Going into your senior year can be stressful, but it becomes a whole lot easier if you’re prepared for the road ahead. Preparing will make your senior year much more enjoyable and decrease the work you’ll need to do in addition to your schoolwork, stopping you from getting overwhelmed. Utilize the summer between your junior and senior year in high school to prepare for your college search and the college admissions process. Start planning out your summer now so that you can use the time to your advantage.Here are some recommendations on what you can do to maximize your summer potential: 1. Take a standardized test preparation course, if you haven’t already. 2. Take or retake the ACT and/or SAT.Not sure which test is right for you? Learn more about choosing which standardized test to take. 3. Narrow down the list of your college choices.Realistically consider price, location, whether or not they offer your potential fields of study and campus life. 4. Schedule campus visits, if able. Don’t worry - if you can’t visit in person, you can still prepare! Research potential schools in depth, utilizing their web sites and asking their admissions department any questions you may have that aren't answered on the web site. Remember, the admissions department is there to help you with any questions you may have that will help with your decision making process. 5. Ask for letters of recommendation. Ask teachers, coaches and counselors if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation to use within the application process. 6. Start working on your college application essays. Keep in mind that the way you, your teachers and your parents read essays may differ from what college admissions officers are looking for. Make sure your essay stands apart from the pile by finding out what colleges want. Keep in mind that you can balance your college preparation and still enjoy your summer. But, if you prepare early, you’ll be able to enjoy your summer and your senior year, too!