Welcome class of 2018! The past two years you have likely faced numerous challenges and obstacles. This year will be no different. You will be faced with challenging courses, important standardized tests, and you will make decisions which will impact the next five years (or more) of your life. You will inevitably experience a roller coaster of emotions: fear, joy, anger, surprise, confusion, anticipation, and excitement to name a few. Through the ups and downs, be persistent and focus on the future.
Now is the time to begin planning for your future. Throughout the year you will want to:
- Focus on your grades. Studies show that your high school GPA is one of the biggest predictors of college success. Therefore, for most colleges and universities, your GPA will be one of the top admission factors.
- Challenge yourself. Colleges and universities want to see that you have taken rigorous classes. You may wish to consider advanced placement and dual enrollment options. It is tempting to take the easy route, but you will find that challenging yourself can be very rewarding.
- Get involved. Colleges and universities look for students who are well-rounded. Consider joining an extra-curricular activity if you are not already a part of one.
- Prepare for standardized testing. In March you will take the ACT. It is likely the biggest test you have ever taken, but don’t panic; you’ll get through it. To prepare, you can take practice tests online or participate in an ACT prep class. This year, you will also take the ASVAB and have the opportunity to take the PSAT. The ASVAB measures aptitudes and abilities and helps predict future academic and career success and the PSAT is the National Merit Scholarship qualifying test as well as the practice test for the SAT.
- Focus on your future career goals and develop a roadmap to help you accomplish them. Now is the time to begin researching colleges and other academic/career programs. You should also begin researching scholarship opportunities. Keep in mind that millions of dollars in scholarships go unclaimed each year.
- Last, but not least, enjoy being a junior. Although the future is important, you do not want to miss out on the many opportunities you will have this year.
Although this year will be challenging, it will likely prove to be one of the most exciting years of your high school life. I hope you have a great year!
Keri M. Miles