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8 Tips for Preparing for College (and Life) in High School

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preparing for college in high school

Having fun in high school is important. You want to spend time with friends and make sure you get the most out of these four years before college.

While fun is important, so is ensuring that you prepare yourself for college as well as your career afterwards. Below are 8 tips to help you prepare for college as well as life after graduation.

1. Prepare for College in Advance

There is no such thing as preparing too early. College will always seem so far away, especially when you are only a freshman, but not preparing early is a huge mistake.

Taking the right advanced courses is one thing, but taking a college’s required courses should be priority. Do the research to learn about the different colleges that you are interested in and take a visit when you can.

Lastly, you can never prepare for the SATs early enough. Having a high SAT score is one of the key factors of getting into a college of your choice. Don’t wait until senior or even junior year to start your preparation.

2. Take Leadership Roles

Getting involved in everything is not always the way to win over the college admissions board. What they are truly looking for is quality, meaning a high level of commitment in your extracurricular activities.

The best way to show commitment is through leadership. You don’t have to be the student body president or the captain of a sports team, but take every opportunity you can to get involved in some sort of leadership role. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to college admissions.

3. Have a Mentor

Not having someone to help guide you in the right direction can only make your high school life more difficult. Sure, you can get by without having a mentor, but why pass up on that opportunity?

A mentor can help you understand yourself better and show you the best paths to take. Even if it is just your guidance counselor, a parent or even your SAT tutor, get yourself a mentor!

4. Read More

Your English teacher assigns you certain books for a reason. They not only help you think and write more intellectually, but they also help you to get into good habits for college. When you are in college, (no matter what the subject you study) there will be A LOT of reading. Get into the habit of reading on a regular basis. Not only is reading books required for your academics, you will also find yourself connecting with many strangers due to the books you have read in common.

5. Give up Social Media

Social media is an integral parts of everyone’s lives today. That being said, do not waste valuable hours playing around on your Facebook and Instagram. This is precious time that you can use to get out and play sports or do something more productive. Who cares about having a thousand followers on Instagram—take it down to a bare minimum. Focus on building real relationships outside of your social profile.

6. Do Not Cram for Exams

This is the worst habit to develop during high school because you will carry it with you into college. In college, you will be hit with one exam after another and cramming will only make your life miserable.

Cramming not only makes you more tired and inattentive in class, but it will make you miss questions that you would have known the answers to had you not spent the night before studying and avoiding sleep. Give yourself enough time to study in advance, especially for important tests like AP exams.

Do something on a daily basis the week before important exams like studying for one hour a day. Do whatever it takes to avoid developing the habit of cramming.

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