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Preparing for College as a 9th Grader

You are learning how to do “High School” and you are already reading about College. The good news is that learning how to do High School is the first step to preparing yourself for college. There are so many ways to do High School and you can do it your very own way. However, it all counts from now on. Think of Junior High as the Minor Leagues. You’ve made it to the Bigs! So what now?

Most Important things to Remember

  1. It is easier WAY easier to bring down your GPA than to bring it up. Get off to a good start. Classes only get harder so take advantage of the easier ones.
  2. Start joining clubs and school organizations from year 1. Colleges look at your involvement in things you are passionate about. Too many students try to get involved way too late.
  3. High School goes by quick, but it is also very long. Have fun and try new things! If you see a club or a sport you’ve never imagined yourself joining, it’s okay to try it out! This will help you with navigating your passions and interest. It’s okay that you wanted to be a doctor your whole life and you are certain you will never change, but trying different things will help give you options if that career path ever changes.

1st year myths

  1. Grades are all that matters for College.
  2. You have to be in all the  “highest classes” and take all the APs.
  3. Freshman year doesn’t matter.

Like I mentioned in my Important Things to Remember, Colleges are looking for well rounded students. Grades are important, but so are a lot of other things. Colleges aren’t just looking for the book smarts, they are trying to see if they can see the whole picture to who you are and if that person is someone they see at their school. You may feel pressured to take every AP class offered, but I would advise to be careful on what you sign up for. If you want to get into a Medical field, it’ll be good to plan ahead and take some accelerated Science courses. However, you don’t need AP English or AP History. Know what you can handle and plan your classes accordingly.

What you can start doing today

  1. Start making a list of dream schools.
  2. Start keeping track of everything you are involved in (clubs, sports, etc.)
  3. Map out your academic plan for classes you want to take.

Extra Credit

Have FUN! High School only happens once. Embrace the ups and downs you will experience and know that these years could be the best years of your life, but it doesn’t have to be. Everything counts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recover from a mistake. If you fail a test, there’ll be more tests. Slow down and breathe deeply. You can do this!