Samantha is the founder of AsLifeGrows.com, where she teaches students everything they need to know to have a successful college experience. Through her posts, weekly newsletter, and ecourses, she has helped thousands of students become more successful in college. During the past few years, she has been able to earn a 3.8 GPA, have a great college career, and even get into physical therapy graduate programs (all without getting grey hairs!) Now, she is here to teach you how you can reach your own level of success! We encourage you to learn more about AsLifeGrows.com and check out the original post!
One thing many high school students wonder about is how can they prepare for college in high school. First of all, I am so proud of anyone in high school who is already beginning to plan for college. I think early preparation is the first step to having a successful college career. With that being said, here are a few things that I think would help prepare you for your college experience.
1. TAKE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL CLASSES SERIOUSLY
I know that when you’re in high school it’s hard to think of your classes as stepping-stones to a successful career, but that is exactly what I want you to do. Instead of taking easier classes, try including challenging classes that relate to what you are considering for your future career. Then, once you are in those classes, work hard and do the assigned homework in order to make good grades. Having a good high school GPA will help you get more scholarships when it is time to apply for them.
2. DON’T SKIP SCHOOL
The best way to get the most of your high school classes is by actually attending them. So, instead of skipping classes, make sure that you are at school regularly. On days that you do have to miss class, be sure to ask the teacher what you missed and/or get assignments from your classmates.
3. DON’T PROCRASTINATE TAKING THE ACT
One of the extremely important things that you need to do in high school is to take the ACT. I know that this huge test is scary for many students, but I want you to know how important it is to take the ACT. For many colleges, a certain score is required in order to be accepted. If that isn’t incentive enough, doing well on the ACT will give you the opportunity to apply for more and more scholarships. Having a great GPA combined with a great ACT score will really help your scholarship applications shine.
I would suggest taking the ACT around three times in order to get the highest grade possible. If your school has an ACT prep course, then definitely take advantage of it. If not, you can also find ACT prep books online, borrow them from a friend, or grab one at the library. Either way, you need to go into this test knowing what to expect.
4. GET ORGANIZED
Another thing that many high school students overlook is organization. Being organized in high school will help make all of your college applications much easier to find and compare. Being organized will also help you to keep up with your homework assignments, test dates, ACT test dates, and college application deadlines. If you get organized now, this will carry over and make your college life much more manageable as well.
5. RESEARCH COLLEGES
Now comes the fun stuff! Now you get to choose all of the colleges you want to apply for! For me, this was one of the most exciting times of my high school career. I loved learning about college and figuring out which one was right for me. When choosing a college, there a few things that you need to consider in order to make the best decision. These include the size, distance from home, whether it has your intended major, how expensive it is, and if you can see yourself there. Because of how important these factors are, I have created a printable bonus for you to write down each of these items so you can better visualize which college you should choose. You can grab this bonus by signing up for my newsletter at the end of this post. You will also get over fifteen other college related freebies!
6. TALK TO CURRENT COLLEGE STUDENTS
Another way to help figure out which college you should choose is by talking to current college students. By doing this, you can find out what each college is really like. If you have already chosen a college, you can talk to students there and even find out which professors are the toughest!
7. SCHEDULE A CAMPUS VISIT
Sometimes we have to visit the college for ourselves in order to see whether or not we will like it. I visited three of the colleges on my list and these visits are what helped me to make my college decision. Check each college’s website in order to schedule a visit and be sure to take your parents with you. They know you better than anyone else and will be able to give good input on whether or not they could see you thriving at each college.
8. CHOOSE A MAJOR
Now comes the hard work! For some, choosing a major doesn’t happen until their sophomore year of college. While this is okay, it isn’t the most effective and may end up costing you an extra semester. So, I would definitely suggest making a career choice in high school. Although you don’t have to have everything mapped out just yet, at least you will know what general field you want to be in. Knowing a general “I want to work in the medical field” will help you make the decision of becoming a biology major so you don’t waste precious time in college and have to add-on an extra semester.
9. MAKE A LIST OF SCHOLARSHIPS THAT YOU CAN APPLY FOR
Once you are a senior in high school, you need to start looking into what scholarships you are eligible for. The easiest way to do this is by googling scholarships for high school seniors, reading the application requirements, checking the due date, and writing it down if you are eligible to receive the scholarship. Once you’ve got a list of five to ten scholarships, it’s time to get to work!
10. GET RECOMMENDATION LETTERS FROM TEACHERS
Now that you’ve gotten a few scholarships to apply for, you need to begin asking for recommendation letters from teachers. Be sure to ask a professor who likes you, knows how hard you work in class, and who would be more than happy to write a recommendation letter for you. Don’t be nervous about asking a teacher for a letter of recommendation, most teachers are very willing to do this because they want to see their students excel.
I hope this list of ten things will help you better prepare for your college experience! Remember, college is an important step, but I promise you are going to love it! Also, if you are struggling to choose which college is right for you, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below to grab your very own college decision-making chart! I look forward to hearing what college decisions you make!
Now, all you have to do is make it to graduation!