It's fairly common for students to sign up for an extra year of high school at a private school that offers a post graduate (PG) year. Almost all boarding schools in New England offer some form of a PG year. Sometimes a post graduate program may have its own courses and tracks, like at Cheshire Academy, while other PG programs have no separate courses or activities.
Regardless of how your boarding school sets up the PG year program, it's important to go in with a plan to get the most out of your extra year. Here are some simple tips to get the most out of your PG year:
Know what you want.
Are you taking a PG year to get recruited in basketball? Or are you looking to raise your grades to reapply to your #1 college? Whatever you decide, having a goal for your PG year is important because it allows you to formulate a plan to rock your extra year and get the most out of the experience.
Network, network, network!
Now that you know your goal, figure out who on campus can help you get there. Perhaps it's the head or assistant basketball coach, or maybe it's the college counseling staff. The head of your school's learning center is another great person to reach out to if you're looking to boost your grades. Regardless, make sure you know who to connect with when you arrive on campus. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can use your school's directory to email your contacts before you even get there!
Don't waste time.
It can be tempting to use your extra year to lounge around the dorm room, but remember: in the PG Year, your timeline is different. You should be getting ready to apply to your top college choices in the fall, so make sure to gather your application materials, start your essay, and rank your choices. We're not saying you have to live in your school's college counseling center, but developing a close relationship with them may help!
Give yourself room to grow.
Lots of PGs take an extra year because they need to grow: academically, athletically, and perhaps even emotionally. Don't be afraid to let yourself grow and gain new experiences in your extra year. This gap year should be a time for you to explore yourself as an individual and learn more about your life goals.
We hope these tips will help you get the most out of your PG year at a private school! Remember: work hard, make friends, and have fun while you're on campus!