Your college admissions saga, if it's like that of the majority of other high schoolers around the nation, has several main components. First, is your overall numerical academic significance (grades, GPA, class rank, etc.), which begins to accumulate in 9th grade. Next is your activities profile (or "ECs"). Then come some intangibles, such as the subjective impressions you make on your teachers and others in your orbit. Finally, although there may be other components, comes the application process itself, which can begin as early as the summer before your senior year.
However, among all these seemingly disparate elements lies one important fact: Your junior year is pivotal. Thus, those of you who will be starting 11th grade in the coming months should pay careful attention to what you need to be focusing on and the kinds of issues that percolate to the top of your priority pile. You might even think of your junior year as a diving board that provides a potentially perfect platform from which you can dive into the deep, sometimes murky (and even scary) waters of the college admissions process.