SOPHOMORE YEAR AND FRESHMAN YEAR
It’s early, but not too early. While college is and should be some far distant thought at this point for you, there are some things that you can do or at least think about so that when the time comes, you are better prepared. To use a time-appropriate metaphor, college or thoughts of what a college may like or want should not drive decisions you make now, but it is a good idea to at least let college in the car with you. Keep it in the back seat as something to consider, something to remember or pay at least some attention to, but it should not be what tells you which direction to go.
The following is a list of ideas or suggestions appropriate for students and or parents in either grade level. (They are not in any particular order.) Some are college specific while others have as much to do with having the most successful transition to the upper school possible.
- Turn off the TV and computer and READ, READ, READ!!!!
- Stress wherever and whenever possible the ideas of ownership, taking charge, becoming more independent and a more effective advocate for oneself.
- Explore and strengthen interests and skills in all areas.
- Explore and strengthen identity.
- Find and develop passions—in and out of school, academic and non-academic.
- Sit down with parents and Bullis advisor to develop a four-year plan for both academic and extracurricular activities. Update this plan regularly.
- Realize that grades DO count and colleges DO care about your preparation at this level.
- (For Sophomores) Read the PSAT/NMSQT Student Bulletin we send out in the early fall. This brochure includes information about the test as well as sample questions. While specific preparation is not necessary, having greater familiarity with the test format and the types of questions you are likely to see is a good idea.
- Read not only the scores from PSAT tests but also the entire report and learn from what the results tell you.
- Endeavor to find a successful balance between outside school commitments and schoolwork and extracurricular pursuits. (This is particularly important with club sports.)
- Develop strong study habits and habits of mind.
- Build positive relationships with adults other than parents—find a mentor.
- Make wise use of summer. Work, internships, academic enrichment, athletic camps or leagues are all worth considering.
- Pay attention to what you hear juniors and seniors talking about that relates to college. Ask your older brothers and sisters, cousins or family friends about their college process.
- Become familiar with the resources in the College Counseling Office and this Web site. Consult the Web site on a regular basis as it will be updated and improved regularly.
- Visit colleges whenever you have the chance. Start getting a feel for what kinds of places might be best for you. Focus on size, type of programs, distance from a city or home, etc.
- Read articles you see in the newspaper or magazines about the college process. Become familiar with the lingo and the overall process.
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