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College Admissions: College-Related New Year Resolutions

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Since it’s the time of year that many people make resolutions, I hereby offer some college-related resolutions for your consideration.

For Parents of Seniors

  • I will seek out frequent opportunities to do something fun with my senior.
  • I will not ask my senior a college-related question more than once per week.
  • I will be equally enthusiastic about every college acceptance.
  • I will not gloat to other parents about my child’s college acceptances or complain about denials.
  • I will not ask any other parents about their child’s college acceptances or rejections.
  • I will not speculate about why admissions teams made the decisions they did.
  • I will allow my senior to make important choices and trust his or her judgment.
  • I will allow my senior to fail and learn from her or his mistakes.
  • I will make clear agreements with my senior before he or she ventures off to college.


For Seniors

  • I will stay focused on my academics for both semesters of senior year.
  • Once I hit the final “submit” button on my applications, I will celebrate. 
  • I will not spend January through March obsessing over admissions outcomes I cannot control.
  • I will trust the process and believe that I will end up at the perfect college for me.
  • I will be truly happy for my friends’ college acceptances.
  • I will enjoy senior year and focus on friends and family.
  • I will appreciate my parents even if they are imperfect.
  • I will make the most of my college experience wherever I end up.


For Juniors

  • I will put forth my best academic efforts this year.
  • I will build relationships with at least two junior-year teachers so they know me when I request recommendation letters.
  • I will take time to interact with my high school’s college counselor.
  • I will complete at least three job shadows to explore potential careers and college majors.
  • I will tour at least three colleges by May 2015.
  • I will prepare for and complete all my standardized testing (SAT or ACT) by June 2015.
  • I will increase my leadership in at least one extracurricular activity.
  • I will plan early to use my summer well.
  • I will work on my college application essays over the summer.


For Freshmen and Sophomores

  • I will learn how I learn best and do more of what works.
  • I will take the hardest classes I can handle without sacrificing sleep or sanity (from my favorite blogger Kevin McMullen at Collegewise).
  • I will ask for academic help whenever I need it.
  • I will not use social media while doing homework or studying.
  • I will explore my interests in and out of school.
  • I will stick with my favorite extracurricular activity all four years of high school.
  • I will use my summer to try something new and increase my skill in something I already love doing.
  • I will not make decisions based on what I think will impress some college


Best wishes for a fabulous 2015 to all my readers!

Jodi Walder is the founder of Portland, Oregon-based College Admission Coach LLC, which helps students identify and gain admission to right-fit schools where they will thrive academically and personally. Contact her at [email protected].


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