Preparing for College
Preparing for College: A guide for high school students, by high school students
Editor: Alex Stepp
Welcome back!! It seems like it has been forever since we have had the pleasure of writing for all of you. Thankfully, school is out now, and even in the midst of the flurry of college preparation, we have found the time to write about just that: college preparation. Instead of using statistics and research with our experiences, we will be using only our experiences in the process of sharing the tips and tricks of preparing for college. Of course, we are not professionals, as we are in the process right now, but we will share with you all that we have learned so far.
I hope you all enjoy this issue!! Feel free to comment with other tips throughout the articles. Also, since our last issue, Courage for Tomorrow has gotten more wonderful writers whom we will introduce in this issue. So, be on the lookout for articles by Ben, Hannah, and Krista.
As always, feel free to contact us for whatever reason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading!
The Courage for Tomorrow Team
Steps for Preparing for College in High School
By Krista Zimmerman
When the frenzy of preparing for college sets in, so does chaos and confusion. Most people become consumed with picking a school, choosing a major, saving money, and obtaining oodles of scholarships. This kind of strategy though leaves many people feeling depressed and freaked out. The key to successful college preparation is to know what is really important. There is a way to be confident when it is time to walk onto that campus, even if you do not have everything perfectly laid out.
As admission letters begin to arrive in the mailbox, lots of students begin to feel like they are sinking in a pile of envelopes, stamps, and promises that are probably not as dazzling as they seem. So, what is the smart thing to do? Mainly, it is avoiding choosing that one perfect campus. It is okay to have a choice college or university. But, by keeping your mind open to endless possibilities, you can prevent being disappointed later. Also, working on obtaining a high GPA will ensure you a better chance of getting accepted to lots of colleges and universities. Therefore, the most precise way of preparing to attend college is not picking out a campus, but it is making sure that you can get into any campus that you choose. Nothing is worse than picking out your top ten colleges and then not getting accepted to any of them. Focusing on grades in high school will prevent this scenario from happening.
Many students have the mindset that they need to choose a major as quickly as possible. Guidance counselors approach kids in the eighth grade asking them, ‘What do you want to do after you graduate high school?’ Unfortunately, this question that we hear before we even get to high school drives the next four years of our lives. It is as if we need to answer this question or else we will be doomed to poverty. It would make it much easier if guidance counselors would just ask us ‘What do you want to study when you get to high school?’ So, why not pretend that is what they asked us? Because, guess what? Not knowing what major we want to get by the eighth grade or even by eleventh grade summer is not going to doom us to poverty. Actually, it will not even doom us from going to college. Statistics show that many people that receive a major in a particular field do not even end up working in that field. So why pick a hard fast major before you even know what you are interested in? High school is a time to explore. Taking lots of different electives, getting involved in clubs, community activities, and exploring your talents will prepare you to choose a major that actually fits your personality and abilities. Being driven towards a single major in high school may just land you with a job that you hate someday. If you really want to prepare for college, and more importantly for your future afterwards, then you should spend your high school years discovering your interests.
Saving money and receiving lots of scholarships are important, but they should not be the focus of your college preparation. It is more important to make sure that you get good grades and know what you want to study. After all, what good is it to work tirelessly and save tons of money if it hurts your grades? Colleges and universities are not looking for rich high school students. They are looking for diligent students with good grades. Those types of students, in turn, will have a higher probability of scholarships falling into their lap. Not only this, but, by having a major picked out that is actually suitable, you will not waste all your hard earned money for nothing.
There is no clear cut guide to preparing for college. However, there are things that will definitely make the preparation process easier. Success will come from putting your priorities in their proper order. Little distractions are bound to creep up during the college preparation process. But, with a decent plan in place, the come paranoia caused by college planning can be avoided.