Plan Early for College to Make It Easier Later
From the moment you said good-bye to middle school, your teachers, parents and school counselors began talking about college. Considering that just going to high school is a big transition for many students, the idea of college probably seems very far away! But, doesn’t it feel like just yesterday that you were wondering how to work the lock on your middle school locker or trying out for your first travel team? If you think about how quickly those experiences passed, you can start to appreciate just how quickly four years of high school will zoom by. It’s important to plan early for college to make it easier on you in the long run.
As the saying goes, “time flies,” so begin planning for college early to avoid extra stress and work during your junior and senior years of high school. Use your freshman and sophomore years to:
- Get involved! Whether you join a school sports team, volunteer at a local food bank or work a part-time job, start finding ways to expand your interests beyond school. Also, as you take part in these extracurricular activities, think about ways in which you can take on leadership roles too.
- Create an account at CFNC.org. It’s easy to forget about the awards that you won during freshman year of high school or the volunteer hours that you put in during 10th Fortunately, this website helps you keep track of grades and activities throughout your high school career. Create an account so that you have the details organized when it comes time to complete your college applications.
- Think about how you’ll pay for college. There are many options when it comes to paying for college, and most people end up using multiple resources to cover the cost. Start talking to your parents about what they may have saved for your education. Also, begin researching scholarships so that you have an idea of which ones you might be able to apply to.
- Research possible majors and careers. Start thinking about the classes that you enjoy in school, how those classes might fit with career options, and the work environments in which you might thrive. Explore various college programs that will help you achieve these goals. Doing so now will make the decision about which colleges to visit easier when the time comes.
- Prepare for the ACT and SAT. Some colleges will request your scores on these standardized tests, so it is important to do your best on them. Fortunately, once you’ve created your account on CFNC.org, there are free resources available to help you get ready. Take advantage of these to improve your scores and seek help from teachers and counselors,
By tackling these steps prior to your junior year of high school, you’ll be better able to manage your applications when the time comes. This will help to reduce some of the pressure and stress that students often feel during their 11th grade year and make applying for college that much easier.