Jake Perl­mut­ter

BAL­ANC­ING THE DE­MANDS OF A RIS­ING SE­NIOR

201 Family - - CONTENTS -

High school stu­dents, like me, face a pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion in the sum­mer be­tween ju­nior and se­nior year; they of­ten must choose be­tween re­lax­ation and ré­sumé build­ing.

Ju­nior year is gen­er­ally ac­cepted as the “most stress­ful year of high school.” Ide­ally, stu­dents could use the sum­mer fol­low­ing ju­nior year as a re­cov­ery pe­riod, as an op­por­tu­nity to re­lax af­ter months of mad­ness and be­fore a se­nior year that prom­ises much of the same. But this fi­nal sum­mer be­fore high school grad­u­a­tion also rep­re­sents the stu­dent’s last chance to bol­ster their ré­sumé for an ap­pli­ca­tion process that is grow­ing in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive and de­mand­ing of im­pres­sive ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties.

My sum­mer will no doubt fea­ture some re­lax­ation. Some de­gree of re­cu­per­at­ing is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary af­ter ju­nior year in high school, the year when col­lege angst be­gins (per­haps pre­ma­turely) and stress reaches its peak. Ju­nior year is a swirl of tests and assess­ments. Stu­dents must bal­ance their rig­or­ous and abun­dant school­work with SAT and ACT prepa­ra­tion and AP tests, all while ad­vi­sors re­mind us why we are un­der-qual­i­fied for the col­leges we are in­ter­ested in. Eleventh grade re­ally is rife with ten­sion, and the post-ju­nior sum­mer rep­re­sents a wel­come respite from the fret­ful school year.

Like ev­ery other high school ju­nior, how­ever, I am anx­ious about the im­mi­nent col­lege ap­pli­ca­tion process, when my grades and scores, along with my ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ré­sumé, will be put un­der the prover­bial mi­cro­scope. The re­lax­ation can only go so far.

I will be tour­ing col­leges with my wellinten­tioned but overzeal­ous par­ents to start the sum­mer. Vis­it­ing a school is the best way to gauge whether it is a good fit. And with the un­cer­tainty of col­lege ad­mis­sions, I will most likely be ap­ply­ing to a lot of schools, and will thus be vis­it­ing a lot of col­leges. My col­lege tour this sum­mer be­gins in the North­east. Then my par­ents and I will head to the Mid­west, where we will look at more schools in the seem­ingly end­less col­lege search process. And that is only week one.

I will also be play­ing lacrosse with my club team for the first few weeks of the sum­mer. For me, play­ing lacrosse is pure joy. Although I will be at­tend­ing fre­quent prac­tices and trav­el­ing to week­end tour­na­ments, all of which be­gin be­fore school even ends, I wouldn’t miss this op­por­tu­nity for any­thing. The friend­ships made and lessons learned over the past few years have been in­valu­able. Par­tic­i­pa­tion in the col­lege re­cruit­ment process can add a stress­ful com­po­nent to the game, but I try my best to keep that in per­spec­tive. When I was in sev­enth grade, I emailed a col­lege coach and told him about my as­pi­ra­tions to play col­le­giate lacrosse. I asked him for ad­vice. He told me to keep hav­ing fun with the sport, and that is what I have done.

And, of course, I must also cover the ex­tracur­ric­u­lar por­tion of the sum­mer. I am very in­ter­ested in study­ing fi­nance in col­lege, and I think it’s im­por­tant to get ex­pe­ri­ence in the fi­nan­cial realm be­fore re­ally de­cid­ing if that is what I want to study in col­lege and beyond. I was for­tu­nate enough to pro­cure an in­tern­ship at a fi­nan­cial firm in New York City, where I will be as­sist­ing and ob­serv­ing the work of the firm. It is a great op­por­tu­nity to gain work ex­pe­ri­ence and should also help me de­ter­mine if fi­nance is re­ally the path I want to pur­sue in col­lege. The in­tern­ship is a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity that I am look­ing for­ward to, but it will cer­tainly be rig­or­ous. The com­mute to and from New York City on top of the eight-hour work­day will be a large time com­mit­ment. I fear I might have to wake up be­fore 7 a.m., which is not an easy feat for a high school stu­dent.

Fi­nally, in Au­gust, I will truly be re­lax­ing with my fam­ily on our end-of-sum­mer va­ca­tion to Maine. I will hike and en­joy spec­tac­u­lar views. I will breathe fresh air and eat amaz­ing meals, all the while know­ing that col­lege ap­pli­ca­tions are wait­ing upon my re­turn home.

The sum­mer in be­tween ju­nior and se­nior year of high school is all about bal­ance. For me that means bal­anc­ing ath­let­ics and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar in­ter­ests with re­vi­tal­iza­tion af­ter a tax­ing ju­nior year, and be­fore an even more de­mand­ing se­nior year. The post-ju­nior sum­mer is some­thing of a para­dox, but it is im­por­tant to stay calm and bal­anced in prepa­ra­tion for a se­nior first se­mes­ter that prom­ises to be perdi­tion.

JAKE PERL­MUT­TER

Ris­ing Se­nior

North­ern Val­ley Re­gional High School,

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