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College Tips

By: Tyler Silvestre

As a high school student, in my opinion, it is important to start preparing for your post graduation plans in your junior year of school.  So, this post is for the current Sophomores, who may decide to go to college.  You should start thinking this summer about what you should know about in your Junior year to prepare in order to ensure a seamless transition from high school.

Here are some detailed steps that I gathered this year:

  1. Focus on Academics: Junior year is the most crucial year for college admissions. Colleges usually look at your grades from your junior year as an indicator of your academic potential. Therefore, it is essential to focus on your grades and take challenging courses to demonstrate your academic abilities. 
red circle with a college in center with the words research below it

2. Research Colleges: Start researching colleges that interest you and make a list of the ones you would like to apply to. Consider factors such as location, size, academic programs, campus culture, and extracurricular activities. You can use college search engines, such as CollegeBoard, to find colleges that match your preferences. You can also attend college fairs and visit college campuses to get a first-hand experience of what college life is like.

3. Prepare for Standardized Tests: Junior year is the optimal time to prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Take practice tests, enroll in test prep courses, and work with tutors to improve your scores. You should aim to take the SAT and/or ACT in the spring of your junior year, so you have time to retake them if necessary.

Image of the logo for the ACT quiz
  1. Get Involved: Participate in extracurricular activities that interest you and demonstrate your leadership skills. This can include sports, clubs, volunteering, and internships. Colleges want to see well-rounded students who are passionate about their interests and make meaningful contributions to their communities. You should aim to take leadership roles in your extracurricular activities, such as becoming a captain of a sports team or a president of a club.
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  1. Meet with Your Guidance Counselor: Schedule a meeting with your school counselor to discuss your college plans before your senior year is important. They can provide valuable guidance on the college admissions process, including selecting colleges, filling out applications, and applying for financial aid. Your counselor can also help you with college essays, recommendation letters, and preparation for college interviews. It is essential to keep your counselor informed of your progress and ask for help whenever you need it.