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13 Tips to Start the High School Year Off Right

Back to School

Back to School

Summer is over. Days of camp, relaxing, and no homework are history.  For high school students, it’s time to buckle down and get back in the grind.  Keep your focus on the goal: college.  And, not just any college, but the right one.  If college is the goal it’s critical to do well in high school. High school is not forever, it just might feel that way.

To help start the school year right, International College Counselors made a general Top 13 Checklist.

  1. Re-evaluate courses and teachers. Students want to be sufficiently challenged, but not overwhelmed. It’s important to take challenging courses, but it’s just as important to do well in them. Now is the time to re-evaluate courses, switch teachers, and decide if the right choices were made.
  2. Get involved in clubs, activities, sports, etc. The beginning of the school year is the best time for exploring interests. Once a student decides what to try, the next step is finding out how to get involved in those activities and organizations. Students who didn’t like what they were doing last year should make a change. Try something new. It’s impossible to know if something is liked, until it is tried.
  3. Explore and apply to scholarships. Scholarships are available for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Write down the deadlines and stay on top of them. Don’t wait to see how much school costs. Scholarships are always good; they are free money.  International College Counselors Annual Scholarship for 9th-11th graders will start accepting applications for its 2018 scholarship contest in October.
  4. Commit to working hard. Grades are one of the most important factors in the college admissions process. Commit to working hard and doing homework to get good grades. If help is needed, seek it before falling behind.
  5. Try hard whether the teacher and the class are liked or not. Like all people, some teachers and classes will be better than others. It’s good practice for a future career to try to get along with people of all types. Plus, teachers are where college recommendation letters come from.
  6. Build a great vocabulary. READ. READ. READ. Doing well on the PSAT, ACT, and SAT all require a good vocabulary. It’s easier to build this slowly and naturally than to cram it. Reading will also help with writing, thinking and speaking.
  7. Stay organized. One of the easiest ways to keep from getting stressed is to keep everything organized. Organized people don’t stress over whether they’ve missed an exam or homework assignment.
  8. Work on a unique skill or develop a unique mindset. Determine to be really good at something, and set aside some time for it each week. Expand personal knowledge by doing research on the web and, even better, seeking out internships or a mentor in the field of interest. Become an expert on the Salem Witch Trials or origami.  Learn to make sushi or conquer the stock market.
  9. Don’t put anything on social media that is embarrassing or even potentially embarrassing. Give it the grandma check. If a post is not something grandma (or the admissions director) should see or read, don’t post it. College admissions officers have been known to deny and rescind admissions offers based on controversial posts.
  10. Make smart decisions on alcohol, sex, and drugs. Don’t text and drive, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Underage drinking and illegal drug use is a serious offense. One dumb mistake can lead to a ruined life.
  11. Maintain a positive attitude. Not just at the beginning of the year, but all the way through it. Positivity will help with your personal relationships and towards getting things done.
  12. Get help. If you need help navigating the college admissions process, consider hiring an independent college advisor, like one from International College Counselors . If your kitchen sink doesn’t work, you get help. Same with college admissions. We’re here to help.
  13. Be nice to your parents. They mean well and want the best for you.

For more information on International College Counselors or to contact an expert college advisor, email [email protected] or call 954 414-9986 x1.

About International College Counselors
The college advisors at International College Counselors help students from all over the U.S. and from around the world find, apply to, and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert educational consultants at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college admission process.