Upon entering high school, every student is anxious to experience a high school student's real-life as depicted in the movies. Whether it is homecoming dances, sports events, or graduation, the excitement for these experiences is always there. What many students do not realize, however, is that as soon as you step a foot on your high school campus, it is time for you to start preparing for one of the most critical things in life: college. That's right, as early as freshman year, your journey towards a university begins as you start to choose how you will present yourself and your time in high school in college admissions applications and essays. If you, or a loved one you know, are going through high school or the college admissions process, do not worry. We have identified four important things that you can do in high school to get accepted into the best and most selective universities.
Establish meaningful connections
One of the most significant things you can do in high school is to establish substantial connections with teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, and administrators. So many different benefits can come from being in constant contact with these types of people. For instance, if a unique academic opportunity arises for a select number of students, counselors or administrators will instantly have you in mind for these opportunities because of how outgoing and relevant you are. It is so easy not to be seen in a pool of thousands of students. Therefore, visiting their offices regularly or sending them a quick email to check up on them once in a while will keep you at the top of their minds. Aside from offering you opportunities, these staff members can also make great letters of recommendation writers when applying to universities. Their high positions and the many insightful comments they will write about you will make you stand out from the rest of the applicants looking for admission into your dream school.
Step out of your comfort zone
Another significant action that you can take while in high school is to step out of your comfort zone and explore all that your school has to offer. Doing this may include trying out for your school's soccer team, auditioning for the dance team, or simply joining the robotics club. Your four years of high school are the best time to explore any career and extracurricular interests you may have. Taking actions as such will help you figure out a major or minor you may want to study in college while giving you an immense amount of useful skills, talking points, and resume content at the same time. Let's be honest, figuring out what career path and field of study you want to pursue is one of the most challenging decisions to make. Thus taking advantage of the high school organizations that allow you to do this at such a young age is a great opportunity. And of course, use these activities to strengthen your resume and stand out during the college application process.
Take rigorous and relevant coursework
This step is a common one but extremely instrumental and important. Taking a rigorous course load throughout high school will prepare you for the difficulty and work ethic required in a college setting. This initiative is something you should take time with. Do not feel pressured to take a full schedule worth of Advance Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses as soon as you start your first year of high school. I suggest that you start by taking a few advanced classes and, once you are accustomed to the environment, begin adding a greater number of courses to your schedule. Essentially, the reason behind taking rigorous and relevant coursework is because of the immense value that they provide to any student. For once, a transcript filled with AP and IB courses is very attractive to any individual looking over it. Simultaneously, obtaining passing scores on these courses and their exams will allow you to enter almost any university with credits that can be applied to your intended major or minor.
Practice leadership and teamwork skills
Last but certainly not least, practicing leadership and teamwork skills in high school is essential to your success at any college or university campus. These two skills are something that every admissions officer is looking for amongst their applicants. Because so much teamwork and leadership activities take place throughout your four years of college, it is essential that you are going into a college already having developed these skills at an acceptable level. Besides, learning that you were the president of a club or the leader of a community service project through your resume or a personal anecdote in an essay will help distinguish you immensely at the time of selecting who is to be admitted into a graduating class.
You are all set
Following these steps at an early start in high school will greatly enhance your educational experience and prepare you for what follows after graduation. Whether you are looking to apply to Harvard University or the University of Oxford, practicing leadership skills, taking relevant coursework, and establishing meaningful connections will help you obtain a spot within the class that you are applying to be a part of. At last, you now know what to do in college to prepare for college applications and admissions.