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Making The Most Of College

When you are going to college, it can seem like it will never end. Year after year, you go to class hoping that your group projects and endless papers will lead to a promising career. However, when you do finally reach the end of your college career, it feels like a giant burden has been lifted. Once you have that degree in hand, you can apply for jobs confidently. I know how important education has been in my own life, which is why I want to help you to understand why you should go back to school. Check out my blog to find out more.



Making The Most Of College

3 Tips For Beginning Your Road To College During Your Freshman Year

by Nora Gardner

Whether you know you want to go to college or are only flirting with the idea, waiting until junior or senior year to prepare can make the process harder. Although freshman year is a major adjustment period, it is the perfect time to start planning your path to college.

Start With The Big Picture

Most colleges want a well-rounded student, so you should consider more than your GPA. Explore extracurricular activities available at your school before you decide which activities you are passionate about and believe you want to commit to for the long-haul. Athletics is often a popular option, but utilize school societies and clubs. Often these groups meet after school, but they may attend conferences and competitions, which can be eye-catching on a college application. Consider incorporating volunteer work from the beginning of your high school career. Since volunteering can be time-consuming, you may want to work with a local organization in the summers beginning with the summer before your freshman year. This shows dedication to the organization. If you wait until your senior year to do volunteer work, it seems obviously self-serving to both organizations and colleges.

Tackle Challenges

Depending on the course offerings at your school, you may have several opportunities to enroll in honors or advanced placement (AP) courses. Do not be overly concerned about your GPA, if it will make you take less challenging courses because you fear earning less than an "A." If your school is limited in the types of courses they offer, consider enrolling at a local community college. Many community colleges allow students to dual-enroll during their junior or senior year. Being a dual-enrollment student also shows ambition because you are willing to go the extra mile for your education. As a bonus, if your ideal college accepts transfer courses from the community college, you are guaranteed college credit as long as you make the required grades. The downside to AP courses is you must pass the AP exam in order to earn college credit.

Build Your Piggy Bank

Freshman year is also a good time to start thinking about the financial costs associated with applying to college. You must consider the cost of tests, application fees, score reports, and postage. If you believe you want to attend college out of the state, you probably want the opportunity to visit each campus with your family. Unfortunately, these costs can be a sizable burden for the average family, which can significantly narrow your list of possible schools. During your freshman and sophomore years, you may be able to do odd jobs for a few extra dollars, which you can add to a savings account. Once you reach the legal age to work, you might consider a part-time or summer job to help build your savings.

Preparing for college is easier when you break up the overall goal into manageable chunks. Starting high school with college in mind will make the application process and your senior year less stressful. If you need help getting ready, contact Crimson and Ivy.