Wednesday, October 5, 2011

4 Tips for All 4 Years

Ah, October. The official start of fall. Everyone has been back in school long enough to establish some routines, get some grades back, and if you’re a freshman, get a handle on this whole high school thing. If you’re a senior, college is looming large on the horizon. (And if you’re one of my senior clients I’m encouraging you to get your applications finished by Thanksgiving.) But seniors aren’t the only ones who should be thinking about college right now. Here are 4 tips for all 4 years. Today, Freshmen and Sophomores:

Freshman Year

1. Sign up for some activities.
Start to get an idea of what you’re interested in and what activities you’d want to see through to Senior year. It’s ok to sign up for a bunch of different things now because the whole point is try.

2. Start off on the right academic foot.
Make sure your course load is in line with a college preparatory degree. Requirements will vary from college to college, of course, but they’re looking for 4 year of English, 3 years of science, 3-4 years of math, 3 years of history, 3 years of foreign language, and 2 years of art.

3. Start volunteering.
Don’t do this just because you think this is what colleges are looking for. This goes hand-in-hand with your activities. Just sign up for things you think might be interesting. It doesn’t have to be forever but you never know when you’ll find something you’ll really like.

4. Read!
You should absolutely be reading for your assignments, sure, but I’m talking about soaking up other information too. Books, magazines, opinion pieces, anything. There’s a big world out there and it’s important to be well-informed. And besides that, reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary for when you have to take the (drum roll) SAT’s or ACT.

Sophomore Year

1. Keep up the good work.
Your grades will always be important. If you had any struggles, now’s the time to sort it out. No one said it was going to be easy but it’s only a weakness if you don’t do anything about it.

2. Remember those activities?
Time to start getting serious. There’s no need to stick with something you absolutely hate, but hopefully you’ve found some things you can really get into. If you haven’t, get at it. If you have, now’s the time to ramp up your involvement.

3. Test Prep. Yes, those tests.
As a sophomore, you can take a practice PSAT or the PLAN, which is the pre-ACT. If you do well, then that’s fantastic! If you don’t, then you’ll know where to focus your energy. And remember, it’s only practice so even if you do well on the practice PSAT you’ll still need to take it again as a Junior. If you don’t want to take any actual tests, then get yourself some prep books. Just make sure they contain actual test material.

4. Have some fun!
High school is not simply the means to get to college. Go to dances, go to games. Or don’t, if that’s not your thing. High school is an experience for us all. There will be high points and low points, to be sure, but believe me, you’ll be stronger for it.
Juniors and Seniors, tomorrow is for you!

No comments:

Post a Comment