Daydreaming is good. Especially if it surrounds issues that are important to college-bound seniors.
Whether you’re in the wilderness of Maine, or enjoying the surf at the Jersey Shore, take some time this summer to dream. Imagine the way you’d like to present yourself in your college application this fall.
Use your phone to record interesting events, new/special friends you meet, “found” items at the ballpark, or at the beach.You’d be surprised how these snaps will serve you with rich details for your college essay once you get home.
Keep a tiny spiral
Take along a small notebook (3x4 will do), and jot down funny conversations, or moments that revealed something new to you. Summer fun can be awkward and fresh, silly or serious, or all of the above.
Explore virtually the colleges on your “list”
Look up virtual tours of interesting colleges. Are there activities that correspond to your interests (new art museum, music facilities, research labs, an international student dorm)? Then do further research about the school online. This will be invaluable for writing about why you are choosing a particular school.
Next step: from dreaming to brainstorming
If you’d like a peek at what the Common Application Essay holds – go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/2012-13-common-application-previews-available/2012/05/15/gIQAnQ79PU_blog.htm.
Don't panic! You can do it. Start with brainstorming techniques, or cluster diagrams to get your ideas flowing in graphical format. See http://www.enchantedlearning.com/graphicorganizers/cloud for some ideas.
Just Imagine --- your college visit and interview
Before you hit the road, do some research–spend time on each school’s website, read about schools on College Prowler’s web site (www.collegeprowler.com).
Try to visualize yourself prepared and relaxed at the interview. (Remember, you’ll be armed with your prior research.)
Don’t forget to smile when you greet and thank the interviewer. And, of course, always take time to write a “Thank you” email afterwards.
Yes, summer’s here for college-bound seniors, and summer dreaming really can lead to dreams coming true.
Theresa Yin Michna is an educational coach, preparing students for ACT/SAT and college admissions essays. She has taught at Pace University and Manhattanville College, and been on the Board of American International School in Vienna. For more information visit www.theresamichna.com