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Here you are, a little over a month into 2016. Did you make some resolutions this year? I’m not much of a “resolution” person when it comes to a new year. I like to have goals, lists, and “resolutions” year round. I don’t always get them accomplished but my goals seem to help motivate me.  I like the first definition the Oxford dictionary online gives for resolution: “a firm decision to do or not to do something”. With this definition I can say that I am creating resolutions daily and even accomplishing some of them. What about you? Have you started and then given up on any of your new year’s resolutions?

As a high school senior or transfer your resolution may have been motivated by your college search. Getting accepted to that dream school will require some work on your part, this won’t happen on its own. You’ll have to make a firm decision to get good grades, meet with a counselor to take the right classes and take the SAT or ACT (maybe more than once). You are going to have to take steps to achieve your goal.

Can I offer some suggestions for college resolutions that you can keep?

1)     Be Diligent: Make sure you are doing your part. Get your paperwork in (admissions and financial aid), return your admissions counselor’s call, search for (and fill out) any and all scholarship applications you think you might qualify for. Your college applications won’t complete themselves, you need to manage this process.  Check in with the school if you have questions about your status or next steps, they will be happy to hear from you.

2)     Be prayerful: God already knows where He wants you to attend school. It may be the same place you want to attend and it may not. Pray for His guidance and direction. Pray for His hand in the acceptance and financial aid process. Ask others (parents, family, friends) to pray with you. Surrendering your college decision to God may sound crazy but I promise He has your best interest (and His) at heart.

3)     Be prepared: Your plan A may not happen just the way you imagined. Be prepared for a few hiccups along the way. You might have thought that you would get into your first choice school and have 100% of your costs covered by scholarships, but what if it doesn’t turn out that way? Give yourself options; apply to multiple schools (there are still good schools out there that receive applications into the spring and summer), consider getting a job now to help cover college costs, and start researching how to get along with your college roommate, this is especially important if you’ve always had your own room.

If you have already given up on your resolutions, you are in good company. Forbes.com published an article saying that only 8% of people who make resolutions are successful. For most of you this will be a life changing year. If you are graduating high school and moving on for your first college experience or transferring to a new school, life is likely to change quite a bit. You need to focus on making choices that will give you an opportunity to succeed in the future.  Make a “firm decision” to follow through and complete (or start) your college applications and give yourself great college options to choose from.

 

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