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How to make the most of high school and prepare for college

Thinking about college can sometimes cause a certain level of anxiety. What school to choose? What should you major in? Are your grades good enough? Don’t panic: There are ways to make the most of your high school career so that prepping for college isn’t so stressful.

Do your research.
In order to pick a school that fits you best, you have to do some research. This may sound like a boring homework assignment but it doesn’t have to be. All of your teachers have a college degree so talk to them about their alma mater and see what they loved and hated about their university. Many schools also lead college tours and if your school doesn’t, you can find one you’d be interested in online. Tours can be fun and give you a feel for a school you might be interested.

Get to know your advisor.
Your advisor isn’t just there to make your schedule. Often times, your advisor has a wealth of information about how to get into the school of your choice and find scholarships and funding to help you pay for school. Just stop by their office every now and then to say hi and ask any questions—they'll most likely be more than happy to help.

Get involved.
Getting involved in your school will not only enrich your high school experience but it will also make you look more appealing to colleges. Play a sport, join the student government or host Spanish club. This is the best way to really feel a part of your school and make friends. More importantly, colleges can see that you are an involved student.

Maintain your GPA.
Having fun in school is all good and well but at the end of the day you are there to learn. Honestly, having a positive high school experience and getting good grades go hand in hand. To be a part of teams and have good relationships with your teachers, you need to keep your GPA up. Plus, many colleges require at least a 3.0 to be considered so check what the requirement is for schools you’re interested in and aim to achieve that or higher. You know what they say: Work hard, play hard.

Utilize school resources.
Don’t overlook those fliers in the hallways and announcements in the morning. Your school will often let you know about opportunities to do things outside of school. Volunteer, work a summer job and take college courses if you can. That piece of paper you crammed in your binder might have an experience that could have a huge impact on your future.

Pay attention to yourself.
Over the course of your high school career, you will grow and develop as a person. Your likes, dislikes and interests will likely change. Take note of the things that interest you. Acknowledge your strengths and hone in on those skills. That will help you better decide on a possible major but if you still can’t decide, don’t worry. Many people change their majors in college but it’s good to have some idea about what you like.

Do you feel prepared for college yet? How are you making the most of your high school experience?

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by Lauren McMillan | 9/1/2017
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