preparing for your future

Planning for your college life after high school and ways to help you get into your dream college.

Natalie Taylor, Writer

Your junior and senior years of high school are some of the most important years of your education. Preparing yourself for college is a big step you take after high school. Preparing before your senior year can take a lot of stress of your shoulders. Here are three things you can do to help you find ways to be ready for college.

Extra-curricular activities and groups:
While it is important to include yourself in different extracurricular activities and groups that are related to your interest or field of academic interest, many colleges also want to see that you have a wide interest of different things. Joining different groups in school like Science Bound, Upward Bound, ETS, etc. These are all groups that look good on applications for college. Having different activities and groups on an application is what things some colleges look for when they are looking to accept people into their college because it shows them you have a good work ethic.
“Organizations like the National Honor Society, EI Exito, Church Groups, and many organizations aid in college entrance. The key is to get involved in extra-curricular organizations while continuing to get good grades,” teacher Nancy Duncan said.

Narrowing down your college list:
As you go into your junior and senior year narrowing down your college list is important. If you’re stuck on what colleges to pick flipping your perspective could help you. Instead of asking yourself “where do you want to go to college” try to ask yourself, “where do you not want to go to college?”Shifting your thinking on what you’ve been working on can really change the way you have been can start to narrow down your list. The best way to learn about a college is to visit or tour that college you’re thinking about. It helps you find your way around and meet new people.

“I don’t have a particular list of colleges I wish to attend because I mainly only have one, Iowa State University. I never had a set university, that was until I joined Science Bound. Science Bound is a program that is set by Iowa State to help minoritized student get into colleges and into a stem field, Iowa State is the one they sponsor for. I joined back on middle school, since then, that has been the only college on my mind,” junior Marisol Argueta Hernandez said.

Letters of recommendation:
A letter of recommendation is a personalized letter from one of your current or former school staff, like teachers, counselors, or even a coworker. A good letter of recommendation makes a strong case for why you’d be an outstanding candidate for a college you’re applying for. Letters of recommendation from teachers, school counselors, and different sources can help college admissions officers get more of a complete picture of you. Letters of recommendations are just one of the few ways to learn more about students beyond their grades and test scores.

“A good letter of recommendation can help a student who is on a college’s watch list make it in. letters of recommendation are more helpful with honor’s programs with private college acceptance programs,” teacher Virginia Johnson said.

Having a plan for after high school is always a good idea. When you’re in high school you have lots of different advantages to help you with college, like teachers or other school staff to help you or even close friends to help you. So, use them to your advantage and help yourself have a better chance of getting into the college you want.