Updated July 28, 2021
Written by GirlSpring intern Makayla Smith
Being more prepared for college, ahead of my senior year of high school, would have helped a great deal if there were the proper resources there to guide me. Waiting until the last minute to become serious about topics concerning college was one of my biggest regrets. Unfortunately, I had to learn a lot of tips and tricks on my own. Below are a few suggestions I have listed would want you all to consider, even if the idea of college does not affect you right now.
If your school offers dual enrollment, take those courses instead of wasting time in AP classes. The credits in dual enrollment courses are more likely to roll over, unlike the dice being rolled over on a chance of probably not getting the college credit during AP testing.
Take the ACT Early
Start taking the ACT when you are in the 9th or 10th grade. Do not wait until your senior year of high school to do so. This will be a huge burden on your shoulders especially since getting scholarships on the federal level is becoming a bit harder. It is important to have a high ACT score so that you can qualify for a good, hefty scholarship that will help you with tuition (at the least).
Start Thinking About College
Make a list of schools that you are interested in. Be confident in the schools that you have chosen. Look into the majors that they offer and make a choice around that. Research the student diversity. See what scholarships the school has to offer, and the opportunities that could span from it after completing your degree. If it is something that you have personally gravitated towards, then take a tour of the school.
In an article from www.grownandflown.com, they encourage students to “keep an open mind.” I agree with this because now that you are having to include elements such as finances, independence, and education it is important to keep a well versed amount of colleges and other opportunities open. There are many different ways to be successful so do not limit yourself to just one or two schools. Your parents are not tagging along with you for this experience, so work on catering this avenue to you and yourself only and build your happiness up from it.
Know Your Teachers
Become close with some of your teachers now. Improve those bonds and make sure to add some insight on class discussions and in academic performance. This is important since teachers write letters of recommendation and could spearhead you into an arena that you could have only imagined, beforehand. This boosts your chances of getting into the school of your choice.
Most importantly, be confident. Keeping a positive mindset, throughout this process, is just as important as making sure your grades are in alignment with your ACT scores. Make sure that the support system you have encourages you to stay on the right path. And even if your support system is yourself, understand that you are not alone in that experience and that you are tougher because of it.
Check out more college advice articles by GirlSpring contributors!