• Extracurricular Activities for Budding Environmental Science Majors

    While many students are joining the math league or the French club, others might not have a school club to reflect their interests or passions. For students interested in environmental science, the choices may seem limited. Of course you could compete in the science fair or join Science Olympiad, but those options might not be focused on the specific types of science that interest you.

    If you’re interested in environmental science and you’re looking for ways to pursue your interest while also establishing it as a serious extracurricular activity, this post is for you. Here, we’ll outline seven extracurricular options for the environmental scientists of tomorrow, ranging from volunteer work to independent studies to research projects. Keep reading to jumpstart your future in environmental science.

  • Should I Take Out Private Student Loans?

    As we’ve previously discussed in our post Borrowing for Beginners: An Introduction to Student Loans, student loans are an option that many students and their families turn to for help in financing a college education. They may not reduce the cost of college, but they do allow you to spread it out over time, which can often make the expense more manageable.

    Private student loans are popular and well-advertised, and many students are potentially interested in them. However, they’re not the best choice for everyone. If you’re considering taking on this very serious financial commitment, you’ll first need to make sure you thoroughly understand what you’re agreeing to.

    Read on to learn more about what it means to take out a private student loan, the risks that come with these loans, and how to figure out if private student loans are a wise option for you.

  • The Surprising Benefits of Being Mentored by Both Younger and Older Students

    A quick glance back through history reveals the power of a strong mentor in shaping the future. Consider this: Frank Sinatra was mentored by Bing Crosby. Vincent Van Gogh was mentored by Paul Gauguin. Henry David Thoreau was mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Even rapper Drake has a mentor: Lil Wayne.

    While most people consider a mentor someone who is older than they are, this isn’t necessarily always true. It’s important to consider the unique benefits of both older and younger mentors. Everyone around you has something to offer, and when you think about the strengths, experiences, and insights that someone can provide, that value is rarely tied to numerical age.

  • Standardized Essay Blues: What to Do When Your Mind Goes Totally Blank

    You never know exactly what essay questions will appear on your standardized tests. Especially on tests like the SAT and ACT, which aren’t even subject-specific, it’s entirely possible that you’ll encounter an essay question on a topic that’s totally unfamiliar to you, and you’ll have no choice but to take your best shot at creating a coherent essay out of your limited knowledge.

    In this post, we’ll go over how to prepare for the essays you’ll find on your standardized tests in a way that will allow you to approach any topic, no matter how unexpected, with poise. We’ll also cover what to do if you find yourself panicking over a less-than-ideal topic on test day, and how you can avoid letting that obstacle derail your score.

  • Throwback Thursday: What the Common Application Looked Like 10 Years Ago

    The Common Application, which started in 1975 with just 15 schools, is now the most utilized college application format in the country. Last year, more than 3.5 million students used the application to apply for college.

    Part of what has made the Common Application such a successful and widely accepted college admissions tool is the way that it has adapted over time to reflect changing standards and values in college admissions. Though many of the fine details or specifics have shifted, the Common Application itself remains wholly the same in its intent and spirit. At its core, the Common Application continues to reflect students as individuals, in and out of the classroom, offering the opportunity to highlight achievements and accomplishments both traditional and less conventional.

  • Going Beyond Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic: How to Leverage Your Learning Types

    Though it used to be believed that each student learned best within a single, distinct learning style, it is now commonly accepted that most people actually learn best through a variety of different learning styles and that some people may learn different types of information best through different types of instructional approaches. As such, engaging the brain through different approaches and experimenting with numerous learning styles, rather than focusing on a single one, is nearly always the most effective approach to learning.

    In this post, we’ll outline the different styles of learning as defined by most theories, describing the different ways in which people commonly take in and reinforce new information. Then, we’ll move beyond the traditional definitions and discuss how you can capitalize on all learning styles by employing them each in different ways during the course of your studies. To learn more about how you can maximize your potential through a variety of learning styles, read on.

  • A Comprehensive Guide to Email Etiquette for High Schoolers

    Why would a high school student need to send a professional email?   As you get closer to beginning the college application process and entering the job market, you will find yourself contacting working adults in a professional context quite often. Whether it’s your teachers, a counselor, or an admissions officer at your top choice […]

  • Don’t Visit Any Colleges Without Reading This First

    As we’ve discussed previously on the CollegeVine blog, high school students who are preparing for college application season and have the means to do so should make an effort to visit at least one of the colleges they’re considering. There’s nothing quite like being on campus to let you know if that school will make a worthwhile addition to your college list. Your visit will be even better if you do some research and make a plan in advance in order to make the most of your time on campus.

    Read on for the most important information you need to know in order to map out college visits that give you a chance to really get to know your colleges of choice.

  • A Day in the Life of a Harvard Student

    If you’re a current high school student in the United States—and even if you’re not—you’ve almost certainly heard of Harvard University. It’s not only the oldest college in the United States (founded in 1636) and a tourist destination in its own right, it’s also one of the most prestigious and recognizable institutions of higher education in the entire world.

    On the CollegeVine blog, we’ve spent some time discussing what to do if you’re interested in attending Harvard, including every detail of its application. Here, however, we’re going to spend some time talking about what comes after admissions season—namely, what it’s like to actually be a Harvard student on a day-to-day basis.

    Read on for our breakdown of what a typical day might look like for a Harvard student, from residential life to schoolwork to the activities that will fill your spare time.

  • 5 Life Lessons You Can Learn from Entrepreneurs

    Entrepreneurship is a quality that is very attractive to colleges. Admissions committees like to see that you can think outside the box, be creative, and make your own opportunities. It’s a skill that’s particularly relevant right now: many products and services you use came from startups or began that way.

    Drew Houston, the founder and CEO of Dropbox, learned about sales and management in his fraternity at MIT and met his cofounder, Arash Ferdowsi. It was at MIT where, frustrated by his inability to do work away from his computer, he came up with the idea for Dropbox. Houston is just one example of how having the right attitude and commitment to learning and bettering the world paid off—not just for him, but also for the millions of people who continue to use Dropbox every day.