Setting Goals for the Spring Semester

Whether this is your second semester of high school or your last, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the next five months of classes. Even if you feel like you’ve finally hit your stride after midterm exams and winter break, you can still push yourself and find new ways of expressing yourself and developing your skills. Here’s how to get started:

Underclassmen

Explore
Now that you’ve settled into the rhythm of high school, it’s time to start branching out. Try new clubs, volunteer opportunities, or jobs. Figure out how you want to channel your passions, both in and out of school.

Get ready for summer
How do you want to spend your time once classes are out? If you want to find a job, internship, or long-term volunteering position, start looking sooner rather than later. A good goal is to have your summer plans set by Spring Break.

Build connections
When it comes to the college search, having a mentor to guide you can keep you on track. But you can’t wait until fall of senior year to look for guidance. Reach out to teachers, counselors, or administrators who you feel close to. The better they know you, the more they can help you as you go through the college search and application process.

Juniors

Make a travel plan
Spring break of junior year is a great time to start college visits. But instead of diving in headfirst, make a list of schools you’re interested in, and do some research. Some colleges close during spring break and don’t allow visitors, while others have special spring break programming. Figure out ahead of time where you can visit when, and start connecting the dots.

Lock in your summer plans
While it feels great to relax during the summer, colleges appreciate students who push themselves even when school isn’t in session. Even if you don’t commit too many hours, find a job, internship, or volunteering opportunity that can keep you busy for a few days a week. Volunteer at a food bank. Tutor your neighbors. Work as a lifeguard. Find little  ways to show off your drive without giving up your entire break.

Take stock
Senior year can be a lot of stress. Do you like your extracurricular activities? Are you doing too many things at once? Keep in mind that, on top of classes, clubs, and sports, you’ll need additional time during senior year to fill out applications and find scholarships. Don’t over-commit and burn yourself out.

Seniors

You did it! Applications are in and you just have to wait for decisions to come out. But there are still a few things to keep in mind.

Don’t slack off
Colleges typically ask for a final semester transcript to make sure you didn’t just coast through the end of high school. Keep putting in the effort, especially if you’re taking AP classes. A good score on your AP or IB tests can help you skip core courses in college and save money.

Apply for scholarships
Speaking of money, now is the perfect time to look for scholarships. CollegeFindMe is a great place to start, and many outside organizations have scholarship deadlines throughout the spring.

Enjoy yourself
Regardless of the stress, high school is a great time when you get to see your friends every day and do the things you love. College will be very different, and that’s not a bad thing, but be sure to appreciate the unique opportunities you have in high school.