Students don’t have to wait until New Year’s Day to make a fresh start. In fact, the beginning of the school year each fall is the best time for students to turn over a new leaf. Whatever happened last year is in the past. Now is the time to drop bad habits and create good ones, along with making forward progress toward your college plans. So this fall, high school freshmen and sophomores should focus on the following goals.
Freshmen. The first year of high school is one of the best times to recreate yourself. Who do you want to be? What are your long-term goals? It can be difficult to imagine yourself applying to colleges in just a few years, but your time in high school will go faster than you can imagine.
This year, focus on trying out different extracurricular activities. Well-rounded applicants are more attractive to college admissions boards, and defining yourself this way will make high school more fun, too.
Lay a firm foundation for academics, by practicing study skills and figuring out how you learn best. Train yourself to stick to a study schedule and prioritize your time. Next year, academics will become more rigorous.
Sophomores. You’ve settled into high school and hopefully found your niche…. But you’ll be leaving for college before you know it! In the meantime, standardized testing and college applications will occupy a bit of your time and attention.
Now is the time to practice your test-taking skills (and essay writing, if you’ll be taking a test that includes a writing portion). Taking practice tests, such as the PSAT or PLAN, will help you to determine which testing format is better for you.
And of course, you should continue to focus on academics. Begin to think about which classes will look good on your college applications. For example, extra honors science classes will add value if you plan to pursue a degree in science or technology. Elective classes such as creative writing or current events can help round out your resume.
If you’re a junior or senior this year, check back with us next week. Our next blog will cover the goals you need to be addressing this fall. As always, give us a call if you need input on getting into your preferred college.