What are some steps I can take in high school to make sure I get into a good college?
I am currently a freshman in high school (Washington State, Seattle area), and am looking to get a computer science degree and maybe become a software engineer. Not sure where I want to go to college yet, but I am wondering what some good steps would be in my time in high school to ensure that I get into a good college.
get good grades. You don't have to have an A+ average, but having all C's and D's is a red flag.
Diversify. My understanding is that many colleges look at the "whole package", not just grades. They want someone who can bring something to the school. So get involved in some clubs or activities. Work hard, and develop some leadership skills - run for officer, or lead a project or something.
Give back. Try and do volunteer work somewhere. There are many organizations that need help, and doing this shows a school you contribute back to society. Church groups, animal shelters, hospitals, and many other places are always looking for volunteers. And make a commitment to it. Volunteering once or twice doesn't say much about you. But if you volunteer once a week somewhere for 2 years, that can say a lot.
You are already on a great track because you are thinking about it!
I was a software engineer in Seattle. My advice for you now is to expose yourself to as much computer science and software experiences as you can to assess how it feels. For example, check our your high school's course catalog and pick out the technology classes you might want to take. Come up with your class schedule plan so you're taking an pre-requisite classes you need to. Investigate what clubs or groups exist within your high school or in your community that have to do with technology, such as robotics, computer science club, or a women/girls in tech group.
1.) show that you are involved in society by volunteering
2.) exhibit leadership by taking up positions in school
3.) start taking up internships or courses that are relevant to your course of choice
4.) think through about what makes you really stands out- ivy leagues often look out for the personality in candidates other than good grades
Great question. I hope all freshmen are thinking as you for success. Here are my thoughts:
- not just good, but great grades. if advanced level courses are available, sign up for them.
- become involved in some school activities for a variety of experiences. These experiences improve the maturing process.
- Get involved in something on your own initiative, not one that the school administered, such as a charity organization
- talk to your school guidance counselor each year as you refine your plans
All the best in your studies.
Michael T.’s Answer
Great job on considering your college plans as a freshman! This early start is the first step towards getting into a fantastic college. To boost your chances even more, I recommend participating in school or community events that can help you improve essential soft skills like communication, leadership, and teamwork. These skills are crucial for both job interviews and college applications.
As for your preferred major, it's a good idea to start building your portfolio now. Use the knowledge you've gained in school and apply it to real-life projects, like creating a website. This hands-on experience will be valuable in the long run.
Keep up the good work, and I hope this advice helps!