I have always been good at filling up my free time with things to do. I was part of 17 different activities throughout high school so I’m used to being busy. I used to think I did a pretty good job managing my time. However, coming to Gannon was a whole new schedule to which I had to adjust.

This time last year, my school schedule was very intense, as I took many honors and AP courses. After school, cross country season would have just ended and musical rehearsals would have just started. I took voice lessons and played in the jazz and brass bands. I spent three nights a week in the dance studio and I had a part time job as a waitress at an Italian restaurant in my hometown. That may seem like a lot to many, but I made it work.

As a professional busy-body, here is my advice to the college bound student: create a pattern. I know from experience that the fifteen minutes that you get in homeroom is not enough time to do your physics homework for that day.

Don’t think that your grades don’t matter anymore just because you’ll be applying to colleges; they most certainly do. If you blow off your math class for the rest of the year because you think those grades don’t matter anymore, you’re going to be sad when you go to schedule and find you can’t take a lot of the major-oriented classes you want because you’ve got less credits to work with than everyone else. So even though you’re busy writing your essays and filling out applications, make time to study.

When I was going through the application process, I spent hours a day on Collegeboard.com searching for schools. Many of the essays that I submitted to schools were products of Honors English that I had revamped to suit specific schools. I had an electronic portfolio of 5 essays that I rotated through, rather than writing a new essay for every application I submitted. That definitely saved me some time as well as took away some of the fear associated with applying to colleges. Don’t be afraid to reuse your good work for your applications.

You may be overwhelmed thinking, “I can’t think about college and do all of my school work at the same time!” But you can. Flashcards are your friends. When you’re standing behind the counter of your minimum wage job, pull out those flashcards and study.

Nowadays, I still do a lot here at Gannon, but not quite as much. A lot more studying has to happen and sleep is a necessity. I get to be a part of this college experience because I made it through high school. Good luck and hope to see you next year!


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