High school means high stress, for both kids and parents. GreatSchools.org talked to some recent graduates about what advice they had for kids starting their freshman year and here’s what they said.
Go for what Interests You
Pick extracurricular activities based on what interests you, not on what your friends may think or how it’ll look. “I was tempted to join Mathletes but never did because of the general unfavorable status,” said Bona Kang, UC Berkeley. “Later I realized that probably would have been a great experience.”
Whatever you choose, if you’re interested in it, you’re likely to get more involved, and that passion will shine through when it comes to apply for college.
Bond with Your Teachers
Make the effort to really get to know your teachers. Talk with them during their planning period, after school or at lunch. They can help you get through the toughest days of high school and also with your college application process.
This is a corollary to the first one. Try not to focus so much on what other people think and, instead consider what makes you happy.
“Anyone can do anything with their lives,” Alastair Brown, Cornell University, said. “Students should not define themselves by their place in high school.”
Take Practice Standardized Tests
SAT and ACT scores are more than just a number. They’re an important part of getting into the right school with the right financial aid. Take as many practice tests as you can.
Your school may even offer a special study course for both tests that can help fetch you a higher score.
You Don’t Have to Do It All Now
Take a deep breath. High school is full of big decisions, but realize that not all of them are permanent. Have a general plan for your life, but also remember to be flexible and adaptable. “What many students fail to realize is that you can always change majors or schools. There’s no shame in trying something out and deciding it’s not for you,” Sera Harold, University of San Francisco, said.