Moving onward to the high school juniors

February 1 is here and the deadline for applying to college is over. Good luck high school seniors! May all your dreams come true.

For the rest of us, it’s time to turn our attention to high school juniors who should start thinking about topic choices for their college applications next fall.

Juniors, the spring semester is a great time to brainstorm ideas. Get together with friends and talk about your interests. Think of things meaningful to you that can serve as a metaphor for a life experience. Do you practice a sport? What are you passionate about? Have you had a tragic loss that changed your life? Have you failed at something?

Write a paragraph about each topic you want to explore. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, just write down your thoughts. Then set it aside and let the ideas percolate. Return to your writings in a week or two and write some more. Go for broke — write more than one essay. Then, at some point, find a teacher, parent, older sibling or professional to help you establish a writing schedule, meet your deadlines, and finalize the essay before you return to school for your senior year. Take the pressure off of yourself by having your essay ready before things get too hectic. You won’t regret having it done before the college application deadline looms.

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