You're already taking a great first step by thinking about college this early! Here are a few keys:
(1) Try and gear your for years in high school towards taking as many advanced level classes as you can. Colleges love to see students take the initiative to challenge themselves with tougher coursework, even though your grades likely won't be quite as good as if you'd taken easier classes.
(2) Do extra-curricular activities, namely playing on a high school sports team, joining a club(s), and/or taking a leadership role in your high school class.
(3) Proactively do community service. You don't need to go crazy, but if you display selflessness and a willingness to help others, colleges will look very favorable on you.
(4) When the time comes, study as hard as you can for the SATs (or ACTs, if that's what you decide to take). These are an important part of the college admissions process and your scores matter.
Outside of that, work as hard as you can. It's never too early to start thinking about college. Well done thinking about it already. Good luck!
Love your passion for planning ahead and going to college. Super exciting! I am a first generation college graduate and went to UC Berkeley.
I would recommend trying your very best in all of your classes and getting involved in extracurricular activities within or outside of your school. Colleges would like to see if you took a leadership role in any of your activities if that's something you're interested in. Colleges look at your GPA, impact on the community, and SAT scores when applying. I would recommend taking the PSATs to get practice before taking the actual SATs too. Start preparing your college applications during the Summer before your senior year so you have plenty of time to brain storm on topics you'd like to discuss. Make a sheet of deadlines for each school you're interested in applying to. Make sure you choose schools that are known for the field you're interested in majoring in. If you don't know what you want to major in, choose a school based on what you're looking into getting from the school. Also, chat with your parents about which schools are financially a match for your family. I applied to a few scholarships through my high school counselor so I'd recommend asking them for opportunities too. I hope this was helpful and don't forget to have fun :)
Great question and congratulations for thinking ahead and planning for your future! I recommend you take your studies seriously and focus on both getting good grades and being active in activities such as clubs at school and volunteering. These will help you develop leadership skills and look great on college applications. If available, enroll in Advanced Placement courses which allow you take college level courses and receive college credit while in high school. I found those courses to be great in providing the reality of what college course load would look like. Good Luck!
Here is a comprehensive article that will answer your questions. One of the most important things is to develop good study habits that will enable you to get the best grades in an effective and efficient manner. Also, another major point is to do sufficient networking and research to make sure the the career or major that you intend to study is suitable for you. Choosing a major is like trying on a pair of shoes. It has to be comfortable and fit right. Enjoy the article. It has some very important points: