For those of you in the midst of your first semester of high school Senior Year it probably seems as if your fantastic summer of ’07 with its internships and summer programs is a distant blur. The summer sun may be gone but now you’re sweating through mid-terms, trying to enjoy the accomplishment of your fall production, and every time you turn around someone asks, “How are you coming along on your college applications?” It can feel as though everyone’s on a time line.

Doesn’t it seem as though you just started high school and now in rapid motion you have to make the “life altering” decision of where to apply to college? Which is the right school or the right program? Do you declare a major or do you go into school as a liberal studies student and declare later? Can you convince your parents that your passion for theater or media is a real passion and that its pursuit will give you great happiness?

There are different roads for different people. You’ve been preparing for this for years…really years. Some of you have done all the “right things.” You’ve taken challenging courses, your grades and SAT scores are stellar, and you’ve participated in enrichment summer programs, perhaps even acquiring college credit. Some of you may still be finding your way academically. Maybe you don’t test well so that your test scores don’t reflect your real ability and potential. None of this really matters when you’re sitting alone at night looking at the mound of work and personal statements that are required to submit a college application. There is also the question of when to apply. Should you apply for early decision or early action?

Senior year can be a stressful and overwhelming experience when faced with all these decisions and then you add to it the requirement of an audition and interview or the need to present a portfolio of work. It is important to take a deep breath. Step back for a minute and let some perspective settle in. First of all, there is not only a place for each one of you but the right place. It is sometimes just a matter of changing your perspective and not listening to all the misinformation from friends and family members. It’s important to really do your homework and sometimes that means getting a “tutor.” There is wonderful guidance counseling available through organizations such as the Independent Educational Consultants. A few regular meetings with a counselor can put you and those applications on track pretty quickly and will give you a direction and a peace of mind.

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