Are you about to finish ninth, tenth or eleventh grade? Do you feel like you are up to your ears in end-of-year exams, internal assessments, an overdue proposal for your senior thesis or Extended Essay, the championship sports match, a looming internship–and generally speaking, every bit of yadda yadda that makes you just feel like your school year is about to boil over?

And that if I mention preparation for college, you will scream?

Athena Advises

Planet High School is a very busy place. You may feel that there are so many demands on your time that you cannot imagine lifting your head up from your packed schedule to gaze ahead into the future.

And yet that’s where you should be looking, because that’s where your future lies. The purpose of secondary school is to prepare you for college. You’re not doing all of this just so that you can stay in high school!

I would advise you to stop right now and pull back for 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes, okay?

Close your eyes and daydream. Imagine yourself at your dream university. Are you lying in the grass, reading the longest novel you’ve ever seen and wondering about the ties between the realist novel and the political upheavals of the nineteenth century? Are you up late, finishing an experiment in a chemistry lab? Are you rushing to catch the subway to your internship on Wall Street?

What’s the next step you need to take to make sure that one day, you will wake up into your dream? Open your eyes slowly, and calmly pencil in 15 minutes to plan or execute that next step. Surrounded by your dream bubble, float quietly through your next day of school. You’ll be less stressed by school, because a part of you is already beyond this, living your dream.

College prep is not something you “add on” to your high school schedule. It’s the reason you’re doing this.


Dr. Marlena Corcoran
Founder and CEO