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  • Writer's pictureNancy Adis

3 Must-Do’s for all NYS High School Rising Juniors & Seniors

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

(Especially if you hate getting asked “What do you want to do after you Graduate?”)

The #1 MUST-DO toward making decisions about life after high school is to put intentional “time in” to exploring your own career interests. It’s time consuming, yes. And you are busy being a high schooler, yes. But before you know it, it will be Senior Year, and everyone will be asking you what your plans are for after-graduation. How do you decide?

It all begins with doing some soul searching to think about what you’re good at and what you’re interested in. Trying to learn about potential careers and the best ways to prepare yourself for those careers can take time. There are many resources available, but the important thing is for you to make the time to think about and plan for your future. You can use Naviance and College Board, take a Myers-Briggs personality test, and ask your favorite teachers what they think your skills are best matched for in a future job. There are a variety on-line quizzes and tools and here is a quick and fun one from Marquette University. At Confident College Planning we meet with our clients regularly to help them explore what kind of life they envision for themselves and to keep them on track with action items such as these.

This exploration is a very important step in understanding your strengths and weaknesses, knowing what interests you for the future, and setting goals for post-high school achievements. In many cases, the next step may be to continue your formal education. But the choices are actually many: technical programs, trade schools, an associates, bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree, or going straight into the workforce. Or perhaps you want to take a gap year before heading off to a college program. Confident College Planning can guide you through this planning process and help you with the necessary research. This planning process will save you time and money as you go forward – sometimes saving you years of time and tens of thousands of dollars spent going down misdirected paths. The work you put in now will help you to become more successful in achieving your goals.

My number one strategy is to help you see the value of putting the time in now while you are in high school to get you started in the best direction.

#2 MUST-DO for all New York State high schoolers is to consider enrolling in the free Career Planning & Decision Making course at Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) this summer.

Here are 4 reasons why:

1. The class will help you commit to making time for “examining the components of career planning” as there will be weekly activities and expectations. This class can nudge you along to help you select a major and set future career goals.

2. It’s FREE. Yep, for the second summer in a row HVCC is offering their “College in the High School” program with online courses for students going into their Junior or Senior year at any New York State high school at no cost for tuition, books, or fees.

3. You earn 3 college credits for the course.

4. And finally, this is not ONLY for college-bound students. Perhaps college really isn’t your desired path. This class can help you explore that.

So, yes, here is your chance to earn college credits at no cost and there are many other classes offered as well.

#3 MUST-DO: At least consider taking an additional class from HVCC (beyond Career Planning & Decision Making), if there are any others that pique your interest. There are classes offered during different weeks of the summer and in different formats – online (on your own schedule), remote (virtually at set times), and in-person for those who can travel to the HVCC campus in Troy, NY.

Why is this a good idea?

1. It’s FREE. You can take up to 8 credits at no cost this summer due to a college scholarship. (Normally these College in the High School classes are at the discounted rate of $66 per credit.)

2. You can explore an area of interest to see if it might be an area you would like to study in the future… HVCC has summer courses in nutrition, economics, criminal law, electricity, government, pc hardware, business, engineering, chemistry, art history, fashion… and more! This is one way to “test out” a career interest or potential college major.

3. You can strengthen your academic skills so that you will be better prepared to do well in your next year of high school as well as in college. Taking a Math or English course over the summer can improve your skills dramatically.

4. You will earn college credits that will transfer to SUNY colleges (and may transfer to other colleges). Transferring credits into the college you attend after high school has many benefits:

  • It can save you money by potentially shortening the number of semesters you need to attend college, when those transfer credits help you fulfil general education credits or count as elective credits toward the total credits needed for your degree.

  • Transferring in credits can provide you with more flexibility by allowing you to create your class schedule earlier than other students with fewer credits, and potentially allowing you to meet requirements which means you can take a lighter load of classes or have a semester to study abroad.

5. It can help you on your admissions application. If you get good grades and submit your HVCC transcript to your prospective colleges, it would be a positive addition to your application. It will highlight you as a dedicated student who was willing to give up a summer of fun for a summer of learning! (If you do not get good grades, you can just not send the HVCC transcript/not mention it in your application. However, if you are planning to attend HVCC your grades will be part of your overall GPA.)

6. You can get a feel for college-level work and the format of online or in-person classes (depending on which you choose.) These courses are only for high school students but are taught by HVCC faculty.

I hope I have convinced you to take advantage of this great opportunity at HVCC this summer. Trust me, I receive no kick-back or referral fee from HVCC, but I do feel strongly that this a great opportunity that I’d hate for my clients (or anyone else, really) to miss out on. If you would like to review HVCC’s course offerings and which might help you best, I am offering a limited number of free 30-minute consultations, specific to this opportunity. Click here to book an appointment with me. I would expect that these free summer courses will be a popular option for many rising Juniors and Seniors, so I encourage you to sign up before the classes fill up!

These are just three of my (many, many) recommendations to help New York State high schoolers prepare themselves for life after graduation, and potentially choosing a college. Confident College Planning works with clients to offer many more strategies for planning out your most successful path. We are experts at helping you learn more about the public and private colleges in New York State, and we tailor our services for each client’s individual wants and needs. Please contact me at to arrange for a private meeting.

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