It still feels like winter in many parts of the United States but the temperatures in the high schools are heating up. Students are discussing options with their parents, counselors and consultants for their following year’s high school curriculum. As we slowly approach a warmer climate, we must address this hot topic to be sure that each student is signing up for the best academic school year!
Every student has a unique fingerprint when it comes to his or her applications. However, there are a couple of things that each student must do regardless of their uniqueness. The first thing a student must do is define what they are looking for in a successful college experience. Students must identify their college goals as well as their interests. Help your student understand if he or she is interested in the Arts, Medicine, Teaching, Business, etc. If your student can identify an interest then help him or her pick classes that show passion towards his or her interest. For example, if you want to help people, your community or even if you are interested in working with others in a business setting then try a psychology course or a course in business. If you are thinking of medicine or physical therapy then take a course in anatomy or biology.
Secondly, if you have flexibility in your schedule and can handle a little more rigor then try a MOOC or college course. Showing interest, displaying work ethic and taking a course load that is unique to your passions will only help your application. Remember to think outside of the box and learn for the sake of knowledge. Get online, discover opportunities and be part of a community that is bigger than your high school. For example, go to ITunes and listen in on some of the hottest lectures online. Open up books and read some of the best author’s words. Don’t limit yourself to your high school’s options; Open the doors and jump into the world of opportunities.
Finally, Don’t abandon your year by taking a weaker course load or by not showing up to school. Make next year the year that you really get involved and become a student who shines in classroom discussions as well as makes the grades on the report card. If you must take a step back and take a schedule that is lighter than last year’s courses then make up for it by getting involved in your community or school. You might want to consider obtaining a job, an internship or working with a professor on a research project. Do whatever you must, but be sure to show your interests and be an active student. In addition to being active, be sure that the courses you choose will allow you to do well and not struggle academically. If you are a rising senior then realize that your fall grades are going to be critical to your applications. Therefore, choose wisely in terms of subjects and abilities.