By: Ying Ying Yang
As June approaches, another school year is about to end. While current juniors will continue a long journey of college applications next year, current sophomores are also going to start this journey. Last year, as a sophomore, I often wondered what junior forum was all about. Now, as it ends with my junior year, I thought I would do a quick recap on this semester long experience for sophomores and probably over achieving freshmen.
Junior forum starts during the second semester of the junior year and replaces wellness. It meets once a cycle and marks the beginning of the college process. Each student is paired up with one of the three counselors for individual meetings, but the forum is taught by a rotation of all the counselors. Don’t worry, they do a good job to ease you into the process that you end up with feeling hardly any pressure. The forum covers the basics from learning how to research colleges to planning a visit to writing the common app essay. At the beginning to each forum, the counselor would hand out an agenda to help you keep track of the topics they are covering today and future deadlines.
Speaking of deadlines, there are a few assignments along the way. Most of them are questionnaires that help the college counselors to know you and what you want. They are straight forward, and you always have weeks before having to turn them it, so don’t stress out. Make sure to answer them honestly and truly because the most important part of the process is staying true to yourself. Your parent or guardian is also required to fill in one questionnaire to schedule one family meeting when you, your counselor and your family to talk about the college process. This is also the time when your counselor will give you your own, personal exploratory college list. It has about 20 to 30 colleges for you to research, figuring out what you like and what you don’t. Remember, you are the one choosing colleges, so always feel free to add or remove any colleges according your own wish.
Letter of recommendation is another big part of the application, and you are required to ask one humanity/foreign language and one math/science teacher to write your rec. If you are indecisive, simply keep in mind that the teacher that allows you to express the most and be your genuine self in class probably knows you the best. Also make sure to ask them within the deadline, which is May this year.
As a rule of thumb, just don’t procrastinate. Turn in the assignments on time and do the research your college counselors ask you to, then you are guaranteed a smooth and comfortable experience in junior forum. Can’t wait to see you all in college office next year!