College Summer Checklist Part 1: Incoming High School Freshmen

220px-AgendaSummer has finally arrived, and all you want to do is watch Netflix and eat ice cream. While that is a totally acceptable way to rewind from the  hectic school year, try to devote at least a little of your time to the college process. There are a couple things that everyone can be doing over the summer to prepare for college admissions, regardless of grade:

  • Try to make yourself read at least 5 good books. They don’t have to be War and Peace or Shakespearean plays; any novel that fits your reading level will work. It will make you a better reader and writer, and will seriously benefit you on the SATs/ACTs, as well as when writing your college essay.
  • Writing in a journal is also an excellent way to start brainstorming possible college essay topics, as well as a good stress-reducing activity.
  • Finally, if you have any summer reading, it’s usually a good idea to start it before the last week of the summer.

All that aside, here is the first post in a series of grade-specific summer checklists to help you prepare for the college admissions process.

Incoming Freshmen

  • Make sure you are signed up for the courses that are most challenging to you. Everyone’s learning ability is different, but it is always good to challenge yourself in topics you feel comfortable in.
  •  Start volunteering in your community. It is a great way to boost your summer extracurriculars and learn leadership skills.  Consistency is a valued in college admissions, and the longer you are doing something, the more responsibilities will be given to you.
  • If you have siblings that are going on college visits, consider going with them. Even though you have plenty of time to think about college, its always nice to have a general idea of what kind of schools you’d like to go to.
  • Research what kind of resources your high school has to offer. If you have a guidance counselor, go meet with them. If there is an after school program that assists with applications, consider going to sit in on it. Become familiar with your new school.