Boosting Your College Application by Maximizing Your Time in High School
If You’re Not Careful, High School Can Fly By With Little Time Spent Planning For College…
When you first enter high school, it can seem like the days drag by. Near the beginning of your senior year, however, you’ll be left wondering where all that time went!
In order to give yourself the best possible chances of being admitted to your dream college, you’ll want to make the most of these fast-paced four years. In this article, we’ll cover what you need to do during high school to give yourself a stellar record you can use in your college applications.
The Importance Of High School For College Applications
There’s a reason why many adults remember their high school years fondly. During high school, we’re finally old enough to pursue our interests and develop skills that will benefit us later in life. In turn, it’s also the time when many of us take on big responsibilities, like after school jobs and volunteering, for the first time. By and large, high school is an exciting time where you can experiment, learn more about what you want to do in life, and build a solid foundation for your academic future.
However, to build that foundation, you’ll want to begin building your life outside of school in addition to keeping up with your grades. At this point, the time you put into your extracurricular activities, skill-building, and volunteer efforts will pay off when you go to fill out your college applications. If you want to maximize the time you spend in high school to propel your future, you’ll want to find a comfortable balance between the academic side of high school and these “extras” that make high school more rewarding.
When you can point toward a history of working on yourself both inside and outside the classroom, you can add strength to your college application. College admission officials love seeing a track record of dedication to a cause, sport, or even an idea in a student’s history. A strong college application is one that helps tell a cohesive and detailed story beyond your GPA.
The small details throughout high school can mean the difference between being accepted or rejected to college later on.
Preparing For College Applications Beyond Just Your GPA
Everyone knows that grades are important, and there are ways to raise a low GPA if you find yourself struggling. At the end of the day, your GPA is merely a number, and colleges are increasingly using a holistic approach to admission that takes far more than numbers into account. Today more than ever, being a well-rounded student is vital to your chances of being admitted into the top colleges and universities across the country, beyond simply acing your classes.
One of the best ways to maximize your free time in high school is to become involved with a cause. Volunteering can bring fun, opportunity, and fulfillment to your life. By volunteering, you can learn valuable skills and real-world knowledge, as well as network with others who share your passions. These qualities and connections can benefit you later as you begin to fill out college applications and meet with recruiters.
When choosing a cause to become involved with, don’t limit yourself in any way. Volunteer with causes where you feel your talents and skills can do the most good, where you feel inspired to create change, or with a cause that helps strengthen your local community.
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE
Your writing skills will be tested throughout the college application process and during your college years, so flexing them during high school can help you prepare. You’ll want a strong understanding of both academic and creative writing going into your college applications. To do this, you’ll want to take an interest in your English classes and practice essay writing when you feel inspired. As with any skill, the more you practice writing, the better you will become over time.
Ask your teachers and guidance counselor to keep an eye out for scholarship essay contests, and do research of your own to find essay contests. Not only will these help you flex your writing skills, but you may also end up landing an impressive scholarship to help pay for college!
Learning how to network is much easier if you start while you’re still in high school. Take advantage of your time in high school to meet new people both inside and outside of school. Networking with adults by making friends with college recruiters and other adults. This network and support system will be very useful when you hit college.
FIND TIME TO RELAX
High school, and later college, can be hectic at times. It’s also the first chance for you to learn how to find balance in your life. Take the time to relax during high school and practice self-care; from an afternoon playing video games to taking walks with your dog, everyone finds stress relief in a different way. If you can find healthy outlets for academic and life stress early on in high school, you’ll be prepared to face the bigger stresses that come later in life.
Knowing how to speak comfortably and confidently when you need to will pay off when you start visiting with college representatives. From admins to alumni interviews, you’ll want to know how to have a conversation and a pleasant interview.
If you have trouble chatting with adults, start by working with your high school guidance counselor or college counselor until you can talk with them comfortably. With patience and practice, you can become a much more confident speaker, and this skill can take you far as you try to get admitted into college and beyond to when you’re trying to land your dream job.
Getting involved in sports while still in high school lets you work on making friends, honing your talents, and staying active. Being dedicated to a sport or another extracurricular activity looks great on college applications. If you’re not interested in traditional sports, you can always join an athletic club or community sports team to get involved.
Making The Most Of Your High School Years
Many students make the most of their high school experience in a variety of different ways. These years are a period of rapid growth where you learn more about who you are as a person, what interests you, and how you want to interact and change the world around you. This learning period can help you create a solid foundation that can boost your college applications when the time comes.
If you want to make the most of your remaining high school years, reach out to our WeAdmit counselors. We’d love to help you create a plan for how to maximize your remaining time. Our approach to college admissions is designed around you, and we’re here for every step of the college admission process, from finding financial aid to perfecting your essays.
Don’t Forget; You Only Have Four Years To Take Advantage Of, So Don’t Squander Them!
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