Wellness Matters- Managing timelines to minimize stress
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Wellness Matters- Managing timelines to minimize stress

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Insights & Information
  • Published on 17 May 2024

Applying to US colleges is an exciting yet challenging journey,  for students balancing academic excellence, extracurriculars, internships, volunteer work, SAT and AP preparation, along with personal projects. The pressure can be overwhelming, but with strategic planning and time management, this journey can be navigated smoothly. Here's a practical guide to help manage stress and maintain mental wellness throughout this process.

Understanding the Components

Before diving into the timeline, it's crucial to understand the key components of the US college application:

  1. Academics: Consistent performance in school and scoring well in AP exams.
  2. Standardised Tests: SAT or ACT scores are crucial for most US colleges.
  3. Extracurricular Activities: Participation in sports, arts, clubs, and other interests.
  4. Internships and Volunteer Work: Gaining experience and showcasing commitment to community service.
  5. Personal Projects: Any significant individual projects that highlight passion and initiative.

Strategic Planning and Time Management

Class 9

  • Focus: Laying a strong academic foundation 
  • Exploration: Exploring a broad range of interests and adjacent areas to establish your ‘calling.’
  • Academics: Aim for high grades and identify subjects you are passionate about.
  • Extracurriculars: Join clubs and start participating in activities. Explore various options to understand your interests.
  • Volunteering: Start small with local community service projects.
  • Self-care: Develop healthy study habits and make time for hobbies and relaxation.

Class 10

  • Focus: Building on interests and starting standardised test prep.
  • Academics: Maintain good grades and consider taking AP courses if available.
  • Extracurriculars: Take on leadership roles or more responsibility in your chosen activities.
  • Internships/Volunteering: Look for summer internships or more significant volunteer opportunities.
  • SAT/ACT Prep: Begin light preparation, focusing on familiarising yourself with the test formats.
  • Self-care: Ensure a balance between academics, activities, and personal time. Practice stress-relief techniques like meditation or yoga.

Class 11

  • Focus: Intensive test preparation, major coursework, and deepening extracurricular involvement.
  • Academics: Take challenging courses and aim for high scores in AP exams.
  • Extracurriculars: Continue leadership roles and make meaningful contributions.
  • Internships/Volunteering: Seek out substantial roles that align with your interests and potential career paths.
  • SAT/ACT Prep: Intensive preparation. Plan to take the SAT/ACT .
  • Self-care: Manage stress through regular exercise, adequate sleep, and maintaining a social life.

Class 12

  • Focus: Finalising applications, acing remaining exams, and maintaining grades.
  • Academics: Keep up the good work to ensure your grades don’t slip.
  • Extracurriculars: Highlight key achievements in your college applications.
  • Internships/Volunteering: Continue your involvement and include these experiences in your applications.
  • SAT/ACT: Retake if necessary in early Class 12.
  • College Applications: Start early, write and revise essays, and meet all deadlines.
  • Self-care: Prioritise mental health by taking breaks, talking to friends and family, and seeking support when needed.


Sample Timeline

Class 9

  • March-April:
    • Start building your academic foundation
    • Join clubs and start participating in activities
  • May-July (Summer Break):
    • Engage in summer reading and explore interests
    • Explore interest areas through a platform like ACadru
    • Enjoy hobbies and family time
  • August - September  
    • Focus on school curriculum
    • Keep honing your skills at a steady pace
  • September-December:
    • Maintain high grades
    • Continue participation in extracurricular activities
  • January-March:
    • Begin small projects
    • Develop healthy study habits

Class 10

  • March-May:
    • Maintain good grades
  • June-August (Summer Break):
    • Look for summer internships or summer projects
    • Engage in volunteer work
  • September-December:
    • Take on leadership roles in activities
  • January-March:
    • Start preparation for AP courses
    • Balance academics and extracurricular activities

Class 11

  • March-May:
    • Maintain high academic performance
  • June-August (Summer Break):
    • Engage in meaningful internships or volunteer projects
    • Start drafting college application essays
  • September-December:
    • Register and prepare for SAT/ACT tests
    • Deepen involvement in extracurricular activities
  • January-March:
    • Prepare for AP exams
    • Continue with significant volunteer work

Class 12

  • March-May:
    • Finalise SAT/ACT prep if needed
    • Take your APs
    • Maintain high grades
  • June-August (Summer Break):
    • Finalise and refine college application essays
    • Seek our LORs
    • Take a break to recharge
  • September-December:
    • Submit college applications
    • Ensure all application deadlines are met
  • January-May:
    • Prepare for final AP exams
    • Reflect on achievements and make college decisions

Key Tips for Maintaining Mental Wellness

  • Balance: Ensure a healthy balance between studies, extracurriculars, and personal time.
  • Self-care: Regular exercise, hobbies, adequate sleep, and social activities.
  • Support: Seek help from family, friends, or counsellors when needed.
  • Planning: Stay organised with a clear timeline and set realistic goals.


Final Thoughts

Balancing academics, extracurriculars, standardised tests, internships, and volunteer work requires meticulous planning and prioritisation. However, equally important is the need to maintain mental wellness. Ensure regular breaks, engage in activities you enjoy, and seek support from friends, family, or counsellors when needed. By following this structured approach and keeping mental wellness at the forefront, the journey to US college admissions can be a fulfilling and manageable experience.