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Hints from the Guidance Counselor

Dear students,

The end of the school year often brings with it a wealth of conflicting emotions.  On the one hand, there is gratitude that the seemingly endless homework, exams, corrections, meetings, and projects are over and it’s time to relax over the summer vacation.  However, the fact that some students and staff will be leaving the school for good is very hard to think about.  For many, the end of the school year will mean the end of their time at the DSW.  I would like to congratulate our graduates, both those leaving with their High School Diploma and those who have earned their Abitur, on their achievements.  You have paved the way for a bright future and I wish you every happiness and success – no matter where life takes you. 

If you have not done so already, I would like to encourage the “college group” for next year to use the time over the summer vacation to seriously think about where you will be applying and to visit as many campuses as you can.  This truly helps in narrowing down the list of colleges that offer both a stimulating academic program and an atmosphere that promotes an all-around positive college experience.  Remember: You will most likely be spending several years at your chosen institution – make sure your choice is well-founded.  Also, please make sure that you meet with me at the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year to complete the applications and discuss recommendation letters, essays, extracurricular activities, etc.  A summer internship can really make an impact on an application! Make use of the tools that are available to you through the internet. Below are a few sites that you and your parents might find helpful.

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/for-parents#

http://www.internships.com/summerinternships/high-school-students

http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theartofgettingaccepted/tp/best-summer-plans-for-high-school-students.htm

One final reminder to all students grade 9-12: It is never too early to start planning for college. Remember that your grades from 9th grade on will appear on your secondary school transcript, which the colleges will be looking at when you apply. Your academic history is one of the most important pieces and often the most important piece of information you will send to a college. Graduating from the German School Washington D.C. is certainly a bonus and it will help you but it cannot outweigh a weak academic profile.  Colleges are becoming more and more competitive and grade point averages that used to be enough may not ”cut it” anymore. So keep your grades up every year, participate in extracurricular activities, do your social service hours, and be an integral part of our school community.

However, for now, I wish all of you, no matter what grade you are in, some well-deserved relaxation. For those of you who are going to new schools, I wish you all the best for a smooth transition.  To the staff that is leaving, I hope that the next chapter in your lives is a happy one and you find fulfillment wherever you go.  No matter where the road takes you all, I hope that you will stay in touch and visit often.  We will miss you! 

Warm wishes for a wonderful summer and Auf Wiedersehen!

Klara Fabina

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