It’s that time of year when we make our New Year’s resolutions, and we’ve got a few recommendations for high school kids to help them enjoy the ride to college a little more. So, here are our Collegewise “Top Five New Year’s Resolutions” that might not be so obvious, but will definitely help you get accepted to college.
- Set a goal to actively participate in at least one class this semester.
Colleges don’t just care about the grades you get; they especially appreciate students who actively participate in class. So raise your hand. Answer questions. Show the teacher you’re interested and engaged. Doing so will go along way towards showing the colleges you can succeed in their classrooms.
- Get more involved in a current activity.
Before you add more activities to your plate, ask yourself if you would enjoy being even more involved with something you already do. Can you take a leadership position, take on a project, or make an impact in some way? Remember, a long list of activities isn’t as impressive to colleges as is a significant commitment to the things you really enjoy.
- Find a way to pursue a subject you like.
Colleges are always impressed by a sincere interest in learning. So ask yourself what you really want to learn about, and then find a way to do it. Do an extra project. Take an extra class or attend a summer program. The subject could be anything from calculus to civil war history to sports medicine. What’s important is to show colleges that you do have intellectual interests and you don’t mind going the extra mile pursuing them.
- Be yourself.
It’s not necessary to mold yourself into something you’re not just to please the colleges. For example, a lot of students worry that their lack of athletic talent will hurt them in college admissions. It won’t. If you don’t like sports, but you love math, embrace your love of numbers, join the math club and become its fearless leader. Colleges appreciate individuality a lot more than they do efforts to conform into something you’re not.
- Spend more time looking for the right colleges.
A lot of students talk about wanting to get into the “best” schools. But don’t forget to look for the right schools–the ones where you will be happy and successful for four years. This year, resolve to do some college soul-searching to determine what you really hope or expect to gain from your college experience. Investigate a variety of schools and try to find the right match. Doing so will make your life easier, your high school years more productive, and your college applications more successful.