What is the best thing a sophomore in high school can do to start preparing for college?
I’m going into my second year of high school and want to make sure I do everything I can to have a solid application for colleges. I have a 4.3, I do service every week, I am also a dancer and run cross country. What would you recommend?
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You should pursue three or four activities that you are truly passionate about, and that you are willing to invest time in over the course of your high school career. The activities should reflect diverse aspects of yourself and your personality- your maturity, service, dedication, leadership skills, and of course, your passions. Pursue one academic-oriented activity (an activity geared towards the field of study that you want to pursue in college), one leadership activity, one personality activity and one community service activity. The academic-oriented activity really helps to show admissions officers that you are truly passionate about the field you are choosing to pursue. The leadership activity helps to show admissions officers that you are hard-working, have people skills, and can be an innovator in your field. The community service activity shows responsibility and empathy. The personality activity helps interesting aspects of your personality to show through, and it shows balance.
1. CHALLING ACDEMICS
Colleges and universities will also consider the strength of your schedule. The more selective schools, especially, prefer candidates who have taken the most challenging courses available to them. This demonstrates a strong work ethic and a commitment to academics and scholarship. A student who seeks to challenge himself in high school will likely continue to succeed in college.
2. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIE COMMITMENTS
When it comes to extracurricular activities, colleges are looking for quality, not quantity. An extensive laundry list of activities is not as impressive as a long-term, deep commitment to a few activities of high interest to you. Colleges actually like seeing that you have specialized interests and passions and are willing to make a solid commitment. Try to take on just a few extracurricular activities for a long period of time and to spend several hours a week on each of these activities.
Another quality you can demonstrate through your extracurricular involvement is leadership. Keep in mind that colleges and universities are also communities seeking to select students who will enrich the overall campus culture. Ideally, these students will be passionate leaders who will make a positive contribution to the campus. ( example: Captain of your cross country team )
4. A GENUINE INTEREST IN THE UNIVERSITY
Demonstrating a genuine interest in the school can work in your favor, particularly at the most selective colleges. This can involve going on tours/visits, talking to admissions officers, showing enthusiasm during an interview (if interviews are expected), or writing passionately about the school in a personal statement, etc. For this reason, applying early decision can also be an advantage. Applying early decision demonstrates that a school is your first choice. This is a sign that you will be a good influence on campus and you will use your education to make a difference in the future. If you can demonstrate the majority of the qualities that colleges look for in a student, you should have a strong chance of admittance to even the most selective of schools.
Olive admissions officers look first at test scores, the rigor of the courses you take, and your grades in those courses. After that, they are interested in a student’s extracurricular activities — in other words, how you spend your time outside of classes. Colleges care about the character of people they admit; therefore, what you do after school, during weekends and over summers tells them a lot about the kind of person you are. When you think about it, you are what you do every day, every month, every year.
Hope this was Helpful Olive
John recommends the following next steps:
Another important thing would be to start taking the SAT and ACT right now to get the score you want. Do practice courses on Khan Academy specifically for those standardized tests or buy the study books for them. You can take the tests as many times as you want, so don't be afraid to start now! Best of luck