by Lhasa Posada
You know that really persistent question adults always ask? You probably already know. I bet you can guess: What do you want to be when you grow up?
The safest option is to respond with something that will impress them, like a doctor or a lawyer. Or maybe you’re the type of person to just straight up tell them you don’t know. Regardless of your answer, people our age are all in the same boat, and that boat is sailing all the way to college.
Everyone knows that college isn’t for everyone. But if that’s the route you’re heading towards, it’s important to be informed and prepared. This college-obsessed high school sophomore can confidently tell you that an ideal start to the process is knowing what field you’d like to go into. Take those classes that will help you learn more and confirm your interest in that subject. Explore extracurricular activities in your school, but don’t limit yourself to what they offer. Look for opportunities that can take you even further. Only then you’ll know that your passion for art or music or whatever it may be is real.
The reason diving into your interests is encouraged is because it helps build your academic resume. Achievements, awards, leadership positions, jobs, clubs, and anything of that nature goes right on that list. It’s critically important to keep track of those accomplishments since they can rank you higher than other applicants. Portray yourself as an overachiever. Relying on your grades won’t make the cut this time – though that’s not to undervalue the significance of your grades. Maximize your GPA, do your best in those challenging classes, and work for every point because those put you in the running.
Lastly, as you continue to make your way through these four years, it’s a great idea to note down possible essay topics. Those upcoming personal essays will allow your admissions officer to get to know you better. Make sure your goal is to demonstrate why you’d be an excellent addition to their institution. Overall, your application should be a package that paints a picture of your best self in high school.
The process is a long one, so make sure you stay focused, and keep your eye on those goals!