The New Year is a great time to make resolutions that will improve personal growth. If you’re a high school student looking at ways to make the transition to college easier, International College Counselors offers a few resolutions that can help.
- Commit to getting good grades. For the majority of students, good grades are entirely necessary to get into a good school. In the best-case scenario, a student maintains good grades throughout his or her high school career. However, if a student starts with low grades and then improves, colleges give points for this. If grades are too low and-or show a steady decline, this signals real trouble. Spending a night studying instead of going out with friends may not be exciting, but students need a long-term perspective. Grades are a bridge. They serve to get a student into a college where there will be more freedom. In college, grades are not usually as important as they are in high school.
- Stop procrastinating. Stop underestimating how much time it will take to get something done. When procrastination leads to four college essays on top of schoolwork, all due tomorrow, usually, this doesn’t turn out so well. It’s better to celebrate being ahead when a project is finished earlier than thought.
- Don’t do it all. It’s better to concentrate on a few things and excel in them than join every sport, activity and club that can be crammed into a schedule. Anyone can join 10 clubs and be slightly involved in them all. Schools are looking for commitment that shows willingness to stick with something and make the most of it.
- Keep a calendar. Deadlines creep up quickly. The closer the date, the higher the pressure. Most students don’t do their best under pressure. And colleges, scholarships, federal aid, and standardized testing services are not typically sympathetic to any excuse about missing a deadline. If a deadline is missed, so is an opportunity.
- Take standardized tests early. No one knows how high their SAT, ACT, Subject Test, or other standardized test score can go until they take the test. Wait too long and there won’t be enough time to retake it. Many unexpected things can affect test scores on any given day, including health issues — it’s impossible to plan not to get food poisoning. Taking the test early will also allow time to take a test prep course if necessary.
- Do the research. Know what the choices are when it comes to colleges. This way any coulda, shoulda, woulda regrets can be avoided later in life. Research could be as simple as visiting a school’s website.
- Try something new. High school is a great time to spread those wings. It’s about new experiences and self-discovery. Want a certain internship, there’s no harm in calling up an employer and asking if they have any room for an eager high school student. Want to try a new sport or activity, go ahead and try it. Students are not expected to leave high school knowing exactly what they want to do, but this is a chance to start narrowing down any interests. People never know what they like – or how good they are at something – until they give it a try.
- Be excited about going to college. Whatever college a student attends, there will be new people to meet, new things to learn, and great times to be had. That’s reason enough to be excited no matter what school is attended, a first choice or a safety.
- Do what the college counselor says. Students: We at International College Counselors are here to get you what you want out of life.
- Banish the self-doubt. Fear of failure and doubting personal abilities only hold students back from achieving what they want to achieve. Just say no to these thoughts and others like them.