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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

3 easy New Year's resolutions your high schooler can keep

2020 goals
New Year's Resolutions you can keep!

Most New Year's resolutions are not kept because people set goals and expectations for themselves that are not realistic. Here are three easy resolutions that you/your high school student can set for 2020 in preparation for a successful college application process:

1) Clean up your social media.

Admissions offices are now using every piece of information available to them to learn more about prospective students and social media platforms can be quite revealing. An application essay can depict an applicant one way - photographic evidence of behavior that contradicts the essay and portrays the individual in an unflattering light is not going to do anything to assist one's chances of admission. Go through your accounts and remove any content that is potentially embarrassing, unflattering, and does not reflect you as you wish to be seen by the public.

2) Create a new email address if necessary.

If you created your first email address when Google gave you permission (age 13) or earlier with your parents' assistance, it is quite possible that you weren't thinking of how it would be perceived by college admissions officers. At one time, an email address like (that has got to exist, right? :) ) might have been cute, but not anymore. Make sure your email address doesn't do anything to make someone question your judgment or maturity. Ideally your email address will include your first and last name to make it easy for schools to associate your email account with you.

3) Start tracking your spending.

Now would be a good time to pay attention to how much money you are spending at Chipotle and Starbucks each week. Maybe you have a debit card and are diligent about tracking these expenses already - nice job, if so! Maybe you are just used to getting weekly allowance and when you spend your money, it is gone until you get more. Maybe you have a job, but the money you are earning goes straight to Amazon, Apple or GameStop. Regardless of how you earn money and what you do with it, it is time to start gaining some financial independence. When you go to college, you will need to keep a budget so you know how much money is allocated to your housing, meals, books/course materials, transportation/gas, cell phone, social life, etc. If you haven't been paying any attention to these things until now, you might have a major wake-up call when you go off to college and your parents aren't there to take care of managing all of your finances for you. If you have your own credit or debit card, make sure you have access to the statements so you can see what you spend each month. If your parents have not yet entrusted you with a debit card, you might suggest Greenlight, which is kind of like a debit card and gift card combined. You may realize that you are already doing a fantastic job of saving money for the future or you may realize that now is a great time to start.

Happy New Year!! Cheers to a great 2020!

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