New Year’s Resolutions:  Plan now for success later!                             by Patti Brugman

         Happy New Year!  It’s time to make a few resolutions. As a high school senior, you might be feeling anxious.  As a high school junior, you might be feeling, well, in denial.  Maybe it’s a good time to swap places.  The senior can remember the feeling a year ago, before the process really got under way, and the junior can start feeling self-motivated like the senior has been for the last six to nine months.  The important thing here is to feel the right level of energy, not too much, not too little.

         So much of what we want in life comes when we’re ready for it.  For this New Year, I suggest that you make resolutions that will get you ready for where you want to go.  Since you’re reading this blog, I hope that part of what you want out of life is to go to college—to learn.  I’m being sneaky here, because I think that learning is both fun and hard work.  You can do the work if you want to learn. 

         My first resolution for you is that you sit comfortably in a soft, cushy chair and imagine doing a really hard job.  You’ve got the pillowy softness at your back, as you think of digging ditches or painting a house on a hot day.  Have you ever tried manual labor?  It’s very good for both your spirit and your academics.  Resolution #1: This year, do at least one hard, sweaty job that really needs doing.  (Ask your parents what they need and watch their smiles appear!)

         For your second New Year’s resolution, I suggest that you analyze your financial situation.  You may have everything worked out with your parents when it comes to paying for college.  But it’s amazing how many students look forward to applications and acceptances without really looking at the price tag.  At Perfect Fit, we help families embrace that reality and create a college list takes family finances into account.  You, as a future college student, can do a bit of the footwork on your own.  What is your net worth?  Check out your bank account, any college savings that have been set aside for you, and the amount that your family may already be paying for your education, tutoring, or special activities.  Add it up and consider. Now is the time to take part in the fiscal responsibility of your education and your life.

         For your third resolution, (and last from me), I suggest that you take a good look at your transcript.  Pull out the file, and really look at the person you see there.  Now is the time to assess your strengths and weaknesses, much the same way that bosses write performance reviews for their employees.  To do well in life, you need to know what you’re good at—not just what you’d like to be good at.  If you need a tutor, now is the time, whether you’re a junior or a senior.  Juniors are trying to present themselves in the strongest possible light.  Seniors are trying to ready themselves for some serious college work soon.  Be strong, be real, and be honest with yourself.  You’ll be so much happier for it!

         We wish all of our hard-working, and (even our could-be-working-harder students) out there a very Happy New Year!  Your college acceptance will be in the mail soon!