I know it is a little far off, but I would highly recommend looking into whether your high school offers dual enrollment when you get to that point, as it would allow you to take college courses ahead of time for both high school and college credit. This is also beneficial because you typically don't have to pay for the course as long as you pass. This allows you to save time and money, which is especially important if you take out student loans to pay for the courses.
Erin recommends the following next steps:
But the better answer to your question is that to best prepare for college, and you have a lot of time, is to develop your writing skills, your reading skills, your organization skills, and your time management skills. If you're already thinking about it, I'm sure you'll be well prepared when the time comes.
For example, medical students will HAVE to take organic chemistry (science), biology, and mathematics. As an engineer, I had to take classes like linear algebra (mathematics), physics, and statistics, but I did NOT have to take organic chemistry or biology. For someone studying philosophy, they will have to take some classes in history, english, and religion most likely. You can start to see that the classes you are "required" to take depend on what you decide to study, which is pretty great because you don't have to study what you don't like as much.
If I were go back in time to my 6th grade self and wanted to get prepared for college, I would focus most on developing my passions and trying to pave my own unique way to college. College counselors see thousands of applications of students with very similar high school experiences all competing to get into the same school. Think about what makes you most excited and focus on developing your skills and having an impact in that particular area.
If you LOVE animals and think you want to be a veterinarian, maybe volunteer at an animal hospital or help out at an animal shelter. Maybe create your own club at school focused on helping animals in your community. Maybe work with a friend to think about how you could create a blog or a website for the community to help place dogs and cats who need a home. Maybe shadow a veterinarian over the summer and learn more about what it means to do that job.
At your age, the best thing you can do is to figure out what makes you excited and to continue to develop that passion.
You got this!