In addition to working hard and staying focused on school work (priority #1!) high schoolers should consider the following:
Start to build your extracurriculars - Explore or continue to be involved in your extracurricular activities in school and/or outside of school. Explore clubs in schools by browsing your school's website or follow up or recommendations from your peers and teachers.
Read, read, read!! Reading will help you immensely when you have to take your standardized tests, and write your college essays. Some colleges will want to know what books you have read outside of class through out high school, so start building that list. You can keep a record of the books you have read in a simple google document listing the book title and author and a column to place your notes or comments. If you would like to share your reading list with others, consider signing up on goodreads.org.
Continue to explore extracurriculars and build your interests. Consider taking an interest assessment in school or through our college planning platform. We offer our students a host of options including YouScience and Find My Spark. These tools are a great way for students to uncover their strengths and interests, and align outcomes to possible majors. Browse through books on college majors, the College Board, Princeton Review or the Collegexpress. These are just a few of hundreds of resources to help guide you, but a good place to start. Under our resource section, we also have a few links to popular and interesting majors. Students should consider building relationships with teachers, particularly in subjects they enjoy. They may end up asking them to write a college recommendation for them. Start exploring summer programs that are aligned with your interests.
Students should finalize their test prep plan for the year if they intend taking the ACT or SAT. Start exploring colleges by attending virtual tours and information sessions or attend in person. Enhance extracurricular involvement by taking on leadership roles. Sign up for college planning support to ensure your student's junior year is maximized. Students should perform really well in all academic classes, as the junior year is very important. If students intend to apply early to any college (Early Decision or Early Action), junior year grades will be heavily considered. Aim to complete all testing by end of the junior year.
Check out test optional colleges to allow more flexibility. Start exploring summer programs that are aligned with your interests.
This semester and the junior year are crucial academically, so academic focus is imperative. Complete essays for ED/EA deadlines. Students should aim to complete all essays by the end of November. This will allow for some downtime with family during the holiday season.
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