2016 SHS graduates tossing their caps

It’s official -- junior year is over and you're now ready to prepare for your next journey. The Somerville High School Guidance Department staff is ready and eager to help you transition to college and career. The "Senior To Do List" below is intended to help you stay on target as you wrap up what we hope has been a fantastic high school experience, and get ready for the next chapter.

Senior To-Do List

  • Think about your post-secondary school options: What do you want to do when you graduate? College?  If so, where? Work? Career and Technical school?
  • Visit your guidance counselor early in the year, and as often as you need to. Talk to your guidance counselor about your post-high school plans and make sure you're on track to graduate. If you're planning on going to college, your counselor may be writing you a letter of recommendation, so get to know them!
  • See the college and career counselor: Learn more about your college and career options and what schools might be a good fit.
  • Get to know your teachers: Colleges expect recommendations from at least one teacher and a counselor, and many job applications ask for references. The better your teachers and counselor know you, the better they will be able to speak to your strengths and help you get in to the college of your choice!
  • Explore! There are numerous outstanding colleges available in the area. Visit a few to get a sense of each schools' climate, and to find out whether a particular college is for you. You'll be surprised at how different each college can be, and it's important that you know what type of college you might want to attend.
  • Keep your grades up and stay involved! Colleges want to see that you have worked hard and that you're able to manage your time well.
  • Keep your resume current. Resumes are great resources, whether you're heading off to college or exploring career options.
  • Take standardized tests: Some colleges require the SAT, ACT or TOEFL. Now is the time to continue taking the tests you’ll need for college.
  • Get started! Take control of your future by starting early! Generate your college list, start your essay, ask for a recommendations, and maintain/update your portfolio. This is your future. Take charge!

On the College Front

  • Make time to research and narrow down your list of potential colleges. You should have a list of about 6 to 8 colleges to which you would like to apply when you return to school the fall of your Senior year.
  • Visit schools that interest you. Every school is different. If you can, take a tour the school and visit the community to see if a college is a good fit for you.
  • Request applications from colleges to which you would like to apply. Many colleges will have make their application available online.
  • Personal Essay/Statement. Begin to work on your personal essay/statement. College applications will require this. The common application website is a great place to start.
  • Create a resume or e-portfolio of your high school and extracurricular activities and achievements. Boost your resume by getting involved over the summer: volunteer, take a class, and follow your passions.
  • Register. Register for fall SAT, and ACT Increase your scores by taking the time to study over the summer, before entering your senior year.
  • Figure out where you are in the college search process. Start by considering the following, and exploring these and other resources you may find on your own.

1) Have you wondered what career path you want to take? Here are a few resources as you explore college majors and careers.

Majors Search on The Princeton Review
Peterson's College Search
Collegeboard Major & Career Profiles
Rutgers College Majors and Career Information
Massachusetts Career Information System (MassCIS)

2) Where do you want to be as you continue your education and prepare for a career? Be sure to research cities where you might be considering applying for college, and plan to make site visits to your top choices.

3) What resources are available to help me decide which college is a good match for me? Here are a few college matching resources.

CollegeBoard MatchMaker
Peterson's College Search
MassCIS

Two Excellent Ways to Apply to College

Common Application is an application that is accepted by many private colleges. Those colleges that accept the Common Application are listed at the top of the application’s first page. There is a paper copy and a computer version of the Common Application. You can also download the common application or apply online by visiting http://www.commonapp.org/.

Advantage: Students can complete one application, but can use it for multiple colleges. Therefore, filling out the Common Application should save students time, energy, and effort. Remember: if using the paper copy version, always be certain to keep the original and send photocopies to the colleges.

College's own Application Each college should have their own application. Generally these are available on the Apply Disc; on the Internet; or can be sent to your home directly.

Advantage: Some schools, in particular state schools, accept only their own application.

If you are considering applying Early Decision or Early Action to a college and have not spoken to your counselor, you MUST see him/her as soon as possible.