Did you just finish your junior or sophomore year of high school? Congratulations on another year under your belt! While summer is ahead of you, you don’t want to entirely waste it. Here are some college prep mistakes high schoolers tend to make during the warmer months.
Mistake #1: Not Using This Time For College Prep
Easily, the most obvious mistake you could make during this time, is failing to prep at all for college. Your age does have an impact on how exactly you use this time to prep, but you should be starting to research colleges, make a list of schools that interest you, compare majors, compare colleges, explore pros and cons of particular schools, look into college applications, and even maybe visit campuses you’re interested in.
Now is also the time to look into financial aid and scholarships. Scholarship databases are a great place to start, but don’t forget about applying for FAFSA as well.
And thirdly, you’ll want to give time to SAT or ACT preparations. You need to decide which of the exams you’re going to take (if not both) and the best study methods for you. You’ll have to devise a study schedule as well as a plan for practice tests.
Tackling all these tasks now will save you plenty of headaches in a few months.
Mistake #2: Not Working or Volunteering
While you might want to spend your entire summer relaxing at the beach, going on trips, or another hobby, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to get some experience. Getting a job is a great option as it can help you save for college while also looking great on your resume. If possible, you may even be able to get a position within your intended field.
Volunteering is also a solid choice for similar reasons. You can give back to your community and learn useful skills along the way. Whether you choose to work or volunteer is up to you, but it looks amazing on college applications and, later on, resumes.
Mistake #3: Spending Too Much Time on College Prep
While college prep, SAT/ACT studying, and working or volunteering are important, you don’t want to spend 100% of your time on college preparations. The summer is yours after all, so you should enjoy it too while being responsible. Now is the time to hang out with family and friends, while also taking time for your hobbies. Whether that’s reading, playing video games, cooking, or something else, don’t forget about yourself and the people important to you while you’re preparing to apply to colleges.
A balance should be found between college prep and your time. A schedule can actually be a lifesaver here as long as you stick with it. Essentially, being aware and proactive will help you avoid college prep mistakes.
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