much more productive when you’re in those moments of, okay, this is work time. This is play time. This is, you know, whatever that situation is.
And then how can students best balance extracurriculars with academics? Um, so in terms of the college application process, academics should be the priority followed by extracurricular activities just as like a general rule. Um, but in terms of organizing and balancing them, you still should have a good variety of extracurriculars.
Like it shouldn’t just be academics on your, on your, um, application. Um, which means that it can be hard to balance, but in doing so it’s important to stagger your tasks by listing everything out. Um, so whether you have homework or you have to send out notification for your club, like I was director of communications for Molly.
I had to. [00:10:00] Send out. Remind, remind you, remind me, I forgot what that office called. Um, every week I had to send those out, so that was something on my to-do list. Um, and so I like list every single thing out and then I reorder them by, okay, what absolutely needs done today? What absolutely needs done tomorrow.
Um, and things like that, just so that you kind of, instead of just looking at this large list of pay of, okay, I have all of these bazillion and one things to do, you can say, okay, this is what I’m going to do today. This is what I’m going to do tomorrow. Um, and then on that note, not overloading, your class schedule can be a big thing too, that kind of prevents that over-committing thing.
So like, if you’re looking at your, this is an over-exaggeration, but if you’re looking at eight APS on your schedule and you’re like, wow, this seems like it’s going to be too much. It probably will be too much and you probably will get overwhelmed and it’ll probably be difficult for you. Um, so it’s okay to cut.
One AP, [00:11:00] um, it’s okay to kind of prioritize what you think you’ll Excel in because taking eight APS doesn’t look as great if you’re taking APS and not doing well in them versus taking six APS seven, Navy’s again, an exaggeration, but six APS, seven APS, um, and doing really well on them. So it’s kind of important to have those priorities.
Like if you don’t think you’re going to do well in eight APS, because of the fact that you’re taking eight APS, then it’s okay to pair it down.
Uh, so we have another poll. So what grade will you be entering this fall?
I remember. There was like a saying, someone had said, um, if you can, um, get it done last minute. That means you can get it done in a minute. So you should just start earlier. Cause it’s like, you wait till the last minute, you know, you can get it exactly the [00:12:00] way. So just get it out of the way. Looks like we’re mostly on 11th grade, no eighth grade.
That’s pretty good. I’m surprised that the ninth graders I would be, I’m pretty impressed with people who are, who are early in high school and attending the seminar. That’s the, that’s great. Honestly, that’s the best thing just because you start, you start on a good foot. Exactly. Exactly. So I close the poll and we will go back to the presentation.
Okay. Okay. So how can students stay on top of their college applications going into senior year? So I’ll go back to my point on calendars. It’s always good to keep a calendar and have a timeline of when things are due. Um, and I liked kind of the system of like soft deadlines versus hard deadlines. So like the hard deadline for applying to.
At school brown university is January 1st. My soft deadline is going to be December 15th. That’s when I want to have everything done that way. I have two weeks to submit the application and to look at, look it [00:13:00] over and make any last minute changes. So I’ll literally like sit down in my calendar and I’ll say, okay, our deadline January 1st.
So I have deadline December 15th and then I’ll set periodic goals for myself before December 15th. I’m like, I’m going to get my common app essay done by this date. I’m going to get my extracurricular and activities list done by the state. I’m going to have my letters of recommendation requests submitted by the state, um, and just setting deadlines for yourself throughout that process and keeping yourself accountable to those deadlines can really make sure that things are done.
Um, instead of like, kind of waiting until November and being like, oh my gosh, I have to ask for letters of recommendation. And I have to read all these essays and I have to and said, Timing things out so that you have a decent amount of time for things, but you still have deadlines to keep yourself accountable to.
That can be really helpful. And something alongside that I like to have is someone specifically that can hold you accountable. So that could be like your friend, who’s also applying to colleges, or it can be your [00:14:00] parent. It can be a teacher, a guidance counselor, someone that you can kind of periodically check in with and be like, okay, like I’m feeling really behind on my first deadline.
Like, how can I catch up? Um, or I might need a little bit more time on my first deadline. Let’s see if I can keep my second deadline where it is. Um, and kind of just reasoning with those types of things and making sure that you are still on a good track for getting everything on time. Um, and yeah, keeping on track with your deadlines.
Always. That’s a big thing. There’s there should be some room for wiggle room, um, with soft deadlines. Um, but keeping on track with them, generally speaking is really, really good.
What should students do if they’re shoveling with managing their time? Um, so one of my rules of thumb when I’m like in the middle of the semester, and I’m really overwhelmed and I feel like I can’t get everything done is I’ll literally sit down with myself and I’ll write down all of my commitments and I’ll say, okay, do I actually have time for all of this [00:15:00] or my trying to act like I actually have time for all of this.
Um, so you kind of have to figure out if your schedule is overloaded or if you have. And you have the time, but you’re not maximizing your time. Um, so if you have enough time, but you need more organization, sit down and make a plan for the next month, one day at a time. So that’s me going back to my calendar thing.
Like sit down, figure out when your major deadlines are, time, everything out, um, even day by day saying, okay, on this day, um, it’s three days before my midterm, I’m going to study for two hours Monday, Wednesday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday for my Thursday exam. Um, and just charting things out that can be really, really helpful.
And like one of my biggest things is I hate for my mind to be really cluttered of like I have so much to do, but I’m putting it down on a calendar, gives me something to keep myself accountable to. It gives me something to organize my thoughts and it takes all that clutter out of my brain and puts it somewhere else.
Um, which can [00:16:00] lead to lack of productivity. On the note of having too much on your plate, you can kind of figure out what you can take out of your schedule without compromising your candidate profile to colleges. So for example, if you are, for me, it was, I was in red color, red cross club. I went to one meeting my whole four years.
Um, that’s something that you can kind of take off your schedule if it’s not something you’re passionate about. If it’s not something you’re genuinely interested in and you had these commitments elsewhere where you’re genuinely interested in it, um, it’s okay to take off that one club or those two clubs that you’re not actually really interested in.
And if anything, it’ll just show the colleges that you have, the dedication and the time and the commitment to these really big things that you’re doing, whether that’s one or two clubs or a sport in a club or whatever it is, um, it doesn’t necessarily look like a bad thing to take off those, those things that you’re not interested in.
If it means you’ll have the time to do everything else really well.
How did you manage your time during high school? Um, so [00:17:00] again, calendars, um, lots of lists. So I kind of go through periods of time where it’s like, I really need a calendar, like a physical calendar, or I write things out other times I’m like running to so many meetings and I’m doing so many things. I don’t have time to keep a calendar that I just have like a notebook where I write down everything like no particular order, no organization to it, other than I’m writing every single thing down.
And then revisiting that journal when I know I have stuff to do, like when I have time to sit down and know it has stuff to do and get it done. Um, and yeah, that goes to writing down every piece of homework, every single task, the moment it is announced. Um, so not saying, okay, like, you know, the Bell’s about to ring, you know, I’ll write down that, that three-page paper, I’ll write that down later or at the end of the day, just to make sure I remember it later.
’cause sometimes you forget. I know I did that where I didn’t write it down the moment it was announced. And I would forget later that night and then the deadlines the next day, and I have to rush to complete it. Um, [00:18:00] whereas you could have accounted for it earlier on. So I just say, keep, keep a calendar.
If you want to be really that organized or keep at least a notebook where you just write every single thing that you have to do. Um, but write it down, write it down. Um, and then sticking to a sleep, a consistent sleep scheduled to prevent exhaustion. That’s a very big thing, because if you’re exhausted, it’s going to take you longer to do work, which is just going to impede on you sleeping even more.
Um, so if you really commit to sleeping eight hours a night, you’ll find that during the day. You’ll have more energy to be productive and you won’t start a screen for four hours for something that you can get done and work in one or two hours, because you’re rested because it’s something that you’ve spent time on sleep.
Um, and I know it sounds overrated coming from this adult in college. Like I know in high school, if someone told me like, you need to sleep, I would be like, but I don’t need to sleep. You know, I’m getting stuff done. You can still get stuff done while making sure you’re prioritizing sleep and self care and [00:19:00] focusing on yourself as well.
Um, and ultimately your productivity will be better for it.
What did I struggle with the most? Um, so I’ve mentioned it, but overloading my schedule and an effort to be impressive to colleges. Um, like I said, you can be equally as impressive if you focus on a few things, but focus on them a lot and really well, and you’re really committed to them versus having like this longer list of things that you’re only slightly committed to.
Even, I would err, on the side of, you know, really commit to a few things it’s quality over quantity. Um, another thing I struggled with is never saying no to like planning an event or attending an event, or even if, you know, I had said, okay, I’m going to spend my Saturday relaxing, recovering, preparing for my midterm next week.
You know, I would just say someone would offer, okay, we’re going to spend the full day going out to this event. I would just say yes. Instead of realizing that I was compromising my own time for myself to rest, to recover and to really do well in my [00:20:00] exam the following week, um, Also taking everything on my shoulders and feeling like I’m weak if I ask for help.
So I would always like, like I was secretary general or president of modern United nations, and I refuse to kind of delegate tasks and like let the other leadership in the club kind of do their own work. I always took responsibility for everything and I let it all sit on my shoulders when there were perfectly confident human beings that can do the work themselves.
And I didn’t necessarily have to do that. Um, so kind of realizing where you can ask for help, where you can delegate tasks, where you can, um, kind of disperse the responsibility for things that can be really helpful in prevent burnout as well. Um, and yeah, I was getting overwhelmed and burnt out as a result of not having enough time to reasonably eat, sleep and relax.
Um, so I constantly had an overloaded schedule. I was doing every, I was doing things from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM every night. Um, I was barely sleeping cause I was so stressed, but [00:21:00] I’m glad that you’re all on this webinar right now, because you can kind of look at these tips and you can figure out ways to prevent that, um, and to figure out, okay, how can I take care of myself throughout this entire process?
Um, and it’s really great that y’all are here. And you’re curious about this topic, um, because you can kind of hopefully take some of these tips into account, um, and prevent that feeling of burnout and over.
What last advice, what I give to students trying to manage their time and junior year. Um, it’s okay to take things off your schedule. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, like I said, take out red cross club, take out key club. If you’re not really committed to it, take out art club. If you’re not really committed to it.
Um, if it’s not something that you’re really passionate about, it’s okay to take it out of your schedule. Um, and then find time to rest and take time for yourself for a small amount of time every day. So even if that’s okay for 15 minutes, I’m going to go on a walk for 15 minutes. I’m going to watch my favorite show for 15 minutes.
I’m going to have a dance break and listen to my favorite [00:22:00] music. Um, just finding those small pockets of time throughout your day can really. Decrease the amount of overwhelm that you feel and can help sustain your productivity in the longterm. And then my last point would be, if you’re struggling, ask for help, like ask for help from your guidance counselor, ask for help from your teachers, ask for help from your parents.
If you, if you trust them, um, whoever you trust and kind of confide in them and let them know, you know, I’m feeling burnt out. I need, I need help or let them know. I’m worried about managing this large schedule. Can you help me organize this? You know, it’s okay to ask for support. You don’t have to be the person who kind of takes everything on without asking for support in that way.
So it’s totally okay to ask for help and support. Um, it shouldn’t all just fall on you.
Okay. So, so that is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the [00:23:00] handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through your questions. You submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat.
So you can see and then read them out loud before our panelists gives you the answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just, just double check that you joined the webinar through your custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page or else you won’t be able to open the Q and a tab, but if you’re having connectivity issues or.
You’re having trouble with the login login through the web and the webinar landing page, but you just won’t be able to submit through the Q and a tab. And I just wanted to add about the sleep. That was a really good point. It is important to get sleep. I made sure like my senior year, if I was staying up late, cause you know, all nighters really catch up to you.
Um, have a cutoff time of like 11:00 PM because I know I wasn’t thinking after that point. And then if you have to pull an all-nighter, you have to pull it. But as long as you start early, then you’ll have time to give yourself that [00:24:00] cutoff time so that you’re going to sleep and not just doing work for the sake of doing work.
Um, I completely agree. And so now we’ll do some questions. So for the first question, This one is just the long, I sort of combined them from the pre panel, but, um, what is the best way to balance classes, homework, a job, extracurriculars, volunteering, sports and family and friends time. And then especially going into senior year with the application process and everything, and then trying to get.
Yeah, that’s a really big question. Um, so it’ll be different for everybody. I kind of go back to that, um, tip that I, that I mentioned kind of earlier in the presentation of literally counting however many hours you have in the week, and then taking out sleep from those hours, taking out meals from those hours, taking out commute time from those hours, and then figuring out what the time and classes and figuring out what the time you have left.
Okay. What can I [00:25:00] commit my time to? Um, and in doing that, you can also say, okay, at least an hour, a day, I’m going to have family time. So you take that out of your hours. Um, and every an hour, a week I’ll or three hours a week, I’ll exercise, you can take that out of your time and then you can figure out what the left of.
Okay. What do I have time for? Um, what can I actually fit into my schedule? And I can kind of help you to get a picture of, okay, I’m already prioritizing self care by like taking into account these periods of time that I really want to dedicate to like my, my life, not necessarily my work, but my life. Um, and then figuring out from there kind of what fits and, um, making that work as things as things go forward.
Um, but yeah, that’s definitely a big question. It’ll look different for everybody in terms of the application process. I, I can’t help, but recommend again and again, a calendar. Um, and just when you’re talking about, you know, extracurriculars and you’re talking about [00:26:00] accounting for that time, um, making sure that you’re considering the application process in there as well.
Um, And also getting as much done as you can over the summer for the application process. I think that’s a big thing because, um, it was a big thing for me, at least because, um, I was definitely doing less over the summer because of kind of that pause between school years and extracurriculars and things like that.
Not all extracurriculars go through the summer. Um, so prioritizing getting stuff done in the summer, like your common app essay, like sending your letters of recommendation requests and things like that. Um, getting that done in the summer can really help with that work-life balance during the semester and during the school year as well.
For a quick question. So when asked, do you apply to colleges junior year or is it just senior year? So you can start prepping for applying to colleges junior year. Um, so basically like you’ll want to start working on your common application essays, um, essay, and then you’ll want to start working on your supplemental essay.
You’ll want to take your sat and your [00:27:00] act you’ll want to ask for letters of recommendation, things like that. You’ll want to start prepping for the application process, but actually like hitting submit on the application is going to be during your senior year. Um, cause the, the common application, I think this year only opens August 2nd, I think.
Um, and so you, you literally can’t submit applied of colleges until your senior year. Um, so yeah, but you’re, you’re doing all that prepping beforehand. So there are a lot of questions on procrastination. Do you have any tips to stop procrastination? That’s another big question. Um, everything to do with time management is a big question.
Um, but in terms of procrastination, I find that. When I’m procrastinating it’s because I’m literally staring at a screen, like a blank page and being like, okay, what do I write? Like, how do I write this essay, this really big essay that I don’t know what to do. And so I just sat there and I stare at a screen.[00:28:00]
Um, but something that I find to be helpful and like kind of breaking out of that cycle of procrastination is literally getting out from my desk, walking outside, going to chat with someone, you know, COVID allowing, I’m going to chat with someone or going on a walk or going for a run, some exercise, just taking yourself out of that space.
Um, and giving yourself the opportunity to like fully take a break, to just stop thinking about it for 15 minutes, 30 minutes. And then coming back to the activity, refresh can be really helpful. Um, and then something that really helps me too, when I’m procrastinating, like a lot of work, like when I have a lot on my plate and I’m just really overwhelmed.
Is that making a list thing where I just, I put everything possible on paper, and then I decide what exactly needs to get done today and kind of break it down into bite size chunks. That way it’s not like this giant wall of stuff that you have to get done. And instead it’s like, okay, I can [00:29:00] manage getting these three tasks done today.
Um, cause for me, a lot of procrastination is being like, how do I get every single thing on my to-do list done that needs to be done in the next six months? Um, but kind of breaking it down day by day. It can be really helpful. That is definitely true. I do something similar to that and it really helps.
And like, even when I get an assignment, like you said to write everything down, I’ll make sure to read like the syllabus or the instructions. So I can sort of visualize how long it’s going to take me to do something and then add two days to it. So I know I’m not waiting until the last minute. Yeah.
That’s super helpful too. Uh, okay. There’s a lot of good questions on, um, do you have any tips on motivation to prevent cross pollination what that process is? Oh, Lord. What processes, um, motivate you to keep going with school, even when you can’t seem to keep your mind focused or get excited about learning.
So pretty much a lot of questions about motivation, [00:30:00] burnout, those sort of things. Yeah. So this is a really potent question. Um, I definitely face a lot of these struggles in high school and even into some parts of college or just feeling like unmotivated to complete the tasks that are in front of me, or like even unmotivated, like, you know, like.
Why am I applying to these schools? Like, why am I doing this? Like those kinds of questions kind of run through your head some times of like, kind of doubting yourself and doubting while you’re doing things. And, um, I definitely can relate to that a lot. Um, in terms of motivation, I think something that definitely keeps me motivated is having a long-term plan.
Um, so even if that’s like, it doesn’t have to be like in 10 years, I’m going to own a house and I’m going to be like, I have two kids, or I don’t know if you would do that in 10 years, but I’m like, it doesn’t have to be that long-term for me, it’s just okay. In the next year, like ongoing too. So for me, it’s in the next year I’m going to graduate in December.
Um, I’m going to have a full-time [00:31:00] job from January to August, and then I’m going to matriculate in grad school in August and that’s my next year. Um, so it’s just kind of having that vision of like, okay, when am I getting things done? And that can help, especially with the application process of like, okay, let’s plan out specifically senior year or junior and senior year.
Um, what is July going to look like? What does August gonna look like? What is September gonna look like? Seeing the end goal, um, that can be difficult when, you know, the end goal is just theoretically, oh, I’m going to go to college. That can be really difficult to kind of, you know, synthesize and like actually like make work out of, but instead kind of having that goal for yourself of like, okay, this is actually, what’s going to happen, can create some motivation for herself, um, because you can literally see like things getting done.
Um, and that helps too with like with the to-do list thing and the calendar thing, you can cross things off of your calendar and it’s like the most satisfying thing, just being able to say, okay, I was productive. I did get [00:32:00] stuff done. Um, which for me is, it’s a small thing, but it’s a motivator as well as like I did, like, I did get stuff done today.
I did cross some things off my to-do list. Even if it wasn’t everything. I did something I’m working towards my goal. I’m working towards my longterm plan. That is very true. Um, so a lot of questions are asking about prioritization, especially when we’re taking all these AP and IB and dual enrollment courses and stuff.
And every teacher for some reason have homework due the same day. So, um, how do we organize between classwork or homework from different classes? Do we go in order of how important the classes? Yeah, so I wouldn’t say necessarily go in order of how important the classes I would say go in order of deadlines.
Um, so for example, if you have like this week ahead of you, where you have like, just as an example, an essay due every day an over-exaggeration, but, um, then I would say like on your to-do list, prioritize. Okay. Like the Friday [00:33:00] before this monstrous week of essays due the Friday before I’m going to work on the essay for Monday and then Saturday I’ll work on the essay for Tuesday.
Sunday, I’ll work on the essay for Wednesday, um, and kind of having that pre-planning and ordering things by deadlines, um, just to make sure you get everything done. Cause I find kind of find like, if I like really like my, my AP English class, um, versus like my, my AP stats class, but they have the same deadline, like I’m going to have to get them both done.
Um, but it’s just important to like make sure that you’re getting everything done. Um, instead of like spending all this time on English that you didn’t necessarily have to spend the time on English and then not getting stats done. Um, so kind of organizing things by deadline in that way rather than like, which is the most important, um, can make sure that you’re staying on top of things.
You’re getting good grades, you’re allocating the necessary time to get things done. Um, and making sure that nothing is kind of left behind in that. So I’m going to do a [00:34:00] quick pop-up, but yeah, a lot of the times it’s about deadlines, how quick you can get something done can be helpful and how much you like or dislike it can really.
Um, so yeah, let me get this pop up.
There we go. Okay. Um, why don’t work one-on-one with an advisor from our team of over 155 advisors and admissions officers sign up for a free consultation with us by going to CollegeAdvisor.com clicking the green chat button in the bottom right of this screen. Um, from there, just write in consultation and a live team member will get back to you to help coordinate your free consultation.
Now back to the Q and a
okay. Uh, okay. Could you talk more about how to elevate our extra curriculars to figure out which ones we should focus on and which ones we need to do? Good question. [00:35:00] Yeah. I feel like I’m pursuing what you’re genuinely interested in can be a big one. Um, the reason I say that is because when you’re kind of developing your candidate profile for colleges, which is basically like, what, like what about you?
Are you telling colleges, like, they’ll see your extracurriculars, your activities, your essays, like, what do you want to tell colleges about yourself? Um, so for me it was like, I wanted them to know that, like, I was really passionate about like politics and things like that. Um, and so I really heavily like leaned into model United nations, but I also wanted to show them that I was creative and innovative.
And so I, I talked about how I opened the coffee shop. That was one thing too, but also dedicated to community service. So I focused on one community service organization. Um, but kind of like identifying what you’re genuinely interested in can be really, really helpful and kind of prioritizing and choosing which extracurriculars that you might.
Uh, in that same vein kind of having a balance within your extracurriculars is [00:36:00] good. So like I said, I had like that one really passionate interest in politics. And then I had one about like innovation and business, and then I had one about volunteering. So kind of having different varieties within them as well can be helpful.
Um, that way it’s not just all, okay, I’m doing all politics, but I like have no, like my, my neck can’t cast over anything else. Um, so kind of having that balance in your extracurriculars while still prioritizing, maybe that one thing that you really love, um, can be helpful in choosing what you want to want to prioritize.
So like, if you’re trying to figure out what to take off your schedule, well, do you have to volunteer clubs that you’re in, that you’re constantly doing things for and like, but you kind of like one over the other. Okay. Yeah. You can keep the one volunteer organization and you’ll still have that component on your application.
Like you’re not removing that volunteer community service oriented oriented component of your application because you still have that in that one club that you’re, that you’re involved in. So on that note of looking good to admissions officers, a lot of people are asking [00:37:00] like, what’s important, especially since everything starts to build up, it gets stressful.
So like how important are SATs volunteer hours, types of courses, extracurriculars. Yeah. So another big question, lots of, lots of elements to answer on. Um, so the first thing I’ll say about sat and act scores is that a lot of schools are going test optional right now. Um, so generally speaking, if you’re applying to a school that doesn’t require your sat or your act score, I personally still recommend to my students that, um, you still take it and then if it’s a really good score and you feel like it would help your application still submit it to schools.
So you should still be kind of focusing on your assets and your act, even despite the fact that some schools are test optional, because it can continue to build up your application. Um, especially if you, for example, if you’re a student who. Has like a, has a report card. That’s like some A’s and some B’s a really good test score can [00:38:00] really boost up that component of your application and kind of make up for, um, kind of what’s lost on grades, but can be made up for in test scores.
Um, and then the other component of the question, I’m trying to remember back the whole question of like volunteer hours, like commitments stuff, so, okay. So in terms of like volunteer hours, a lot of schools will have like guidelines for how many volunteer hours you should have, how you should log that and things like that.
So it’s important to kind of connect with their school about that. Um, I would say like, Kind of like what I was saying as far as extracurriculars are concerned already. I think it’s important to kind of have that balance of like, like having a variety and showing that you kind of have that breadth of your application while still showing that you have that focus on those things that you’re interested in.
Um, that can be really helpful, but I will emphasize too, that like amidst all of those components of your application, volunteering, extracurriculars, sports, test scores, amidst, all of that. There [00:39:00] should be something there that’s uniquely and genuinely you kind of like I was mentioning at the beginning of the, of the presentation is if you like.
Somehow you have to stand out to the admissions officers and you want to do something that’s genuinely you and really makes you stand out to admissions officers, whether that’s like a really big passion project or whether that’s starting a club or whether that’s like creating a new initiative within a club that already exists or starting a new sports team, or, you know, whatever it is, something that is really innovative and uniquely you, um, can help you to stand out in the application process.
And I, I would say that’s something that’s really important to admissions officers is that there is something that not only like suits you to the school, um, not only do you have the grades, the test scores that kind of like baseline, but you also have something that makes you stand out. Um, that kind of is a roundabout way of answering the question, but I hope I at least answered components of.[00:40:00]
That was a great answer. Uh, since we’re on the topic of passion projects and your coffee stand that you started, um, some of the students were asking like, how did you start it? And then I guess, a good follow-up to, that would be like, how did you present that to colleges? Yeah. Yeah. Very good questions. Um, so basically I wanted to start a fundraiser, um, for, um, basically it was a service project that we were doing.
I wanted to start a fundraiser for it, and I was trying to look for ways to raise money. Um, basically, and I became really close to my culinary teacher who was also the head of culture club. And like, she. I can’t hurt the idea. I was like, I have always wanted to be a barista. Like I’ve always wanted to open a coffee shop.
And she, it was really through her support that I was able to do all this too is cause she, she was like, yeah, like let’s run with it. I’ll reach out to teachers. See if they see if anybody has a spare espresso machine as a, someone will have a spare [00:41:00] espresso machine. And we found one, like, see if people have like an opportunity to like donate some funds to the coffee shop to get it started.
And she found people to donate funds and I was helping her along the way. Um, and you know, I went into the front of administration and I said, okay, here’s the benefits of having the coffee shop? Here’s what it’ll do for the community. Here’s what, um, what benefit it will have to the students that help to run the coffee shop, it’ll teach skills, it’ll teach, um, like customer service.
It’ll teach all of these things. Um, and so I guess my answer is that what got the ball rolling was having a really supportive teacher and someone that I had formed a really good relationship with. And. Not only presenting them an idea and being enthusiastic myself, but also having them there to kind of back me up, um, was a really great opportunity.
And yeah, it’s all about all comes down to kind of building those relationships and having the passion behind it as well, and kind of making things happen alongside other people instead of kind of expecting that. You’re the only one [00:42:00] that that can do things is cool. I had a similar thing I did at college readiness club, my senior year.
So did you, um, this is just my question. Did you write about it in your personal statement or did it show more in your resume? Like how did you like, um, tell them, yeah, yeah. Good point. I forgot about that component. Um, but yeah, so I put it in my extracurricular activities portion of my common application.
Um, so I just wrote about it and had that in the description, um, that I like started the business. I was, I called myself like the founder and the owner of the coffee shop and I kind of. Basically just presented it as it was and was like, I’m the one who founded it. I’m the one who owns it. I’m the one who manages it.
Um, and kind of smushed shuttle into like that tiny little box where you can talk about your extracurriculars, um, and kind of made it happen that way. There were also some opportunities depending on the school to talk about my [00:43:00] extracurricular activities. And I always use that opportunity to talk about how I started the coffee shop, even though modern United nations was technically like my thing.
Like it was my main thing. Um, I really talked about the coffee shop because it was the most unique and it was the most uniquely me, um, out of my entire. That, that honestly sounds great. That sounds like a lot of fun. Uh, everyone, the webinar will be recorded and then there’s also the slides in the handouts tab.
So you will be able to like, look at this later and then you can also email the advisors if you have like general quick questions, if you don’t get to them all. But, um, the next question, so a lot of people are like, worried about, um, like whether or not what they’re doing is good enough, per se. So like one student says they have a lot of arts and like performing arts, um, extracurriculars.
And then, um, I can’t remember what the other students, um, but they’re just like, worried [00:44:00] about like, is this good enough? Or should I be doing like more variety? Yeah, that’s a really good point. I think it’ll depend on what your ultimate goal is. So like, if you know exactly what you want to do, like if, you know, like I had a friend who like, knew that he wanted to do photography and that he was going to go to Ringling college of art and design.
Um, and so like he had his entire like extracurricular profile, like his classes, like besides like basic requirements, like everything was around art and production and like all these things. And so, because he knew exactly what he wanted to do. Um, and so that made it easier for him throughout high school in terms of identifying exactly what extracurriculars to do and things like that.
Um, I also that, uh, variety is good and the sense that you should be able to kind of have this representation of like volunteer experience versus like academics versus like. Um, just clubs [00:45:00] versus being an athlete. Um, things like that. It’s good to kind of have your, like, like have your eggs in different baskets for lack of a better phrase.
Um, and so I think like it’s good to have that variety, but it’s also not necessary to be in like eight different clubs, um, that are doing like all these different things. Um, I think like a good solid number would be like five to six at most. Um, and really focusing on things that you’re really passionate about can really be, um, that can, can really be beneficial to your application because like, one of the things that admissions officers will look for is the fact that like, like, have you been committed?
Like, have you been committed all four years to at least one club to two clubs, to however many clubs, like, have you stayed dedicated? Um, and so like being. Like for some people, like, I, I have definitely heard some people say like, oh, like I’ve been doing model United nations. Should I try something [00:46:00] new?
And it’s like, no, like if you like modern that a nation stay in model United nations, they’ll see the fact that you were very committed and that you were very passionate about model United nations and the fact that you were in it for four years. Um, so yeah, so my point is to say like, if you know exactly what you want to do and you want to orient your extracurriculars around exactly what you want to do, like that can be beneficial.
Um, but if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, kind of having that variety can be beneficial as well. It just, it’s the differences between individuals, the differences between applications, which comes down to that important step of like having something that is uniquely you within that application, um, that can make you stand.
Great answer. Um, so another theme that I saw that was coming up is like, um, you know, you’re going into junior, senior year. It’s like a long time. And it’s like, there’s so many things to do. So like a lot of people are asking you, like, what’s like a general timeline or some milestones they should be hitting at certain times.[00:47:00]
Yeah. That’s a good question. Um, so I would say, so generally speaking, junior year, you’ll take your first sat slash act in March. Um, that’s one of the big milestones. I often suggest taking it even earlier than that. So usually there’s a January testing date. Um, so I suggest taking it in January, generally of your junior year.
Um, that way, if you decide to be, take it, you have time. So that’s one milestone. Um, usually I like to recommend having a school list at least like preliminarily completed by the beginning of summer. Um, reason being, you can kind of start looking at essays, you can start looking at their individual requirements, but if you have the opportunity to having your school lists that we’ll also have you identify which schools you want to tour.
If you have the option to travel and tour the different schools that you’re applying to. Um, so kind of having that completed before summer starts gives you [00:48:00] that period of summertime to go into our schools, if you, if you have the means to do so. Um, so that’s kind of a milestone that I would suggest I would also suggest having your common application essay done by mid summer.
Um, that’s a big one because it’ll be. It’s basically the, the hardest essay that you’ll write for the college app, the college admissions process, because it’s the biggest, it goes to all the schools. So kind of having that done earlier on can take a lot of stress off of the process. And then from there on out, you’ll kind of have these supplemental essays, um, that depend on each of the schools kind of as a hard and fast rule.
I would always say having everything done at least two weeks before your hard deadline is really important. That way, if you want to take. A couple of days, step back from your application. I’d kind of revisit it and say, okay, here’s the rows is where it needs a little bit of tweaking like that can, you can have that time to do that.
And it can also prevent that like long, [00:49:00] large period of rush for everybody to submit their applications at 11:59 PM like on the deadline. Um, so having things done early is really beneficial, but in terms of like timing things out for yourself, usually like a rule of thumb should be like at least two weeks before your hard deadline is one thing should be, um, kind of completed.
The one thing I forgot to mention was letters of recommendation requests. Um, so I like to recommend that students at the end of junior year, we’ll ask the teachers that they’re hoping to ask for those letters of recommendation and then revisit it, like ask at their confirmation and then in the fall kind of go back to them and say, okay, Hey, can you actually write this?
Here’s the link and make that happen. And yes. And if you work with one or of our advisors, you can get extra support with like, um, planning out your schedule. And then also if you have an advisor there should have sent you a student handbook and that sort of has like a timeline listed out if you want something [00:50:00] visual.
Um, so yeah. Uh, the next question, uh, okay. So like self care and having fun are important. How do you make sure you have fun and do stuff and not like completely stressed out junior and senior year? Yeah. So my, my thing is always to like, not just have time, like 15 minutes or an hour every day, but also to be like, okay, I’m going to have this chunk of time.
Like, I’m going to have these six hours on the weekend, um, or late on a Wednesday or something like to go out to dinner with my friends or to like, you know, have a. Go out to an omelet house of omelets and like hanging out with my friends or go out to hospitals with my family or to lounge around and watch movies with my siblings.
Like having a chunk of time can be really refreshing because while you may be able to reset and like an hour or something, um, and that can [00:51:00] kind of like promote the longevity of your productivity, not having like a larger period of time to like decompress and like actually relax and like focus on yourself and focus on something other than work can really wear on you.
So I would say like scheduling in at least every week, like a period of time, it doesn’t necessarily have to be six hours. It can be more, it can be like five hours. It can be four hours, but just like a decent chunk of time where you have enough time to say, okay, I’m really not going to think about this.
And I don’t have to think about this for the next X amount of hours. Um, That can be really refreshing and can like give you the opportunity to just take a step back and breathe for a second and then revisit things later on.
Okay. Uh, so the next topic, um, is like keeping your grades good and like, um, study habits, having all these courses. So do you have any study habits or study? Yeah, that’s a good question too. I feel like it depends on the [00:52:00] class in the sense that like, if it’s a humanities, it’ll be different than if it’s a stem course.
Um, usually as far as like sciences and maths, um, something that I like to emphasize is writing everything down. On paper and reading everything down on paper. Um, whereas like, like history and English and stuff are like more conversation oriented. Um, I find that kind of putting everything down for stem can be really helpful.
Um, like for example, my junior year I took AP biology and like basically taught the whole textbook to myself, like in addition to having class. And so I just wrote and wrote and wrote and had like pages and pages of copy paper, where I just wrote everything down just to commit it to memory. Um, and so, cause I’m sure a lot of, you know, how biology as is a lot of memorization.
And so just writing everything down is really helpful. Um, as far as that’s concerned, In terms of like English and psychology and, um, history and those types of classes, I [00:53:00] find it most helpful to talk things out. So if you’re studying for our history exam and you need to like, really like, like, remember these facts and these years and things like that, like I find it helpful to kind of sit down with a friend who’s in the same class and be like, okay, like the emancipation proclamation go like, and just kind of talk about it.
And like, if they get it wrong, then you can correct them. If you get it wrong, they can correct you like that kind of thing. And just talk it through, because if you’re taking a test that’s written talking about it, makes it a lot easier to then write it down the line. Um, so yeah, those are my personal study tips.
I don’t know if there’ll be helpful to everybody, but that’s how I kind of go by. Now, those are great. And then it’s also good to remember, like, what’s your learning style? Like, are you more visual, auditory, kinesthetic and all those good things? Um, so a lot of people are worried about testing. Um, so like, especially with COVID, um, canceling a lot of tests in a lot of schools, seeing that they’re going to be test optional.
Would you say, [00:54:00] um, that’s well, I guess would you say, is tests, should students go test optional or should they consider taking the exam? And if so, like what’s a good schedule for taking that exam. Yeah. So my rule of thumb is. If you have like only submit your test scores or if it really helps your application.
Um, so I like in a time where COVID didn’t happen, I would recommend even where if schools are test optional to take the test and see if it really adds to your application. Um, given like, if you are like living in a circumstance where it’s just not feasible for you to take the test, like it’s like totally understandable for you to go test optional.
Um, but if you had the opportunity to like, I always like to recommend it, if like you have the means to be able to take the test. And, um, it hasn’t been canceled so many times where you’re literally out of the running for it. Um, then I would suggest taking the test, like I said, um, a good timeline for juniors is usually January, March, or junior year for seniors.
[00:55:00] If you’re taking a, during the first semester of senior year, the first two quarters of senior year, I would say like ASAP, like the soonest tests that you can possibly take, um, that is really important because then you’ll have to have them to submit to your schools on time and it takes weeks to process them.
Um, so that’s kind of the timeline point that I want to make, but I like kind of, like I said, like, I would always recommend taking them if you can, but if it doesn’t help your application, for example, if you have like stellar grades, but kind of like a mediocre test score, then you don’t have to submit it.
Like if you only have to submit it, if it really helps your application and add something to it. Um, but yeah, that’s usually the point I like to make to my, to my students. It’s also good to look at the fine print of the school. Cause if it has merit based financial aid and you’re looking for to get money, a lot of them are not actually test optional.
Um, unless you’re not looking for financial aid. So it’s important to still read the fine print. Yeah, which is silly, but the other [00:56:00] discussion, um, okay, so like going on the air of uncertainty, like how do you stick to a schedule when so many things can come up or like throw off your schedule? Yeah. I have a couple of points on that.
I saw that question. Um, so, uh, when it comes to like, for example, like COVID as a factor that kind of threw things out of whack and like made schedules non-existent and like, there’s this huge transition. Like for me, like creating structure in the chaos was helpful. So like, I will always go back to my calendars and my to-do lists.
Um, but like really creating structure for myself when everything is kind of like flying around and out of control, um, that can kind of keep me focused and keep me like nose to the grindstone, getting stuff done. Um, when it comes to. For example, if you have like a personal emergency, like you have a personal, like a family crisis or something along those lines, something that I always like to like recommend [00:57:00] to anybody really like high schoolers college students, anything along those lines, something that I often recommend is like, if you’re having like a real genuine crisis, like if you got sick out of nowhere and you have to take a week off of school, or if there was something happened in your family and you have to take some time off of school or, you know, it’s really affecting your ability to do work.
There’s not a problem with kind of approaching your teacher and saying like, Hey, like I’m having a really tough time right now. Is there a chance that I can have maybe a little more time on this assignment and kind of say like, you know, I’ll get it done if I need to, like, I’m not saying I’m not going to get it done, but like, if possible, is there a way that I can, I can have some more time to complete it that way it kind of takes some pressure off of yourself.
Um, cause I know I saw someone comments about how, like, it was like, it could be like a personal situation and like in those cases I’ve definitely had my fair share of those in college. And I’ve literally had to go to my professors and be like, Hey, like I have a lot going on right now. Not telling them exactly what’s happening.
Cause that’s personal. You have no obligation to tell them exactly what’s [00:58:00] happening. Um, but just kind of being like, I have a lot going on right now. Like I like that’s out of my control. Is there a chance that I can have more time on this? Um, and so like that’s obviously. Not something that should be deferred to all the time or like something that could, should be like a constant, um, like constantly asking for extensions or anything, but like, if you really need it, there’s nothing wrong with kind of having that conversation, um, and making that happen.
Okay. So the webinar’s about to come to a close, but we can just do some closing, like last minute too. So a lot of the questions were asking about like literal apps that you may use for time management. And then some other things we’re asking, like, what are some time management skills you can build now that would be helpful for, yeah.
So apps I and tried and true a Google fan. So Google calendar is my, my big one. The notes app in my phone is great for lists too. I’m sure a lot of people use that. Um, I just use simple stuff. I don’t like really like. Like invest [00:59:00] in like the complicated, like self care organization apps. I just kind of use what’s simple and easily accessible and something that’s intuitive for me.
Um, and so for me, that is Google calendar and then the notes app. Um, and then in terms of what was the second question? I can’t recall, like, um, some general tips on time management to learn now that will be helpful for college keeping yourself organized. So whether that’s like it can totally be like, you keep a journal with a giant list that never ends, and then you just cross things off as you go.
It can be like, you have an actual planner where you like write things down in different colors. Like you don’t have to bullet journal and necessarily like to keep yourself organized. Um, Just find what works for you. Like find something that is tried and true that works. And if it stops working, like, for me sometimes, like I can’t keep up with like a really like organized, like meticulous calendar.
And so I just trance, I just pick up my other notebook that I was using the [01:00:00] previous year. And I just read down the list, like whatever works for you in the moment is perfectly fine. Um, like don’t beat up yourself, beat yourself up for like, not keeping a really organized calendar, as long as you’re keeping track of things and getting stuff.
I think we can do one more quick question. So, um, for letters of recommendation, do you suggest giving your teacher sheet that, um, you write everything that you contribute to that? Um, I wouldn’t necessarily say something that you contributed to the class because teachers see that like in the day to day.
Um, but I know a lot of times teachers will ask for you to write a letter or like a letter or sheet or something that kind of outlines your accomplishments outside of class. Um, so for example, like just kind of listing your extracurriculars or like yeah, like submitting a resume, um, something that shows your accomplishments as well, that way they can kind of craft this narrative around who you are, like, you know, I’ve seen Bailee contribute to lots of political discussions in class, and she’s also really active in [01:01:00] model United nations.
Like, you know, kind of crafting that narrative around like you as a holistic person rather than just how you contribute to class, um, can be useful for. Okay. So, uh, thank you everyone for coming out tonight and thank you to our panelists. Um, so that is the end of the webinar. We really had a great time telling you about, um, time management as a junior and senior, and here’s the rest of our July series.
And I will stop recording.