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When is the right time to start preparing for college?

I am currently in High School and I am wondering when should iIstart preparing for college. Also, when should I consider writing my resume?
#college #highschool #resume #resumewriting

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John’s Answer

Lourdes you can save yourself a lot of stress if you start thinking about what you would like to do in college while you are still in high school. The earlier you prepare, the more time you will have to adjust your plans if you change your mind or to dig deeper into what you know you’re passionate about.

FRESHMAN YEAR – The best time to start your college decision making process is during your freshman year of high school. Yes, really! High school goes by so quickly, and you don’t want to save all of your work for when you’re just a few months away from graduating. During your freshman year you can meet with your counselor to learn about your graduation requirements, you can evaluate how you’re doing academically.

SOPHOMORE YEAR – By the time you’re a sophomore, you may have already realized why preparing for college requires a four-year plan. Your current school work and activities are beginning to pile up, so it’s natural for you not to think about anything but the present. Check back with your counselor and see how you are doing academically and whether you’re on track with your yearly plan. Begin the search for where you might want to go for college and what you might want to do professionally.

JUIONR YEAR – Not only is it the year in which you take your toughest classes, but it’s also the year in which talk about college prep is the most intense. But don’t worry; you still have time to do what you need to do. Continue to meet with your counselor and ask questions to make sure you’re academically secure to graduate high school. You can also make sure you know the academic requirements for the colleges and universities you might want to attend and see if you are academically secure for those, too. What’s more, you can attend college fairs and narrow down your choices, you can visit and tour them, you can apply for scholarships and internships. By the end of the year, you should have a pretty good idea of your top colleges of choice and maybe an idea of your desired career.

SENIOR YEAR – You made it to your last year of high school! Congratulations are in order, but don’t relax just yet. It’s important that you finish strong without giving in to senioritis. During your senior year, you can now apply to the colleges you narrowed your choices down to. And, of course, make sure you keep in touch with your advisor to ensure you’re on track for graduation. Your senior will need to write their college essay – but before he puts pen to paper have them review the application requirements for the schools you’d like to attend. Some may have you answer a series of questions versus submitting a full essay. Make sure to review other requirements, too, like whether you need to submit recommendation letters from teachers. Complete admission interviews if you need them. Some colleges require them; others don't—but it’s usually a good idea to participate in an admission interview if the opportunity is presented to you. See if you can sit in on a class or speak with faculty in the program you'd like to major in too.

Good Luck Lourdes

John recommends the following next steps:

Plan to work hard in high school. Taking the most challenging classes available (AP, IB, Dual Enrollment and Honors classes) will benefit you in multiple ways. In addition to learning the course content, such as Algebra, Chemistry, or a foreign language, college preparatory classes will also develop your skills in note-taking, studying, writing, test-taking, time management, critical thinking, and more. These important skills will prepare you for the rigor of college classes.
Try to visit as many college campuses as possible early on during your high school years. Don’t wait to do every visit during your senior year. While it is best to visit during the school year when campus life is active, a visit in the summer is better than no visit at all, and a campus visit can be easily added to most summer vacation trips. Campus visits can range from a few hours to a whole day, but typically plan to spend an afternoon.
As admission to universities and colleges becomes more competitive, students are turning to early application plans to help increase their chances of entering their institution(s) of choice. Statistics seem to show that doing so is actually beneficial.

You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great Lourdes. John Frick

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Chris’s Answer

I would say right away. I have been volunteering in a high school English/Public Speaking class and she covers job interviewing. I am a recruiter so I have been meeting with her class participating in the interviews. I have found the kids to be really sharp and prepared. I would suggest to you that you think about what your goals are, what topics you wish to continue studying after high school and what career fields you think you would enjoy. Think about your uniqueness - examine your tools...your skills. What do you consistently do well? Your ability reveals and uncovers your destiny. Add work and determination and planning and you have a great journey!

In my opinion, it is never too early to being preparing for college. Your entire high school GPA counts toward your college application. But also, it is never too late to begin the process and where ever you are or whatever experience is you can begin. There are many ways to get financial assistance and it never too early to begin.

Things like your class choices, your extra extra-curricular activities, and many other things are important to colleges as they evaluate your total application.

Also, it is never too early to begin doing things that can add to your resume. It can be an internship or volunteering, camps, leadership activities, teaching, counseling, etc. Think about what a college review board is looking for. I mentioned a few things above, but it is never a bad thing to be yourself and to get involved in several activities.

You can find sample resumes on the internet or ask your parents or other adults to share their resume with you.

Begin thinking about it if you want to go to school and just begin.

Thank You! Lourdes J.

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Scott’s Answer

I would agree with Chris. Right away. The resume and all your information that you will include in your application is a reflection of your entire life. So I would focus on grades, engage in as many activities as you can, and begin thinking about how college will get you to your career.

Thank you so much for your help! Lourdes J.

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Katelynn’s Answer

Hi Lourdes,

Like you, I didn't know when to start preparing for college. Luckily, I had known my whole life that I wanted to go to college, though what I wanted to major in and do after college changed multiple times.
I would suggest thinking about what you enjoy doing academic wise and think about possible majors you would like to do. Would you like to major in something related to the fine arts, sciences, social sciences, etc? You can then research colleges that might be a good fit for you and your possible major(s). For instance, I'm a zoology major so I chose a college that was a pretty STEM heavy research college.
I would also recommend trying out different clubs at your high school in order to add them to your college application. You might also want to try doing some volunteer activities, but don't let the clubs and volunteering take time away from your studying! For some colleges, GPAs matter, so trying for Bs and As in your classes will definitely help!
Though all of this is important, I would ultimately advise you to not stress about it too much! You're in high school, enjoy your time before things start getting too stressful! I never really paid attention to colleges or college applications until my senior year of high school and things ended up turning out just fine. Just try and focus on your classes, your club(s), and your hobbies! Colleges love well rounded students.
That being said, I hope the rest of your high school experience goes well and I hope my tips were able to help you a little.

Thank you so much Katelynn! This is very helpful information!😊 Lourdes J.

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Simeon’s Answer

There are a lot of resume templates online, so go ahead and choose one that is clean and visually appealing and fill out the information, making sure that the length is only one or two pages. As long as the important job experiences, grades, and clubs are highlighted, don't spend time overthinking the organization of your resume.

The time to think about which colleges you want to visit is generally around the junior year. It would be wise to organize campus visits for the colleges that you are considering to get an idea of which ones you want to attend. Going in person can give you a really quick understanding for if the college is a good fit or not. Once you find some colleges that you're interested in, I would work backward from there and find out what kind of high school classes they would accept to fulfill some of their courses. Joining any official clubs, such as National Honor Society, will be a key investment. Besides grades and clubs, there shouldn't be too much to worry about getting on your resume pre-college. I'd also spend some time reading and watching videos about careers that peak your interest. It'll help guide your pick of college.

Finally, don't let the planning overwhelm you. Most people's paths take strange twists and turns. As long as you take your classes seriously enough to pass and make a point of building connections, you're going to be fine. A lot of how your career will go will often just depend on chance and which friends you end up connecting with. Once you've done your due diligence and done everything you can, relax and don't stress yourself out.

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Fernando’s Answer

I'd say at the start of your senior year of high-school. Given how most people tend to jump between what they want and what they like all throughout high-school it's best to wait a bit. During your senior year you already have a firm grasp on the things that drive you and are passionate about. Use that to research what career fields are out there and what colleges or universities offer courses with regards to said fields. Don't rush through this, take your time to really narrow down what it is that you want.

As for when to write a resume, you write one when your sure you want to be part of the work field. Whether it be a summer job, a part time, an internship or even a full-time employment.

Thank you so much for the help! -Lourdes Alvarado🙂 Lourdes J.