Why You Should Spend the Summer Volunteering

No Comments 06 June 2017

Volunteering is a way to become more desirable to colleges. Check out these reasons for why you should spend the summer volunteering.

Find a new passion. There’s an endless list of places you can volunteer at – hospitals, nonprofits and animal shelters, to name a few. If you are undecided about what major you intend to study, volunteering can help you find a field you’re interested in learning about. Try volunteering with multiple organizations to find what you are passionate about.

Work as a team. Teamwork is something that will be prevalent in the rest of your life. High school and college are full of team projects. Once you hit the workforce, you will likely be on team within your company. In all these instances, you must work together to complete a task. Volunteering can help you to gain that experience. Working with new people to complete a goal will show you how to play to your strengths to get the job done.

Build your resume. Volunteer experience is a great addition to your resume. This can set you apart from other college applicants. When a college sees an applicant that has spent time volunteering, they see an ambitious, caring and well-rounded person. Recruiters and admissions officers love to see this in a potential student at their college.

Win scholarships. Along with the positive feeling of helping others, volunteering could earn you money for college. Many scholarship providers list volunteer experience as a requirement. You can use the experience in scholarship essays. Keep your College Greenlight profile updated with your volunteer experiences so you can see the best scholarships for you.


Dorm Life on a Budget

No Comments 22 May 2017

Your dorm is your new home away from home. Making it reflect your style will help you ease into college. Decorating, however, can be expensive. Here are some ideas for decorating and enjoying your dorm room on a budget.

Buy Secondhand Things

Before you start shopping, talk to friends and family to see if they have anything they plan on giving away. The odds are that someone will have a mini fridge or an old futon to give you. This could end up saving you hundreds of dollars.

Hang Posters and Photos

Art doesn’t always have to be expensive. Purchase fun postcards and find a cheap frame to make them pop, create your own photo mural or purchase a poster of your favorite movie.

Customize Your Bed

Living in one room means that your bed is the focal point. Spruce up plain bedding by adding iron-on decals to your sheets and pillows. Check local thrift shops for cheap accent pillows to put the finishing touches on your bedding.

Create Additional Seating

As you make friends in your residence hall, you’ll likely want to have friends come visit your room. Create your own additional seating for these new friends. With a few cost-friendly items, you can make seats out of milk crates. With a little paint and fabric, you also can transform folding chairs into additional seating.

Forgo a Television

If a TV is out of your budget, you don’t have to give up entertainment altogether. Create a projector using a shoebox and magnifying glass. Stick your smartphone (or a friend’s phone if you do not have one) in the projector, aim it at a blank wall and you can enjoy a movie night with your friends.


How to Prepare for Finals

No Comments 15 May 2017

Final exams are a stressful part of every student’s life. Follow these steps to make sure you are ready to tackle those exams.

Manage Your Time

Cramming for a final shortly before the exam causes stress, which lowers your ability to retain information. Create a schedule that spreads out your studying for a week before the exam. This helps you absorb information better and boost your score on the test.

Squeeze in Cardio

It has been proven that 20 minutes of cardio a day can improve your memory. Find your favorite form of exercise and fit it in your schedule. Cardio will boost your energy while reducing stress. This helps to keep your momentum going for an effective study session.

Switch Your Study Spot

Say no to all-nighters at the library. Switching your study spot has been proven to help improve retention. In an experiment, psychologists found that students who studied the same thing in two different rooms did better on tests than those who studied the same thing in the same room. That’s because the brain makes associations between what it is studying and what is going on in the background. Try studying at different places, such as the library, your local coffee shop or a quiet room in your home.


You have probably been told for years that eating a healthy breakfast on the day of a test is vital. What you eat the week before a test matters too. A balanced meal that includes fruit and vegetables is recommended. When you study, your brain consumes the natural sugars your body produces that gives you energy. Eat a healthy snack, such as yogurt or almonds, every couple hours to give your body more fuel.


You need at least seven hours of sleep a night to fully function. Cramming all night for a big test is not worth it. If you are sleep-deprived, you will not be able to think and perform well on the test.


Counselors Invited to Attend Admissions Round Tables

No Comments 09 May 2017

This summer, Williams College will host three college access round tables, bringing together admissions officers from selective colleges and counselors from community-based organizations (CBOs) and high schools to discuss how they can work together to support first-generation and low-income students through the college admissions process.

Williams will be facilitating round table discussions in three locations this year in collaboration with colleagues from Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Drew Charter School, Amherst College and the University of Southern California. College Greenlight counselors and organizations are invited to participate at one of the round table conversations.

 The events are as follows:

  • Discussion from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and an optional lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. May 19 in Los Angeles at the Alliance Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science High School
  • Discussion and breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. June 12 in New Haven, Conn. at a venue that’s yet to be determined.
  • Discussion and light lunch from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 23 in Atlanta at Drew Charter School

For more information or to RSVP please contact Steph Gonzalez at sg10@williams.edu or 413-597-2211.


How to End the School Year Strong

No Comments 08 May 2017

The school year is coming to a close. It’s important to keep up momentum and not lose steam. Check out these tips for ending the school year on a high note.

Keep Studying

With summer so close, it’s easy to pack it in and coast through the end of the school year. You need to resist that urge. No matter what year you are in school, the grades from your final projects and tests matter. These grades can play a part in your college admissions chances, so take them seriously.

Don’t Procrastinate

Don’t put it off — just finish long-term assignments now. If you let your work pile up, you will end up with too much on your plate with quickly approaching deadlines. This will bring unnecessary stress and keep you from giving each of your assignments your full attention. If you buckle down and finish your work now, you will be doing yourself a favor.

Maintain a Routine

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer, so it’s tempting to spend time outside or with friends. But until the summer arrives, keep your regular school year routine. Finish your homework when you normally do it and continue to go to bed around the same time every day. This will keep you in the right mindset to stay focused for the rest of the school year.

Seek Out Extra Credit

Talk to your teachers and see if there are any extra credit opportunities available. You don’t need to be failing a class to benefit from extra credit. If you are on the border between two grades, extra credit can bump you up to the higher grade.

Take Care of Yourself

No matter how well you prepare yourself, the end of the school year can be a little stressful. Make sure to carve time out in your schedule for a little relaxation. Eat a healthy snack or exercise to clear your mind.

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