Advice to High School Juniors: 3 Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Worry About Your College Essay


There will be plenty of time — and items on your Common App — to worry about, so let’s evenly distribute all that worry!

If you look at what’s trending in the “rising seniors” social media world, you’re sure to find the college essay high on the hashtag list. Of course the essay is important and yes, it’s got to get done, and trust me, it will, but not now.

During these last few weeks of school, try to focus on the following three items and trust that over the summer and even into the fall, you will have time to write your magnum opus that will wow admissions’ departments – and, most importantly, yourself.


high school juniors college admissions essay For the next couple of weeks, you’re in school. So, focus on ending the year with a bang versus a whimper. Ace the finals, end-of-year papers, AP exams. Show off what you know and learn (quickly!) what you don’t know. Ask questions, figure it out, embrace the now, as they say. If your freshman and sophomore years had a few blips in the GPA department, ending junior year with a rise or a stronger grade point average will communicate to colleges that you’re serious about your studies.

Standardized Test Prep

Many colleges are offering students a choice as to whether or not they would like to submit their SAT/ACT scores. While test-optional schools usually don’t comprise a student’s whole list, it’s not a bad idea to throw a few in the mix if testing isn’t your bailiwick. For example, many of the competitive schools will ask for scores, but some, like Bowdoin College or Wesleyan University, are test-optional. With this in mind, don’t sacrifice your transcript for your scores. In other words, if pressed, allocate more time to your American History or Chemistry final than your SAT/ACT prep.


This is a four-letter word during junior year. No student is supposed to get caught enjoying junior year. Walk down any corridor in most high schools and you will see distraught juniors. Parents, please encourage your junior to take breaks from schoolwork or test prep. Students, enjoy proms, weekend evenings, after school sports or arts commitments. The bonds you form and reinforce with people you care about will become part of your DNA. Have fun. You’re on the brink of adventure and guess what? You will never be a high school junior again. For some, this sounds like a blessing, but for others, it’s bittersweet.

Finally, once the school year is over, sleep, eat, play and then give me a holler to brainstorm your college essay. I have some ideas for you. Contact me at: or 917-863-2424 for more information about my approach to college counseling, applications and essays.