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Preparing for College: Freshman Year

College and University Blog - Resources, help, and insight for your college experience

Planning for college is not something you wait to do your senior year. There are steps you can take beginning your freshman year of high school to ensure that you are prepared for college when graduation time rolls around. By following the suggestions below, you can make informed choices and prepare wisely for your future. In preparation for college you should do the following during your freshman year of high school:

  • Meet with your school guidance counselor to discuss your college plans. Review your schedule with him or her to make sure you’re enrolled in the correct classes in order to help you prepare for college. Most colleges prefer four years of English, history, math, science, and a foreign language
  • Join clubs and activities that interest you – get more involved in extracurricular activities. Colleges pay attention to your life both inside and outside the classroom. Your academics come first, but your extracurricular activities reveal a great deal about you. Colleges will see how you’ve made a contribution to something, what your non-academic interests are, your ability to maintain a commitment, whether you can manage your time and priorities, and what diversity you will bring to the student body. Some students need to work for various reasons. Colleges understand that this can mean less time for extracurricular activities. If this is your situation, you will be able to explain your circumstances and talk about the skills you’ve gained from working when you apply to college.
  • Start building relationships with teachers, counselors and employers. This will help you to obtain recommendations later. Your recomendation will be easier to write if they know you well.
  • Become computer savvy (if you aren’t already) – this will help you immensely now, through college, and beyond. Staying current technologically is an ongoing process, but one that will serve you well.
  • Research how much money you’ll need for college, whether you have saved enough, and what you need to do to afford college. Include your parents in this.
  • Apply for jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities. These activities can be done during the school year, during breaks, or during the summer. If you are fortunate enough to find a position related to your academic interests, you can see first hand whether it is a good fit.
  • Research the required courses needed at the colleges that you might want to attend. Knowing the requirements will help you to choose what classes you need to take in high school.
  • Go to college fairs in your area. These are great places to get information about several schools at one time. College representatives are available to answer your questions, so ask away!
  • Learn about financial aid.
  • Visit colleges while they’re in session. You will be able to see what daily life is like and you can talk to students already attending the college. If you have friends or relatives that are attending college, see if you could spend a weekend with them. While academics are very important, you will also want to know about life outside of the classroom.
  • Ask your college friends about their experience when they are home for the weekend, break, or the holidays.
  • Check with your guidance counselor about summer school programs in your area. Many colleges have summer school programs especially for high school students.
  • Start a summer reading list. Ask your teachers to recommend books. Read as much as you can, and read a variety of materials. Reading builds your vocabulary and strengthens your writing skills.
  • Begin to prepare for the PSAT test to score especially well. Performing well may qualify you for awards such as the National Merit Scholarship.

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borgia over 9 years ago borgia

I agree..