When you are starting a new school year as a sophomore, you put behind the challenges of freshman year, only to face a new challenge up ahead: college.
Sure, it seems like there is a lifetime before you have to start worrying about college or post-high school plans, but the truth of the matter is that it is never too soon to start planning for it. So, what are the top 5 things that you could do during your sophomore year to prepare for college? Here is the list:
1. Take an AP Course(s)
This not only helps you to prepare for the heavy workloads you will get in college, but it also shows college admissions boards that you are a diligent student. If you are not up to the challenge or your school does not offer AP courses appropriate for you, then take as many high level/honors courses as you can, without jeopardizing your GPA.
2. Take the PSAT
Your SAT scores are going to make or break your college application, so it’s important to start preparing for this test the right way. Taking the PSAT is a great way to understand your test taking skills. If you do well, you could be eligible for a scholarship from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. If you don’t do well then it means that you have more time to prepare for the real SATs.
3. Dedicate Time Outside Of Class
College admissions boards care about what you do with your time outside of class just as much as your course loads. Try out for sports teams if you are athletic, sign up the Art Club if you are interested in the creative fields, or do something out of your comfort zone like trying out for the lead of a school musical! If you have already found what extracurricular activities you enjoy being part of, that’s great! As your next challenge, try taking on some leadership roles.
4. Meet With Your School Counselor
They are there for a reason—use their resources! They can help you research colleges of interest and schedule your classes accordingly. School counselors are also the ones who have direct contact with college admissions officers, so build strong relationships with them if you want to get an extra nudge when applying.
5. Use Your Summer Wisely
Whether you are volunteering at a local animal shelter or taking on your first internship or job position, don’t waste your summer bumming around. This is the time for you to set your path straight to get into the college of your dreams. Use this time to craft your art skills if you want to go to art school or practice taking the SATs if you didn’t do so well on your PSATs. Whatever it is, don’t waste it!