College Prep New Year’s Resolutions
It’s 2019 and now is the perfect time to reflect on your academic progress and set goals for the new year. Annual resolutions can help students pinpoint their priorities for the next year, which is particularly important when it comes to the college application process.
To make the most of your resolutions, set specific goals based on your grade level and interests. From freshmen year to-do’s to senior year priorities, keep reading for our top New Year’s resolutions for high school students throughout every part of the college admissions journey.
Start Off Strong
Don’t slack during 9th grade thinking that your grades won’t matter. Admissions officers will review your academic performance throughout high school, including your freshmen year. Review your mid-year performance and identify areas for growth and development. If there is one subject you are struggling in, consider prioritizing that class and seeking out one-on-one help with a teacher or independent tutor.
Explore Your Interests
If you haven’t already, sign up for clubs and after school activities that appeal to you. Many students are unsure of their long-term career goals, so don’t be afraid to test the waters and see what kind of extracurricular activities you are most passionate about. While it may be tempting to get involved in everything your school offers, sticking to 2-3 commitments will help students avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Up the Ante
Course rigor matters! Students should strive to create an academic schedule that is challenging, which may mean seeking out advanced placement or honors classes. If you are unsure about specific classes, reach out to your guidance counselor for help crafting a course load that is academically rigorous without being unrealistic.
Get Test Prep on Your Radar
Sophomore year is a great time to begin taking practice SAT or ACT exams, working with a tutor, and identifying what testing components you need to prioritize when studying. Beginning test preparation well in advanced will help you feel well rehearsed and confident when exam day comes.
Narrow Down Your List
By the second semester of junior year, students should have a clearer idea of what kinds of colleges will be the best fit for them, academically and socially. In order to narrow down your list of best-fit colleges, plan campus visits at different types of schools. Compare you experience at a state university versus a small liberal arts college to get an idea of what kind of environment appeals most to you.
Level Up Your Extracurriculars
Consider deepening your involvement in an extracurricular activity you are passionate about by applying for a leadership position or seeking out new learning experiences related to the field. A student who has played on the basketball team since freshman year may want to look into being team caption while a staff writer at the school newspaper should consider applying to be an editor.
Many colleges require final grade reports, even after acceptance, so it’s important for high school seniors to stay on top of their academics until graduation day. Focus on making the most of your last semester of high school by staying engaged in all of your classes.
End High School on a High Note
Between completing graduation requirements and making college decisions, the second half of senior year can feel like a whirlwind. Give yourself time to relax and enjoy your final semester of high school. Try to set aside several hours each week to catch up with friends and family.
Whether you are preparing for your second semester of high school or getting ready to graduate this spring, New Year’s resolutions are a great way to check-in and stay on top of your game. If you need help making or working towards your goals for 2019, do not be afraid to reach out for help. Our team of expert college admissions counselors and tutors can help you achieve your academic goals throughout all four years of high school. Contact us to learn more about our college counseling services for high school students.