Alright sophomores, freshman initiation has long been over. Congratulations, you survived. Now it’s time to kick it up a notch. Here are some things that you need to take into consideration from here on out:
Keep up the grades! So you did very well during your freshman year, that’s wonderful, pat yourself on the back. That’s it, now let’s keep it going! There will be no break time and there will definitely be no slackin’ off! Remember that NOTHING matters more than your academic record. Any low grade that you earn from here on out can easily put a damper on your college applications process. With that said, no need to stress, stay calm, stay focused, and keep your head in the game.
Continue to challenge yourself with harder classes. Not only will colleges be more impressed, but you will also be even better prepared once you have made it there. Remember, an “A” in AP English is more profound than an “A” in Wood Shop. Some colleges might not even consider those less meaningful grades when calculating your overall GPA.
Put more effort in your after school activities. When you apply to colleges, you want to show depth and leadership within these activities. It will be more impressive to show colleges that you were captain of the debate team, first chair in the All-State Band, or even president of the coin club, as opposed to someone who spent only one year in student council, another year in sports, and only a few months in the chess club. Showing depth within one specific activity will be more valuable than having a shallow list of various activities.
Now is the time to learn about colleges and their requirements, financial aid, etc. Visit them if you can. Start forming an idea as to which type of college matches your interests. Maybe you want to go to a big campus that offers a wide variety of options. Or maybe you already know which field you plan to go into, and would rather go to a smaller campus that focuses more on these interests. If you cannot visit a campus, another good way to find out about colleges firsthand can be from friends and family who are older than you. Pull them aside while they are home from the holidays and gain some knowledge and wisdom from them.
Consider taking the SAT II & AP Exams. We know that most students take these exams during their junior and senior years, but many students are now taking them earlier. There is nothing wrong with being an overachiever! Even if you do not plan on taking these exams during your sophomore year, it is never too early to start preparing for them.
Keep meeting with your counselor on a regular basis. This is the person who will help you achieve those goals that you set long ago. They can help you make them happen, don’t forget that! Talk to you counselor and make sure that you are still moving on the right track.
Have a productive summer. I’m not saying to ditch the pool parties, but do something meaningful as well. You want to do something of value that will lead to personal growth and that will help you improve as a person. Regularly volunteer somewhere, find a summer internship or apprenticeship, or get a job. There is nothing better than gaining true hands on experience within the real world. You will be there sooner or later, and you want to know what to expect.
READ READ READ! Never stop reading! You are never too old and never too cool to be reading. As time goes by, you will be getting closer to the SAT and the ACT, and you want to be ready! Remember, those who read are bound to score higher than those who do not. FACT.
Keep it up sophomores, you are on a good path, follow these tips and continue to have a wonderful year of success.