In all aspects of life, balance is the key. A little too much free time, and some grow restless… a little too much to do, and some feel overwhelmed. In applying this principle to the case of thriving academically while preparing to head off to college, the task may seem an inordinate anguish. Perhaps, impossible to battle. But, luckily, amidst all the chaos, stress, and deadlines-to-be-met, lies some saving grace.
Ms. Tracy Stockard, Director of College Counseling, simplified the ins and outs of the college process and experience saying, “It’s never too early [to start looking for colleges].” Even if that means taking an impromptu tour of a local college, Stockard urges underclassmen and upperclassmen alike to explore their interests, get involved, and become active participants in clubs. Stockard speaks about the importance of academics adding, “Transcripts are number one, most important in the college admissions process. Always do a great job. Never slack.”
Stockard notes, “It is the expectation that students take full advantage of the given opportunities.” This year alone, Gilmour will have hosted 130 college admission representatives, held free SAT and ACT preparatory courses, and organized a multitude of programs in which students may become more familiarized with the college application process.
“Always do a great job. never slack.” —Tracy Stockard
In regards to the time management that factors into achieving academic success and properly preparing for college, Linda Wheeler, Manager of the Upper School notes, “Time management is key to your success academically [and throughout life]… in my experience, the more my kids were involved, the better their time management [skills] became.”
Wheeler advises students to ask themselves where they plan to be in about five years. Outlining a foundation for the future is important. She proposes fostering bonds with college counselors who can aid in the search for the quintessential college of choice.
In dealing with the stress of developing future plans, Dominic Joseph (`19) said, “There’s a lot to worry about, but Gilmour makes colleges accessible. At other schools, where [students] may not have the multitude of resources to achieve success, [college admissions might seem daunting, but Gilmour makes the process much more manageable.” Further, Joseph adds, “[Schoolwork] will only become overwhelming if you allow it to get to that point. Stay on top of assignments, but make time for what you love, and maintain a healthy balance [between school, athletics, and extracurriculars]. There’s no way to stay stress free— focus on school, but don’t forget to have fun.”