Written by Cierra Harris, college adviser at J. F. Webb High School in Granville County
March is the time of year when seniors are starting to get acceptances and solidify the plans that we helped them map out in the beginning of the school year. Though their need for us is still present, it’s less demanding than what you would see in the fall months.
With their needs being less and less, it is usually around this time that you should really begin working with juniors in order to coach and prep them for the upcoming school year. Having juniors be as prepared as possible for senior year will prove to alleviate a huge burden on them, their families, counselors, and even yourself when it comes to fall of the next school year.
Although it is impossible to prepare for every event and every circumstance that may occur during senior year, introducing your juniors to topics such as match and fit, scholarship searches, and campus visits will definitely aid them in their search for the perfect post-graduate plans. To start the process of working with juniors this semester, I held a Junior Parent Night for my school in order to inform students and parents on the topics that I felt they needed to be aware of prior to going into senior year. Explaining how to find your perfect college, the general idea of federal aid, as well as how to maneuver sites such as CFNC.org were the main ideas of my presentations that evening. I wanted to make sure that I presented information that they could work with right now, but also not overwhelm them with an insane amount of information that would lead to fear or anxiety for the coming year.
Going slightly past the tip of the iceberg was my goal, and that is something that should be kept in mind while working with juniors. I feel as though the main theme of one’s work with juniors should be that senior year is exciting and filled with lots of opportunities, but be aware that it is filled with lots of responsibility as well. The earlier you prepare, the more fun and less stressful the time will be.