3 ways to prepare for college while you’re still in high school

No matter what your experience was like in middle school, high school gives you the chance to start fresh and think of your future from the beginning of freshman year.

When applying for college, admissions teams will review your grades and extracurricular activities from all four years of your high school experience, so it’s important to start preparing for college while you’re still in the early days of high school. From developing good study habits to researching what an ideal college setting looks like for you, here are three ways to make sure you’re prepared for college as you begin your journey in high school.

  • Figure out what you’re interested in.
  • Research colleges now.
  • Build relationships with teachers and counselors.

1. Figure out what you’re interested in

High school can be a time of discovery for you. What are you passionate about? How do you want to make a difference in the world? What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What do you excel at? These are all questions that you should explore about yourself.

While finding the answers to some of these questions isn’t easy, it can help you find out what you want to major in during college. Use your interest as a starting point to find the path that you should be on throughout high school and college. You can explore these questions by taking a variety of classes, joining clubs and trying new sports, volunteering and even taking advantage of offerings from local colleges and universities.

If you’re looking for new ways to explore your interests, the University of Cincinnati offers a variety of recreational and educational summer workshops or day camps for high school students.

2. Research colleges now

Don’t wait until your junior or senior to start exploring and researching your college options. Even if you haven’t narrowed down a list of majors you’re interested in yet, you can start exploring the academic programs. Some important things you should start considering include:

  • Program of study: Look at what programs are offered at the college and determine if they are programs that interest you.
  • Campus size: Consider what size college would meet your needs and make you feel most comfortable. Is the college campus you are looking at small, medium or large? What environment would be best for you?
  • Campus location: Think of the location of the college and the area surrounding the campus. Is it urban, suburban or rural?
  • In-state or out-of-state: Be sure to consider the overall location of the institution and whether or not it is in your home state. This may affect how far you have to travel as well as cost or types of scholarships available to you.

3. Build relationships with teachers and counselors

Getting to know your teachers or counselors can help you succeed throughout high school. Whether they’re helping you master material in a class now or writing a recommendation letter when it comes to apply for college, teachers and counselors can offer you invaluable assistance and help. Start forming sincere and lasting relationships with them now, so that asking for recommendation comes naturally.

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