Thursday, May 24, 2012

College: Getting Started

How did you get started on your track to college? What should I do to be on a similar track?

From the perspective of a sophomore high school student, your first goal should be good grades. Absolutely number one priority. It's basically how I got into UC Berkeley (I decided not to go, but that's another story for another time :-D). Remember there's also the dreaded SAT. Honestly, I didn't study, but looking back, I should have. Go get a book from the local bookstore...and study that. You don't need any fancy classes (unless your high school offers them for free/cheap!). If you need more guidance about when and how to study for the SAT, let me know.

The next goal is package yourself into a well-rounded individual.  Basically, a college wants a person who will do things after they graduate...not just get good grades.  Everyone applying to college will have good grades (actually I'm wrong in this aspect...but your grades will NOT make you stick out on a college application).  What do you like to do in your spare time?  Do you volunteer? Are you part of a club/organization (in or out of school)/church?  Try to make those experiences even richer in the next year or so.

Finally. What do you value? I know this is a very hard question...even I am trying to answer this question as we speak.  But the sooner you find out...or at least start looking for the answers...the richer you can make your experiences (which goes beyond college applications). You could value people, or technology, or space exploration, or family, or I don't know. You need to answer this question for yourself...not just for me or your college applications. From this question, you can package yourself through activities/leadership/college major/etc. It sets you up for life.


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