Choosing a college major

As you prepare for the SAT with online practice exams, complete SAT test prep, and prepare for test day, many students begin to think seriously about college and their options for the future.

For some students, choosing a major will not be a difficult decision. If you have known what you want to do after college for awhile, you can take this knowledge into account as you are choosing a college. Knowing your major early on gives you the opportunity to speak with professors in your intended major, ask about the program and find out what alumni from that major are doing now.

For other students, choosing a major is a decision that can feel overwhelming. At most colleges, it is completely normal for students to be undecided during the first year of college. This is something that you can ask about during college visits. Many schools have required classes that will fill up your first few semesters and allow you to try courses from many different departments. This is a great way to try new things and find the major that will be the best fit for you.

When choosing a major, it is important to consider the type of job you would like to have after college. If your career path is undecided or could accommodate many different majors, your best plan is to consider your academic strengths and interests. Choosing a major that you love will ensure that you put a lot of effort into your classes and finish college with a strong academic record. This will help you as you apply for graduate school, apply for fellowships after college, or look for your first job.

It’s also important to plan your course schedule to be sure that you will graduate on time with your major. Good planning will also allow you the option of adding a second major, minor, or concentration if you would like to take courses in different areas. These are all great ways to add another interest to your academic track and a good way to set your resume apart from others.

It is also common for students to change majors during college. This is always easier to do sooner rather than later, while you still have plenty of time to complete the course load. Before changing your major, you will want to speak with your current academic adviser and a professor in the department that you are considering. Find out just what the switch will entail and then you will be able to decide if it the right choice.

Senior Year Planning

Senior year of high school can be an extremely busy time. Many deadlines and decisions are on the horizon and it can be overwhelming for students to balance all of their responsibilities. Developing a solid plan for senior year can help you to avoid stress and assure that everything is done on time.


The fall of senior year is often the time students choose to devote to taking the SAT. Schedule the test and begin to devote time to studying and preparing for the test. Online test prep is one good option to help SAT test prep fit into an already busy school schedule.

The fall is also the time to seriously narrow down college options. Once you have a list of the schools where you will be applying, organize important dates and deadlines onto a master calendar.

Researching financial aid is another important task for the fall. This involves researching student loan options, scholarships and grants, and options available at each of your colleges.


Winter of senior year is the time to focus on completing college applications. Many will use the same common application supplemented by some additional questions and information. Take time to write your essays and be sure they are a good reflection of your strengths. Be sure to ask for letters of recommendations early on in the process so that you give your teachers, guidance counselors, and employers plenty of time to write the recommendation.

Once everything is complete, be sure to double check that all parts of the application are there and send them in. Most high schools will provide resources to help students prepare the final application packet.

At this point, many colleges will also want to schedule a personal interview. This is both a time for the college to speak with you and gain additional insight into your application and also a time for you to ask questions about the selection process and why you should choose their college. Viewing the interview as a conversation will keep you from being nervous and help you get the most out of this experience.


By spring of senior year, you will have heard back from your colleges and it is time to focus on making a decision. If you were accepted to multiple schools, it is often worthwhile to visit these colleges once again. These campus visits can help you to make a confident decision. While on campus, you will want to take another tour, sit in on a class, and talk to current students about their college experience. Be sure to ask plenty of questions of students, staff, and representatives in the admissions office.

Before making a decision, you will also want to discuss your plans with your family, particularly concerning financial aid and how you will be paying for college. Once you have reached a decision, send out your acceptance and rejection letters to all the colleges that accepted you. Your school will soon be sending you more information and you’ll be busy planning for next year. You can now proudly announce your college plans and enjoy the conclusion of your high school career.

How To Find the Perfect Summer Job for the Recent High School Grad

Finishing high school is a big achievement, but working right after graduation can ease a student’s path into college, give them valuable experience, pad their resumes, and even earn money. Finding the perfect summer job right after graduating high school can be easier than you think if you keep the following principles in mind.

If you’re looking for work right out of high school, don’t think that you don’t need a resume. List your high school accomplishments beyond your GPA, such as extracurricular activities and participation in sports. Including any volunteer work you might have done or membership in organizations like Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts will add some flair to your resume as well.

Recent high school grads should accept the fact that they might have to work a job that doesn’t offer excellent or even any pay at all. Even without the conditions of the current economy, many businesses are reluctant to offer pay to young workers. However, new high school grads should understand that many job opportunities will offer excellent opportunities for experience and networking, which are invaluable.

However, it’s quite possible to find a paid job. This can range from things like work in restaurants or stores to more specialized things. If possible, try and aim to find a job that relates to your interests, particularly toward a potential college major or area of business that you want to be involved in. You can even contact a local college and ask them for recommendations for paid jobs, as many colleges have information available for a similar age group.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to rule out jobs that involve unique experiences and a lot of fun, such as working as a camp counselor. Even if this doesn’t pertain to what your future job or academic aspirations might be, working with children for a summer is an enlightening experience that will look great on a resume and provide an excellent talking point for interviews.

It’s important to remember that no matter what type of summer job you end up finding, you should take it seriously. Word can get around fairly quickly if you don’t complete your tasks or constantly show up late, so thinking that you can ditch one job for another easily isn’t a very practical outlook.

If you interview for any type of job, be yourself and remain personable, but keep a mature demeanor that will let your employer know that hiring you or signing you on will benefit them. In many cases it might not come down to the qualifications, but who the potential employer thought was most responsible.

Job opportunities also have the tendency to pop up randomly, so if you get involved right after graduation in volunteering locally, you might find yourself propositioned for a job opportunity. Therefore, you should always remember that volunteering will add to your resume in the future, so if you can’t find that perfect summer job you’ll keep yourself occupied while doing something positive for yourself and others.

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