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Summer tasks (The Ant and the Grasshopper)

Okay - how many of you remember the old fable of the ant and the grasshopper? The ant worked hard during the summer; planted, harvested and stored food and fuel to carry him through the winter. His acquaintance, the grasshopper, spent his summer in carefree, pursuits - playing and lollygagging around. When the weather turned cold, the ant was all set, but the grasshopper was seriously bummed that he was cold and had nothing to eat.

Don't be the grasshopper.

Students: allow yourselves downtime during the summer, sure! But do spend time preparing for the fall ahead...especially you rising seniors. The work you do over the summer will stand you in good stead as the fall descends with heavy-duty classes and other school/social/sports/club obligations...not to mention college applications - which are very time-consuming!

Your summer "to do" list should include continuing to research colleges (moving towards creation of your final college list), looking at and starting to fill in college applications (the Common App goes live August 1, as does the UC application) and possibly most importantly, working on your essays. A great college essay does not write itself and does not materialize overnight. Spend time thinking about the topic (and once chosen, answer the prompt!) and commit to editing several drafts. And know that you will have many essays to write, depending on where you apply, as many/most private colleges have supplemental essays. The prompts are available now, so look them up and start writing!

There are a number of online resources to assist you with your of my favorites is The College Essay Guy ( and another good one is Essay Hell (

Please don't spend the summer lollygagging. Don't be the grasshopper - you'll be so happy that you were the ant when the fall arrives.

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