Some Mid Year Academic Advice

By Deb Coco, College Admissions Coach

As February winds down, many of our students are fortunate enough to have several acceptances under their belts, and a handful have zeroed in on their school of choice.  It’s a great feeling to have hit the submit button, have a few options, and feel a bit of relief from the college application and essay pressure.

But mid-year also means mid-terms, and with that some new pressure.  At The College Advisor of New York, we are often asked if colleges and universities follow up on academic performance after acceptances and the short answer is YES.  Will every school do this?  Probably not, but the fact is you can’t let your guard down yet and need to head into spring of your senior year with the same drive and determination that you had in the fall.

And this can be tough!  Fall was likely exhausting.  But colleges are now wise to students who knock it out of the park before applying, and then kick back and relax.  Think of this as a football game —you caught the pass but now you still need to keep running into the end zone.  Easier said than done, but remember you are still in school and this requires commitment that will serve you well once you are a college student, when there is no time to let your guard down.

Some students also received “conditional acceptances” and this does mean that they are guaranteed that college will require their spring transcript meet a certain standard.  Although this can be disconcerting, it’s actually a great way to guarantee that you’re keeping your academics ‘up to snuff.’

So whether you are a “conditional admit” or just facing a slew of mid-terms, here are some recommendations of ways to stick to a study plan as your mind wanders towards your next step.  Remember what got you to where you are now.  Our best students are planners, list makers, studiers.  Keep it up.  Sticking to a schedule is your best friend no matter what you’re tackling, and especially when it may be easy to get distracted – think beautiful Spring weather!  Try setting aside time blocks per subject – even if you set a timer to do so.  Often the most effective studying is done in short, intense stretches.  And at the risk of sounding like your mother, put away your phone!  We are all guilty of being sidetracked by social media and texts but it’s at the expense of our focus.  If you took one hour and broke it down into 4, 15-minute segments PHONE FREE, your studies would thank you.  There is a direct correlation between the distraction of the phone and the quality of the work produced.  If there is one take-away here, let it be this – don’t multi-task your studies and your social media.

Senior spring is incredibly exciting; you’ll be attending Accepted Student Days and eventually making your final decision.  But May 1 is three months away, and it’s not time to let up yet.  Six months from now you will be a college freshman, so enjoy that achievement but remember that right now, high school still requires your attention, and summer is right around the corner!